Origin: London (England)
|Keith Emerson - Carl Palmer - Robert Berry|
- I was preparing to return to the States after a year of working with GTR when Brian Lane called and asked if I would like to have lunch with Keith Emerson. I had heard much about Keith from Carl but had not met him during my stay in London. I didn't know what to expect. I ended up having an unforgetable time getting to know this fascinating, crazy keyboard virtuoso. It was a stunning day.
After several glasses of wine, Keith, now aware that I used to play some ELP songs in Hush, invited me to join him and Carl at his home in Sussex, England. Both Keith and Carl were up on adding a pop/rock feel to their patented sound. Carl had acheived this with Asia but Keith was eager to reap some of that same success. We decided to take a stab at forming a new band. This band originally had a forth member named Sue Shiffrin. Emerson and John Wetton (UK, Asia) had both worked with her previously as a lyricist. This form of the band was called Smoking Gun but didn't last long. We preferred to keep it a three piece. So Sue moved on but left one of her songs behind for the album we were working towards.
We headed to the studio recording three songs for Brian to shop. Talkin' 'bout, On My Way Home and Eight Miles High. From there things moved very quickly. Immediately Geffen's John Kalodner was in Brian's den watching a video demo we had done the week before. A few days later a recording contract offer from the David Geffen Company. Then, a new band name with power, 'Czar'. Soon we settled for the less pompus '3'. The album, recorded in England and mixed in the States, was released in May of 1988.
It received heavy AOR airplay reaching #9 on the Billboard charts. As our first single Talkin' 'bout climbed the charts, John Kalodner made a gallant effort to keep the fire burning on the album promotion but Geffen had other plans. With the succes of the first single the company thought we should go back into the studio and do a second album to be released as soon as possible. Keith in particular felt that if the label couldn't follow through on the first release, they would also drop the ball on the next effort. Ironically, at the point we had found our own sound and style and were writing a second album, the band decided to call it quits. Some of those unreleased songs are found on my Pilgrimage to a Point release. -