Vol.88 Robert Berry / August 2018

Robert Berry

Photo by by Dave Lepori

Robert Berry is a multi-talented musician known as a songwriter, an arranger, a singer, a guitarist, a keyboard player and a drummer. He run a project “3” with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer and released an album “To The Power Of Three”. Robert kept the project with Keith Emerson as “3.2” but Keith unfortunately passed away on 11th of March, 2016. Robert was in difficult situation but kept producing the album using materials and ideas which Keith left in deep sorrow. He finally finished an album of 3.2 “The Rules Have Changed” and it has delivered to fans. The album has a vision and is filled with beautiful catchy melodies, tasteful arrangement, smooth vocal and deeply considered lyrics. Robert Berry took some time to talk to Muse On Muse about this ultimate product.

Interview / Text  Mamoru Moriyama
Translation         Hiroshi Takakura

Photo by Dave Lepori

Muse On Muse : Back in 80s, You, Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer formed a band 3 then released an album “To The Power Of Three” in 1988. Could you tell us detail of how the band 3 was born and made an album?
Robert Berry : First of all I am so pleased to meet you here for this interview. Japan has been very supportive of my career and of course Keith considered you his biggest fans. He did love Japan.

Back in 1986 Carl Palmer called me at my studio in California. John Kalodner of Geffen Records had given him a cassette tape of my first solo album Back to Back. Carl liked the songs and my voice and gave me a call. I was shocked. Here I am in a very good local band but as far as the world is concerned I am not even on the map. Over the next year Carl and I tried to start a band with a few different people. The great singer Joe Lynn Turner, the fantastic keyboard players Alan Greenwood (foreigner) and Don Ayries. They were really good but we were looking for something different. Carl wanted a rock edge and I wanted to get back to my progressive roots a bit and do music that had some depth. We weren’t especially looking for a straight ahead, rockin’ format. But then again, we weren’t sure. We both felt we would know when we found it.
Steve Hackett had left GTR and my manager Brian Lane thought I would be a good fit with Steve Howe. He was so right. Steve and I started out writing a bunch of great songs together. I thought I had found that perfect combination like Asia was. The balance of good songs, guitar/keyboards mix, and accessibility. After we demo’d the new songs the record company Arista approved them and gave us the budget to do the next GTR album. I was so proud of my work with Steve Howe. Even though Carl and I didn’t find our match I had my first break. The songs were fantastic, the players, epic, the possibilities endless. So you ask why did I quit? I had agreed to leave my solo career behind if I got to sing one song per album. Not a hard request to grant. I think though that Brian Lane agreed to it but not the bands singer. I had a problem every time I went to sing anything. The simplest background vocal and there was our singer doubling my part on the same mic. He was relentless in making sure I wasn’t heard as a vocal quality on the GTR 2 album. You say not so bad? Well for me I have lived my life making sure I am a team player but also wanting to be happy with my position and give my best. I wasn’t happy with that situation at all. I felt a competition between the singer and me that made me uncomfortable and unsteady in my dedication. They were all set to do an album and I felt they didn’t really need me to be successful. I regret not speaking more to Steve about it but honestly, my intuition told me this would never be a good fit. But again, it wasn’t because of Steve Howe. I consider our work together to be some of my best. So I am heading home and I get a call from Brian and he says Keith Emerson wants to have lunch. Uh what? Yes I had lunch with the great Keith Emerson. Me, a guy nobody knew, just a guy that was doing my best to be the best musician I could but had not broken into the big leagues. Well, that lunch was spectacular. We hit it off and talked about everything imaginable. Keith turned out to be a very sweet, funny, and engaging guy. Who would have known? I always thought that someone of his stature would be like a mad scientist. Hard to talk to, no complete sentences, in another world. That was so far from the truth. He was a really warm and friendly guy. And there it was. “One last question” he said —— “if we start a new band would you be opposed to playing a few ELP songs from my past?” Uh hello! I told him I’d be honored. It was a done deal. I headed back to the states for some sessions at my studio and returned shortly after to start working together. Of course Carl was the driver of all this. One thing I can say about Carl beside the incredible drummer he is – when you work with Carl Palmer, things start to happen. He is a dynamo in all respects.

MM : After disbandment of 3, you again started a project with Keith Emerson. How did this happen?
RB : Keith wanted to do something and thought that the Keith Emerson Band was the way to go. We spent a week in rehearsals at my studio and it was a lot of fun. But for me as it was with GTR, this didn’t feel like the right place for me. There is a great recording of his piano concerto we did that I believe is on a Keith Emerson Anthology along with Desde La Vida. That is about all I remember from that. I always felt there was more for me to do than play in what I considered at the time to be kind of a tribute band. I felt that Keith also deserved and should push for more with his career. After all to me and so many others – he was the king. I was pleased when ELP reunited as that is where the king could shine. That said, I think he shined brightly in 3. His playing, his arrangements, his energy level was amazing. It was a new approach for him in a time when guitar rock and grunge were taking over the radio.

MM : How was the process of production and arrangements when you work with Keith Emerson? Please tell us the detail.
RB : Oh you take me back to a very special time in my life. I spent a lot of time at the Emerson house in Sussex rehearsing. We were writing, rehearsing, and generally getting to know each other in a very organic way. I had many dinners with his family and many outings with Carl in London. We became not only band mates as we got to know each other but in that short year, we became friends. I also became friends with Keith’s family, Elinor his wife, and his sons. They treated me very nicely. Keith and Carl empowered me in a way I had never felt before. They always said,”we don’t want you to be Greg. We want you to be you”. Can you imagine how that made me feel? That took the reins off and any uneasiness I had felt with the GTR situation was never there with 3. Well, there was one thing. Our first name was Czar for about 2 days. LOL I didn’t feel to good about that.

I had songs, Keith had parts. He arranged my songs (mainly leftovers from Geffen records trying to make me the new Bryan Adams/Sting character they saw me as). On the other hand Keith took some new songs like Lover to Lover and Emersonized them. I can’t tell you how that felt. Carl and I would walk in to Keith’s studio/barn for rehearsals and he’d say “listen to this”. He had this, Otari I believe it was, 8 track recorder that he would demo things on. Very high quality stuff in the hands of an Emerson. I would listen in amazement and at first I’d say “what kind of sequencer did you use to make that so tight?” That was the wrong thing to say. “SEQUENCER” he’d say? “I don’t use a sequencer. That’s me playing”. I should have known. But I was a keyboard player myself and to play things that tight with so many parts and that difficult of playing – well I was amazed. I guess I shouldn’t have been. After all it was Keith Emerson. But I was experiencing the highest level of genius in music. How many people get that close? Not many. And he was working all night on my songs. Worthy songs or not, Emerson was giving them his best. You are bringing up some feelings that are hard for me now.

MM : Sadly Keith Emerson passed away during the project in 10th of March, 2016. Rest in peace Keith. What did you feel at that time?
RB : Whew! From my memories of the past to the very sadness of a few years ago. How did I feel? Hum I have spoken about this a bit but it is always hard. In one phone call from Elinor I lost so many things. My most famous and respected friend, my bandmate involved in my highest achievement in music, my dream of a second 3 album, the phone calls from the great Keith Emerson that always made me feel happy, connected, and loved. Our history of that and a top 10 record had a bond that could never be broken. It took me some time to really process it. Keith and I had been speaking a lot and working on the 3.2 album for about 3 months. The release of the 3 live in Boston album had rekindled his interest in doing something again. I had been hoping that would happen for 27 years.

MM : Your works with Keith Emerson was released as 3.2 “The Rules Have Changed” and it was delivered to fans. The album is filled with beautiful catchy melodies, right arrangements with great musical tastes and such soothing vocals of you. What is your thought about this album?
RB : First of all that is a very nice review by you. The description you gave is exactly what I wanted to achieve. I am hoping that fans find it all to be true. I put my heart and soul into this album.
The way we had started working wasn’t much different than the first album some 27 years earlier. Keith always called me after 7 or 8 when he would normally be sitting back with a glass of wine and listening to music. He had a Casio piano in a room and I had my digital Casio that was attached to my Protools. We spent may hours playing back and forth and me trying my best to interpret what he said and played to me. Most of the time was spent with him telling me I needed to play this or that because rarely could I get what he played right on the first pass by me. He was patient and caring knowing that we would be getting together after his trip to the UK to see his grandkids. I just needed to get the guidelines down so I could write the melody and lyric parts. Our conversations were deep and creative. But you couldn’t have a phone call with Keith without there being some silly joke of some kind. He was a fun and funny guy. Not many would think that from such a giant in music.

Photo by Dave Lepori

MM : The credit on this album says “All Instruments: Robert Berry” Did not Keith play any instruments when you worked for this album together?
RB : We started the process of writing this album in 3 ways. I have already spoken about the writing over the phone. We also had a song and a few bits on a cassette tape from 1987 and some new digital files Keith had sent me. I had lots of real Emerson playing on the album initially. There was around 20% of it I had used his actual playing and of course it was to be 100% eventually. The great thing for me was that I had intros, link sections, and some solo chord sections to start writing from. When I had the 5 songs we were writing together laid out on the Protools screen it looked like a Halloween pumpkin. Missing teeth everywhere. But this wasn’t unlike the way Keith and I had worked before. I had lyrics and Keith had ideas for arrangements. Keith needed lyrics and melody to Desde La Vida and On my Way Home and I had ideas. It was the perfect missing puzzle pieces. So for us to work over the phone was actually very inspiring and creative. Especially when that call was over and I had to start sewing pieces together. Just think of all this great inspiration and there I am – alone in my control room, inspired to the maximum level, ideas flowing with the excitement of realizing a 27 year old dream. Do you feel that I am still excited about those phone calls? That feeling and the fact that I kept asking myself “what would Keith do here” fueled the project while Keith was alive and it kept me fueled when I decided to work on it again. How it came together to sound exactly how we had discussed is a mystery to me. I started as a keyboard player but I would never say I was at Keith’s level. Who is really. You see, the level of musician that Keith was wasn’t only about how complicated or powerful he could play. There was a creative spark that was again uniquely him. He had this thing about him that is hard to put into words. But the challenge of having to recreate the already played Emerson parts weighed heavy on me. It took a year to actually get the album to a point I felt it was ready to release. I honestly wasn’t sure if I wanted to release it or not. I had a lot of doubt about how fans would except it. The Emerson estate had giving me permission to do the album only if I replayed all his parts. What? Really? Yes that was the requirement if I wanted the right to do it. I had no choice. I began to work up my keyboard playing again. It was very difficult. I play keyboard everyday in the studio but nothing like this. The proper fingering, the articulation, the sound. Everything had to be exactly as Keith had played it or I would not settle. If you put his parts and what I replayed side by side you will hear no difference. Again, I am not the player Keith is and could never be. But I believe if you work really hard at something you can achieve it. I worked really hard. You can still feel him on the album. After all, it is more like a picture when it comes to his parts. All Emerson, just filtered through my fingers for release. He has some really amazing work on this.

MM : Dynamic fat sounds of keyboards and synths throughout this album are very impressive. Can you tell us about your synth sounds.
RB : I have to give total credit to the amazing Korg Oasis and the Roland D50. There are many other sounds on here but those make up the sound of 3.2. Keith was the first to get a D50 back in 1987 and it became our sound. I don’t think I’ve heard many things with it since. But that keyboard has some air and some soaring sounds that no keyboard had done since. It may be because of the lower sample rate but to me it has an edge to it along with an airy sound that makes a track sound big. The Oasis is not the newest technology for Korg now but I believe it is still the best at everything Korg offers at a very high standard. Keith loved his. I also have the Oberhiem and of course the MOOG, Keith wanted to have the Moog modular shipped right down but I told him I was going to have my Memory Moog rebuilt and I thought we should start with that. We could always bring in the big Moog when needed after we had the basics done. I also have the Hammond B3 which I used some but not always. Keith had a special sound with his B3 that was very clean yet full. I think he had most his organs modified by different people with a direct output that added the clean sound besides the Leslie tone. We had tried with my B3 but it wasn’t modified correctly. For some of the solos I decided that a B3 sample I had modified inside the Oasis was a more appropriate sound. At least with the equipment I had. So the organ sound on the album is part Hammond B3 and part Korg Oasis. I was very careful with the tones I wanted on the album. It was important to me that this album was of the highest quality in every aspect. I had learned a lot in 30 years about engineering and production. I wanted it all on this album. I also chose certain guitar plugins for the guitar tone. The guitar needed to compliment the keyboards but ultimately it is a keyboard album. I could write a whole paragraph on the drumming. Bottom line is Keith and I wanted a stronger more acoustic drum sound from the first 3 album. There was lots of digital drums on that first one. Once we had got all the songs written and most of the keyboards and vocals done we were going to ask Simon Phillips to do the drum work.

MM : What kind of keyboards and synths did you use for this album?
RB : I think I covered most of them in the last question. I have the Mellotron software in my Protools system. I used the choir from that in a few places. The cool part of that software is that one of the original 3 road crew who we called Little Chris is a part of that company. I haven’t mentioned this before but I tracked down the original cover artist from the first 3 album too. Ian McKay did the art update for me on the 3.2 front cover.

MM : You manipulated various guitar sounds with style on this album. For example, cool rhythm guitar on “What You’re Dreamin’ Now” is intelligently built. Stunning emotional guitar solo is on “The Rules Have Changed” and supreme acoustic sounds on “This Letter” How did you manage your guitar sounds for production of this album as a guitarist?
RB : Let me start with This Letter. Keith and I discussed that I wanted to have an acoustic guitar song on the album. My take on it was that Greg got to do one for ELP so I got to do one. LOL No not really. But I did feel that the ELP fans and the Emerson fans in general were open to an acoustic guitar song. Something that had hit me was that Keith had to do a few solo shows but honestly just wanted to get to England to see his grandkids. He said after that we could start on the final recordings. The part that stuck with me is that years earlier when his son Aaron had told him he was going to be a grandfather he was a little set back by it. He had said to me “Robert I’m just not ready to be a grandfather”. As in – that makes me sound old. Well years later those two grandkids were the most important thing in his life. That lead me to write the song This Letter. Between my feelings for my wife Rebecca and Keith’s feelings for his grandkids the song came to me. I had it all done accept the end and I was ready to present it to Keith and tell him that the end needs to explode with everything he could throw at it. He never got to hear this song. That makes me very sad because I think he would have done amazing things to it. That said, I am very proud of this song and love the way it turned out.

What you’re dreaming now is the song that was on the cassette tape from 1987. I didn’t think it was right back then but I couldn’t believe how much I liked it now. Keith thought it was still a viable song to put on the album. The music was mostly written by Keith. That heavy riff is all his idea. There is as much of a trick in making a guitar play an important supporting role to keyboards as there is to doing a keyboard album that can compete in a guitar oriented world. I have two plugins that I like to use when I’m working in a keyboard oriented song. It is nothing fancy to start with. I have a SansAmp plug in that I’ve adjusted to make a great Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier sound. It’s that very full yet focussed fat sound that makes its nice and full. Then I have this very cool amp plugin from IK Multimedia called Amplitude4. My friend Dave Kerzner is part of that company and he set it up for Boston guitarist Gary Pihl and myself. I had an earlier version of this and thought it was just alright but now it has everything that you’d need to mic up a good amp. It has the amp, the speaker cabinets, the mics, the rooms, and all exchangeable in any combination you want. I usually use some form of a Vox Ac30 or a Fender Baseman 4×10 with that. You put them together and you have the perfect fat yet clear guitar sound. At times when the guitar needs to take more of a dominate role I do have a few amps I like to use. I have a totally rebuilt Marshall 2000 I love and a HiWatt 100 watt with 4×12” Fane speakers that I use for that Chris Squire bass sound. I didn’t use that twangy sound on this album by choice. I felt the bass needed to carry a strong low end foundation to support the power of the songs and the drums. I have two basses I like to use the most. The main one is a bass that Sammy Hagar gave me when I was working with him. It’s a Washburn but it was totally modified by the Washburn custom shop. Bartolini pickups and a graphite neck. The low foundation sound on this is superb. The Bartolini electronics are really good at keeping the sound fat yet focussed. The other bass is a G series body Steinberger. It is the Strat shaped bass that was a spare on the original 3 tour. I never used it then but I have found that because it has a wood body it sounds fantastic. Very focussed with the EMG pickups in a situation where there is lots of sound going on. I also used this bass on my version of Roundabout you may have heard. That’s the Red Steinberger G series going direct through my Neotek console and also into the HiWatt. What a sound. So good that Steve Howe told me he thought it kicked. Steve heard it when he played the ending for me on the Roundabout track.

Photo by Dave Lepori

MM : Please introduce all tracks on this album to us. How were they born? What message did you put on them?
RB : You are working me hard here. LOL Let me see if I can give you some insight to each song—

When Keith and I first started working on the album he had said he wanted to call the album 1. “Not One” he’d say “but 1”. I was so happy we had started working on it that I thought it best to leave that alone for then. The Beatles had an album “1” I believe and there were many 1’s already out there. I also thought it would be confusing having the new 3.2 album being named 1. Way to many numbers. But it started me thinking about a new song and I started writing One by One. I had no idea there was an ELP song called that but it wouldn’t have mattered. I was thinking about Keith’s title for the album, how life had developed step by step over the years, and how we had come together. There was also a lot of division in the world and initially I was writing lyrics with a few different ideas. I wasn’t settled on my exact path until after Keith was gone and it took on a new meaning to me. That’s when I wrote “the very thing that holds us up, now fall apart. The changing tide, our world divides, one by one”. There is so much lyrically in this album that is from the raw emotions I was feeling.

Powerful Man is the result of working with so many great musicians that had sons follow in their footsteps. Sammy Hagar’s son Aaron, Steve Howe’s son Dylan, Greg Kihn’s son Ry, Keith’s son Aaron. They probably spent time in their baby strollers behind the stage for sound checks and on the stage for years seeing their dad’s perform to thousands. The power of that along with the amount of time a professional musician has to be on the road is a hard balance to keep. All these guys were great dads, gone a lot, respected by millions and loved by their families. And their son’s saw that, felt that, and were inspired by that.

I had another unfortunate loss in 2016. My good friend and fellow musician, Trent Gardener, died in the same way Keith had. I was struggling with the loss of Keith and then bam, another hit. It certainly brought out feelings I had not experienced before. It’s very hard to ever get a grasp on this kind of thing. But for me the rules had definitely changed. I’m not sure how to define those rules but I felt that what I had known and what I thought for certain could not be taken for granted any longer. Strong, talented people lost forever. It is still hard to think about.

A few weeks after we lost Keith I was reading all the posts about how people felt about him. I knew Keith, I loved him and felt a bond that will never be lost. But complete strangers, fans of his music, they seemed to know the kind of man he was. Gentle, loving, caring, funny. I was moved by this and sat down and tried to write a song that expressed the grief we were all feeling. Not just us that knew him closely, but all of us. I called us the Emerson Army and I did an acoustic piano version and had a video done with still photos of Keith. I put it on YouTube for no other reason than to bond us together. When I was finishing up the album I wanted to include this song and I decided that it needed a little something more. I orchestrated it and added a new ending that I wanted to feel like it climbed to the stars. Like so many things that happened during the production of the album it just fell together. It took a few layered tracks to make that climb but after it was done I knew it was just what that song needed.

Ah, the song that we started back in 1987. We had discussed this song and it was put in my lap to write lyrics and melody. We were going to update it of course but the body of it is the same as the original cassette recording. I added a few sections from Keith’s digital file parts he sent me and got the bass and guitars as tough as I could. I can’t believe I didn’t care for this back in 1987. But of course the melody and lyric wasn’t there and hopefully I have learned a little something in 30 years. That lyric really brought the song alive in a new way. It is also part of my philosophy in life.

Somebody’s Watching has that great piano intro from Keith. It was one of the hardest things to figure out. There are some odd tonal clusters in the climb that took some time. We sort of worked on this from the inside out. There was the intro, some solo melody sections, and some conversations over the phone stuff. Then I had to come up with the verses. While I was writing those the melodic Oh, Oh, Oh, section came along and it seemed to tie the whole thing together. This is also one of those songs that has a keyboard solo that came out of nowhere. I wasn’t supposed to ever play the keyboard solos as you probably know. But there I was having to do it and it just came dripping out of my fingers. I had to fix a few notes with a punch in here or there but I believe it was the second take I did.

I spoke about This Letter a bit earlier. The tough part on this was that end section that I was hoping Keith would grab ahold of and make it full and exciting. I did one version and it fell flat. I kept saying “that is not what Keith would have done”. LOL the opposite of what I wanted. As I took a few more tries it just was not coming out like I had hoped. I kept saying to my self ‘what would Keith do here?’. Well there it was. It had no MOOG on it to start with. So I grabbed the Memory Moog and started to play a few parts. I went back to the Oasis and added a few more things. Slowly it developed between the two instruments and came alive. I already had the piano parts going but by themselves it just didn’t have that excitement I was looking for. By the time I had weaved those all together it sounded the way I was hoping. Again, I can only imagine what the master hands of Emo would have done with it.

This song is the biggest puzzle on the album. Many small parts of Keith’s used and many new parts written to glue them together. Again this lyric has a lot to do with what I believe in life. We have so little time to do good things and make a difference in the world. But what our passion in life is eventually becomes our lasting mark on the world. This is one of my favorites. Especially the middle section. I am a very positive person but the lyrics in the mid section speak to some negative things that surround us in the world. We can’t ignore them but we can get past them. The more positive we individually become the better off we all will be. You mix that with the gentle groove of the music and the floating effect of the vocals and I think this came out just the way we planned.

“Sailors Horn Pipe (Instrumental)”
Keith and I had spoken about an instrumental for the album and this was brought up. We had discussed what we’d do but never got together to work on it. There are a few parts from Keith’s more recent digital files on this one. The record company had asked me for an acoustic version of one of the songs for a Japanese only release. That didn’t seem good enough to make the album special in Japan so I decided to follow through with the idea we had of doing the Sailors Horn Pipe. It was tricky changing it to a shuffle beat and making it worthy of some cool K.E. parts and fun arrangement. I am hoping that it is enjoyed by the listeners in Japan.

MM : Please tell us about your gear. What guitars, amps, pedals did you use for the recording of this album?
RB : I’ve explained a bit about the amps but the drums are very important to the sound of this album. My friend and Sammy Hagar drummer, David Lauser, got me a special deal with DW drums. I have this beautiful, champagne glass sparkle kit that has the best of everything DW has to offer. I love the power of their kick drum and the smooth yet sharp attack of their toms. All the hardware is DW including the bass drum pedal. I have a combination of cymbals that I like to use. My crashes are 16” Zildjan on left and 17” Paiste on right. I have a very old Zildjan 18” medium ride cymbal I use on the right also as a crash. Ride cymbals are exchanged per song as needed. I have a 22” Zildjan Clean ride I love but also use a Zildjan Dry Ride given to me by Tom Schultz that I use when it needs to be super short and clear. My room for the drums at Soundtek is fairly large so I use an AKG 414 and a Neuman U87 for room sound. I typically add in just a touch of that to the drum sound in the mix. My HiHat cymbals are 14” Paiste Signatures. Typical drum mics are D12 on kick, SM57 on snare, 421’s on all toms and 414’s for overheads. The HiHat mic is an AKG 461. The drum sound is so important to the overall open feel of the final mix. Lots of time was spent getting the drum style and sound just right.

The guitars I used varied from song to song. I have about 15 guitars I use all the time besides my extensive guitar collection that I can get to if needed. But my main two are a PRS with 3 soap bar pickups and a Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster. My acoustics are a Taylor 714 and a Martin 12 string from the 70’s. There is also a few places where you’ll hear a vintage Rickenbacker 12 string, a Fender Telecaster (Japanese made version – they are the best), a Steinberger G series 6 string, and a Gretch Sparkle Jet.

I am not really a pedal guy. For my acoustic shows I use a loop pedal and a little booster but for electric guitar I tend to get the tone changes from the amp of choice. The Marshall 2000 has a great Marshall distortion and a very good clean sound. To me the clean channel is a little more Fenderish than most Marshalls. My usual tone goes from a Vox chime to a medium distortion for the rhythms. Then it’s full on distortion for the lead tones. I have used a Marshall distortion pedal and a Turbo Rat at times to get exactly what I want. But those mainly happen when I’m using the Marshall 2000 or my actual Vox Ac30.

MM : You joined GTR after Steve Hackett left the band and tried to keep GTR alive with Steve Howe. However, GTR had never released their 2nd album. Can you tell me what was going on at the time?
RB : Steve and I had gotten together and wrote a lot of songs for the second GTR album. We recorded the demos at the same studio 3 did most of our recording. Easy Hire it was called. It was a lot like Soundtek at the time. They were actually very good demos. In my book much better than what was recorded after I left. The reason I left before the master was recorded was that I had a hard time with the singer. Every time I went to sing my part he would come in and double me. Right there on the same mic and much louder than I could sing. I’m not one for confrontation. I just decided it wasn’t the right fit for me. In hindsight I wish I would have talked to Steve more about it. We had a very good songwriting partnership going and I really enjoyed him as a person let alone being one my guitar heros. Honestly, everybody in that band was top notch. Nigel Glocklier from Saxon was our drummer and he and I are still in touch. Very good band line up for sure.

MM : Please tell us about your upcoming plans. What do you have coming up next?
RB : The response to 3.2 has been fantastic. In my wildest dreams I would have wanted to tour behind it. It seems now that there is interest in a tour of my complete career in progressive music. That would include songs from the 3 album, Pilgrimage to a Point, my Magna Carta tribute series, my time with Ambrosia, and of course songs from 3.2. It would be a lot of work but I am excited at the possibility. Japan is at the top of my list to visit and play. I have a few friends there that probably never thought they’d see me in their home country. My fingers are crossed that the interest is high.

MM : Please give a message to your fans.
RB : Keith always told me that the Japanese were his biggest and best fans. Also, Japan has been very good to me over the years and I am hoping to not only honor the memory of Keith Emerson by playing the music we created together but also thank the fans in person for all the great years of support. I hope to see you in 2019. Please make sure and say hello!

Robert Berry official website : http://www.robertberry.com/


09 Sailors Horn Pipe (Instrumental) JAPANESE BONUS TRACK

Produced by Robert Berry
Arranged by Keith Emerson / Robert Berry