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Valued Social Butterfly
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Re: Keyboard In Rock Bands

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It would be remiss not to mention Keith Emerson, one of the finest keyboard players in rock, who like Lord, fully used and abused his Hammond organ. He was one of the early prog-rock composers, and noted for his rock arrangements of classical music.

 

I recently read a snippet from a Deep Purple bio that Jon Lord and Keith Emerson were apparently good friends back in the early days. Emerson's band, The Nice, and Purple often shared bookings, and the bands became good friends.

 

Emerson and Lord had a shared interest in rock-classical music compositions. It says that Lord wanted to write an orchestral piece to which Emerson would play on organ, or maybe the two of them could perform, with Emerson on organ and Lord on piano. But it was never to be. By 1970, Emerson had gone on to form ELP. Both bands were becoming very successful, and had heavy touring schedules and commitments, so there was never enough time to work it out. But wouldn't that have been a show for the ages?!!

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Valued Social Butterfly
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Re: Keyboard In Rock Bands

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Can't leave Ray Manzarek out of this discussion! His keyboard parts were the main driving force for the Doors, even more important than Jim Morrison's role, in my opinion. I'll never forget the first time I heard the full 7 minute version of Light My Fire. Our local radio station had been playing a shorter radio version, and my cousin & I were driving down the street totally stunned when they played the full album version. Morrison was great on that song too, but for me, it was always about Manzarek's amazing riffs and streams driving the whole thing. And the Doors had no bass player ... all the bass parts were Mazarek on keys. 

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Valued Social Butterfly
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Re: Keyboard In Rock Bands

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Absolutely! Keyboards add that extra dimension to the music. That's a great list, too. I'm a huge fan of Purple and Steppenwolf, among others.

 

The Beatles made excellent use of piano in many of their songs, as did Lennon and McCartney when they continued their solo careers. 

 

The Moody Blues were one of the early bands to use keyboards in their fusion of rock-classical music, and their concept album, Days of Future Passed

 

But Jon Lord really brought the organ to the forefront with DP that put the "heavy" into rock music. He was a master musician to begin with, and the organ solos and his cross-work with Ritchie Blackmore's guitar, really defined Purple's music and set them apart from other heavy rock bands of the day. As keyboards expanded, Lord incorporated them into his set up.

 

You might add Santana to your list, also. Great use of keyboards with guitar in his music. 

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Keyboard In Rock Bands

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Give me a rock band, IOW a Classic Rock band, with a keyboard and I absolutely love it. Van Halen, Deep Purple, Steppenwolf, Vanilla Fudge, Boston, Foreigner and the list goes on. 

 

Of course the keyboard has changed thru the years. With today's electronics, a keyboard player can hit a few switches and the keyboard can sound like an entire band.

 

So, do you love keyboards like I do.?  

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