A Podcast Conversation With ... Rik Emmett
Rik Emmett and I go back to our greatest community passion—softball. Or at least during the early eighties, when we faced one another in celebrity games. Both intense and never giving an inch.
By Bill King
Rik Emmett and I go back to our greatest community passion—softball. Or at least during the early eighties, when we faced one another in celebrity games. Both intense and never giving an inch. When offered an interview and an advance copy of Rik’s memoir, I jumped at the opportunity.
This is far more than a day-to-day account of a rock star down the highway life. It’s also chapter and verse of advice for others planning a career in one of life’s most challenging professions—excluding acting and cleaning tar pits -- music!
In Lay It on the Line - A Backstage Pass To Rock Star Adventure, Conflict And Triumph, Triumph guitarist and vocalist Emmett offers an unguarded glimpse into his life and experiences. The challenges of penning a memoir and the vulnerability it entails. Emmett expresses his commitment to honesty and candour, emphasizing that artists must expose their inner selves to connect emotionally with their audience, a principle he's imparted to songwriters in the past.
Emmett acknowledges the daunting task of writing a memoir and how it demands significant effort. He enlisted beta readers, including friends and even a legal advisor, to ensure the content's accuracy and sensitivity, particularly concerning the chapter devoted to the band Triumph. Emmett also sought his wife's perspective to avoid causing any unintended harm. He stressed his determination to share his truth while maintaining diplomacy to protect others, showing that any potential fallout from his revelations would primarily affect him, a consequence he will accept.
Emmett speaks of revelations that might surprise or challenge preconceptions, asserting his newfound willingness to speak openly and honestly about his experiences.
He underscores the documentary's nature as a storyteller's perspective, shaped by the filmmakers at Banger Films, Sam Dunn and Marc Ricciardelli. While acknowledging their expertise in crafting narratives for bands like Rush, Iron Maiden, ZZ Top, and Alice Cooper, he emphasized their documentary presents a specific angle and version of Triumph's story. His memoir allows him to share his narrative, distinct from his former bandmates' experiences.
Rik Emmett, together with Gil Moore and Mike Levine, founded Triumph in 1975, achieving fame through their unique blend of heavy riff-rockers, progressive odysseys, and inspirational lyrics. Hits like Lay It on the Line, Magic Power, and Fight The Good Fight catapulted them to stardom, but the band's sudden breakup at the height of their popularity left loyal fans without a proper farewell. Despite the passage of three decades, Triumph's devoted fan base remains active.
In 2008, after a 20-year hiatus, Emmett, Levine, and Moore reunited for the Sweden Rock Festival and Rocklahoma, immortalizing their performance on a DVD. In 2016, Moore and Levine both appeared on Emmett's band Resolution9's Res9 album. Lay It on the Line is an intimate and revealing account of his journey, offering a more personal perspective on the band's history than what's presented in the documentary.
Enjoy the conversation!