ELP, according to that great font of knowledge Wikipedia, were most popularly known as a progressive rock supergroup in the 1970s. I can’t recall exactly what my first encounter was but it was most likely Fanfare for the Common Man which means that I didn’t jump on board until later in their career. I certainly recall that video inside the massive empty stadium with the three band members, Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (guitar) and Carl Palmer (drums), rocking that massive symphonic rock sound and since music videos were not de rigeur in the 70s maybe it is that experience that sticks with me .
It was a bit of thing back then to moog up the classics and since I had grown up the daughter of a composer and spent my formative years as a classical ballet dancer, I was well versed with much of the music in its original form. Pictures at an Exhibition is a stand out in my memory. Listening to them live was amazing and I had a love of the darkness in Mussorgsky’s work.
I loved the industrial cover art by H R Giger to Brain Salad Surgery and Greg Lake’s voice in Jerusalem (yes, it is that Jerusalem) shook me to the core. We owned the original split front cover art, something that always intrigued me.
Trilogy is the album that I recall listening to the most though. Every track holds a gem of a memory of listening with my brothers. You would be hard pressed to keep us all focused in one room unless it was music or television. However, Works is the one album I had to have in my collection if for no other reason than Greg Lake’s beautiful songs C’est La Vie and Closer to Believing.
From the Beginning is the inspiration for Elena’s back story. She is painted as the evil pedo-bitch of the Fifty Shades Trilogy and if that is all she was then the characterisation is true. In my thinking I wondered about the motivations for her to do what she did, especially if she had maintained her friendship with Grace Grey. Of course, she could just be evil and manipulative. That would be fine. I wanted to paint her more sympathetically. I saw her life and her decisions as a series of regrets that built and snowballed. Yes, she was successfully and had married well enough but what if there were parts of her life that she had no choice over. Things that forced her to make the best of the choices available. Things that haunted her.
Greg Lake’s opening guitar solo is haunting. Strings plucked in isolation and asynchronous harmony. The solo builds, like that snowball gaining momentum and then leads into the rhythm of the song. This is how Elena finds herself where she is.
There might have been things I missed, but don’t be unkind
It don’t mean I’m blind
Elena knows that she hasn’t made right or good choices. She asks us not to judge her unkindly. Yes, she knew but she didn’t always have a choice.
Perhaps there’s a thing or two I think of lying in bed
I shouldn’t have said
Maybe there were other choices. She shouldn’t have seduced Christian or any other young man (in the case of my stories both Carrick and Elliot have slept with her).
But, there it is
You see, it’s all clear
You were meant to be here from the beginning
She is fatalistic. There is nothing she could change. It was all preordained and she has to live with it. Ana thinks that the problems started for Christian with her seduction. Elena knows that her problems started a lot earlier than that and Christian was a necessary step along a particular path that she had no choice over.
Maybe I might have changed and not been so cruel
Not been such a fool
She has regrets about Christian. There were aspects of their relationship she could have done differently. She regrets that he thinks she never loved him.
Whatever was done is done – I just can’t recall
It doesn’t matter at all
Once more, she is resigned herself to where she is now. She can’t change the path and in the end what difference would it make.
Music & Lyrics by Greg Lake
No copyright intended by reprinting of these lyrics. They remain the property of the copyright holder.
Author Note: I deliberately chose to write this first chapter with no dialogue. It was a conscious decision but was not done to annoy the reader. Merely a narrative device at the whimsy of a writer who doesn’t know better!
Band website: http://www.emersonlakepalmer.com/