Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
Lucky Man: The Autobiography Paperback
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
About the Author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Oh ... A great book!
Five Stars from Five Star!
I expected to be reading Greg's book before the end of 2012 but it took a while for the final chapter of his story to unfold. Greg Lake, passed away within a year of the tragic death of Keith Emerson so some vulture (publisher) must have (at last) seen the dollar signs they were looking for so at long last "Lucky Man" was in print. Greg, tells of his childhood growing up in the rural landscape of England and learning to play the guitar. In 1969 with Robert Fripp he became the singer and bass player for King Crimson and a little over a year later he joined with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer to climb to the summit with ELP.
Greg, tells the stories to you like you are in the parlor having afternoon tea together and it pulls you right into his world. Elvis in Lake Tahoe, pianos that spin through the air and so much music is explained here. This is one of the best books about rock music I have come across in quite awhile and I miss the man who authored this document. We will always have his music and we are still lucky.
He seems to deliberately avoid saying much negative about anyone with whom he has worked, and appears to have taken most of his career ups and downs in stride, personally and professionally. For all of the different directions that his music and career took, he seems to have been, essentially, a rather decent, simple man from Dorset at heart (his explanation for why he composed "I Believe In Father Christmas" is something I've always found touching in its simplicity -- this may be why, as ELP's music evolved and became more complex musically and thematically, he and the band turned to Peter Sinfield to provide lyrics for some of those works). He is a little vague on some subjects, such as precisely why King Crimson's attempt at recording with Moody Blues producer Tony Clarke didn't work, saying only that it didn't work, but I can let that go in taking in the larger narrative arc covered. Lake was not the most introspective individual in rock music, based on the evidence presented in this book, but he offers enough here, in terms of stringing together events, to make this a more than worthwhile read.
It's a nice look back at a long and important career, with some insider stories from touring, etc. He mentions some of the conflict within the band, objectively, never getting down in the dirt at all. But what really comes through is his love of music, and appreciation of the musicians that make it. The overall tone is one of true graciousness, and recognition of indeed how lucky he was to live his dream, a life he hardly could have imagined given his humble beginnings.
The end is of course very sad, as he mentions his diagnosis of terminal cancer, and there is a nice eulogy added at the end as well. But it's not sappy or self-pitying; in fact, I think his sense of appreciation for his life may even be stronger there at the end.
Top reviews from other countries
If you want to read about the bands and musicians he played with, the tours and their dates and anecdotes pertaining to some performances, then you will be happy. If you hope to read a balanced account of his life then save your money as this does not happen.
This autobiography provides a good story of the busy part of his professional life unsurprisingly you don't get much about his private life or what he did in the years he wasn't making albums, though more than most ever knew, however this is someone who had fought cancer for a couple of years with no word to hardly anyone so you can't expect lots of information on the private side of his life.
Greg Lake chooses to state what happened as he saw it without slagging people off, concentrating more on the positives of the music relationships in ELP and Crimson and this is the focus of the book.
Clearly he felt let down by the lack of support from his record company when trying to start his solo career and so whilst the music was excellent, the concert in 1981 with Gary Moore in his band was brilliant, he simply stopped making new solo albums a great shame for someone with such talent.
Similar to Keith Emerson's autobiography there are some big gaps and many unanswered questions here , this book is less about settling scores more about describing what he saw and did.
If you are a fan of ELP this is definitely worth a read, its not full of wild tales of rock n 'roll, its not overly long, easy to read in a couple of days. Most avid fans would probably prefer a lot more detail, I would have, but am I glad he wrote it and I bought it? Yes definitely!
Recent autobiographies by Bruce Springsteen and Robbie Robertson (of The Band) left out many of the elements that made them interesting. Their driving ambition and sometimes cut-throat business dealings are glossed over in favor of false self-deprecation and genial storytelling.
Greg Lake’s long-awaited autobiography is no different. As a founding member of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Lake is arguably one of the most fascinating figures in Progressive Rock, not only for his musicianship and songwriting, but also his reputation of arrogance and perfectionism. The artistic triumphs of ELP emerged from a hothouse of acrimony and bickering, yet Lake uses words like “family” and “brotherhood” to describe what was often a mercenary enterprise.
I suppose he has earned the right to cast the events of his life in whatever light he chooses, and it may be that when musicians approach septuagenarianism their outlook and memories mellow and the sharp edges have rubbed off.
All that being said, if you are a fan (like me), you will hang on every word. Lake was a central and charismatic figure in a fascinating time in music, talented enough to hold 350,000 concertgoers at 1974’s California Jam festival spellbound with only his voice and acoustic guitar. His stories of meeting Elvis, Dylan, and Ringo Starr are captivating. Since he may not ever get the balanced biography he deserves, this may be the closest we ever get to knowing the man.
The book acquires genuine poignance in the last two pages, where he describes being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. He died in December of 2016, 11 months after the suicide of his former bandmate Keith Emerson.
The Late, Great Lenny Raze: A Rock and Roll Mystery Short Story