I posted this first at my Tumblr
Fuck. RIP Keith Emerson.
I was as shocked and as saddened as anyone else by David Bowie's death, but rock music, by its nature, will always have its David Bowies. The showman, the auteur, the chameleon. Bowie's career path is probably THE MOST likely one of those someone with his (undeniably great) talent might follow. And there will always be musicians of great talent.
But what do you say about first wave progressive artists? Say what you will about Neil Morse and Dream Theatre and very very worthy bands like Anglagard and White Willow, but the golden age of prog happened once, and it issued from a particular set of conditions that will likely never be duplicated.
And now the Earth in its repeated natural course about the sun has seen to it that the greatest practitioners of prog from its long-departed Golden Age are leaving this world.
What do you say about Chris Squire? Sure, I can imagine a bass player as good as he was, but I can't imagine a player like that with the inclination to play the way he did.
And now Keith Emerson. He wasn't just a performer in prog rock. He took risks that yielded revolutionary results that have been actively discouraged in the years since, and he was a fucking giant.
In a way I'm a member of the first unlucky generation. Not quite old enough to have seen the artists of first wave prog play at their peak, and therefore also not old enough to be spared the news of their deaths.
There were indeed giants in those days, and one of them just passed away.