PICTURES OF AN EXHIBITIONIST
Keith Emerson's Autobiography
(2004, Paperback in 2003 - 336 Pages - Autographed)

Available at Keithemerson.com Store


REVIEW BY RICK WAKEMAN
- The Guardian (UK), Dec. 2003


Excerpt from the Foreword:

"I was prompted to write this before other people got it wrong! After finding that my mother had kept many scrapbooks of me up in her attic, I realised there was a book waiting to be written and i was the only one to write it before it turned out like an obituary in serial form with the last chapter missing. ... "

- Keith Emerson, 2003


From the back cover:

"Pictures of an Exhibitionist is the insightful, amusing and irreverent memoir of this giant of popular music. He tells uproarious tales of life on the road with his bands The Nice and ELP; tales of the high-living lifestyle that goes with being one of the foremost rock stars in the world; and of course tales of the outrageous, keyboard-stabbing, barrier-shattering music he produced."

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword
1.
Under the Knife
2.
School Daze
3.
Banking on a Musical Career
4.
Raising the Stakes in The T-Bones
5.
Naughty...but Nice
6.
Hendrix Orders the Bill
7.
First Crack at the USA
8.
Fire Works
9.
Men Behaving Badly
10.
Carry on Cleo
11.
Listen with Mother
12.
A Nice End, a New Beginning
13.
ELP Go with a Bang
14.
'Am or Cheese?
15.
ELP Back in the USA
16.
Big in Japan
17.
Manticore Cleared for Take-Off
18.
Riding High on a Concert Grand
19.
Playing with Oscar
20.
What You Sow, So Shall You Reap
21.
Hanging on to the Pipes

 

This excerpt involves the importance of insuring one's equipment. Willie Robertson of the London firm Robertson-Taylor had that task... Read on: 

  "There are too many anecdotes involving myself and Willie Robertson but I've singled out one.
   Around the early '80's I had seen the picture of a fox in a suburban London newspaper. It had apparently been found lonely and forlorn on a patch of land, shrinking away from the bustling London traffic. As the animal was normally associated with inhabiting rural areas it was considered, by the person that had found it, to be a tame fox. That person had taken the poor animal back to his flat in Wimbledon and phoned his local paper that promptly put out a plea.
   "Could anyone offer this poor tame animal a good home?"
    Being an animal lover who at the time owned a seven acre estate in the Sussex countryside I respond, phoning the paper.
    "We've already had 6 calls. Can you give us details about who you are, where you live?", they asked.
    "Yes my name is Keith Emerson, I have a 7 acre estate in Chiddingly, East Sussex. I'd love to care for the fox and give it a good home."
    "Thank You. We'll get back to you".
Five minutes later the editor of the paper phoned me.
    "Are you "The Emerson" of Emerson, Lake & Palmer?
    "The very one."
    "Great! We'd love to do a story on this. Here's the address....... can you pick the fox up tomorrow?'
    "Yeah! No Problem".     

   As I hung up the phone I suddenly remembered that I had a lunch appointment with Willie the next day, in the very exclusive, "Mortons" of Berkeley Square.
    The next morning I drove up to London in my Morgan Plus 8, 2-seater sports car and finding the address the newspaper had given me, made my way up through the graffiti scrawled staircase of a block of flats. I was shown into a small living room and there, chained to a sofa was the fox.
    "Why is he chained up? I thought he was tame!"
    "He's just a bit nervous."
But as he encouraged the animal into a large grocery box for shipment I noticed a set of very large incisors. I appreciated the impressive array and hoped that the exhibition was just another sign of nervousness.
    "I call him Roger. 'Roger the Fox', but now you've got him, you can call him anything you want!"
    I looked again at the large canine teeth that were trying to gnaw away at the cardboard.
    "No, Roger's a very nice name." I said lamely.    

   And with that I carried the box down and into my two-seater sports car to continue my journey into London. I parked the Morgan, gingerly lifted the grocery box out and carried it into Willie's Bruton Street office.
    "My Dear Old Cigar! What have we got here?"
    "It's a fox". I said proudly revealing the contents.
    Willie's expression changed, giving the contents the look a fish gets that's way past it's sell date. The contents of the box was not too impressed with Willie either and flashed its set of ivory gnashers to prove several points all at once.
    "His name's Roger, don't worry, he's had a bit of a rough journey in my sports car.
If we leave him alone for a bit he'll be right as rain".
    And with that I upturned the box, dumping Roger on the luxurious carpet of Willie's office. Willie gave the situation the required distance called for; somewhere outside his office door and the quickest exit into Bruton Street as I tethered Roger to his office table. As we left for 'serious beakers and num nums' at nearby Mortons I assured the secretary that as long as Roger had a bowl of water and the occasional live chicken there should not be too much of a problem.
    It was a long lunch-hour, during which we discussed all the things that could go wrong in the awful, traumatic world of rock and roll and how to insure against them, whilst downing vast quantities of Pinot Grigio.
    Making our merry way back into the office 2 hours later Willie's secretary swept by us muttering something about 'having had it'. It may have been the unfamiliar smell of wild animal feces that struck a home run up our nostrils first. It didn't exactly have the play-off aroma of a domestic animal, more the bitter-sweet twang of wild life played out in the theatre of defiant captivity while two humans had gotten shit-faced.
    Roger looked a lot happier now that he'd relieved himself of everything he'd eaten over the last few days. Rather like an M.C. Escher drawing, Willie's office table seemed to defy gravity by remaining standing on only three legs. Roger had the fourth one in his mouth. I thought it best to let him keep it.
    

   "Oh My!" exclaimed Willie. surveying a sea of destruction normally reserved for the likes of Led Zeppelin.
    "Sorry 'bout this." I said trying to load Roger into what was left of the grocery box.
    "Oh My!" exclaimed Willie again, having noticed the telephone wires had been chewed up, "I need a serious beaker."
    "Mind if I join you?"    "Oh My! Silly not too. One for the stairs my dear boy!"
    The journey back to Sussex was further complicated by Rogers insistence to keep poking his head up to see where he was. Rather than risk getting my hand bitten off I let him enjoy the passing scenery. It wasn't everyday you could see a long haired rock-person driving a two-seater sports car with a fox as a passenger. I was normally the first away from the traffic light; the other drivers on the road too stunned to drive. I finally made it home and tried to make Roger as comfortable as possible in my barn studio. The next morning Roger had trashed it in much the same fashion as Willie's office and I began having serious doubts as to the creatures domesticity. He finally ran away after biting me clean through my finger, audibly popping the finger nail.
    It was probably best, but I did worry whenever there was a fox-hunt in the area and I hoped Roger gave the red-coated brigade a good run for their money."