In the mid-to-late-80s, Emerson, Lake & Palmer were on a hiatus and the “prog-pop” of Asia, GTR, and Rabin-era Yes were on the airwaves. Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer teamed up with an immensely talented musician named Robert Berry to form the band 3. The lineup only lasted one record and tour, but 30 years later Berry returned with 3.2 as a tribute to the late Emerson. He is about to release the third, and final, record in the trilogy, called Third Impression and is making a return to the site to talk about it. This is a really in-depth interview, there are some highlights below but please watch the video as Robert gets deep into his passion for this band and its music.
Please press the PLAY icon below for the MisplacedStraws Conversation with Robert Berry –
On recreating Keith’s parts for 3.2 –The Emerson Estate board made me take his playing off (the 3.2 record The Rules Have Changed), but I recreated every sound, every nuance painstakingly to make it. It’s like a Xerox copy. OK, here’s there’s Keith put the paper in and copy. You can’t tell the difference. And I had a writer come down and listen to both. He’s the only guy who has ever heard the Emerson tracks and then my tracks. And he said, “I can’t believe it”. So I didn’t make up the part. Keith made up the part. His style and how he played, that’s the genius. 5.24
On the personal nature of the lyrics – I don’t know where lyrics come from, from me, they just kind of pour out and I’m what I call a flow writer. I do most of the lyrics on my phone and my message thing, On The Rules Have Changed, I had songs started lyrically, but we are working on the music and getting them all together. I think as I go along, I’d write the lyrics. After losing Keith, boy, those lyrics change and they just poured out of me. (It was) very personal how that affected me about Keith. This one, when I started, I didn’t think I’d have that. That’s why I think The Rules Have Changed did so well. People could tell that I was wounded. And I don’t even know where those lyrics are coming from. I just sit back and I go, “God, that’s definitely the way I feel.” I write and I get something going and it just goes, it comes out. Sometimes I can’t keep up with fixing my mistakes and the ideas flowing out. 14:43