Rik Emmett - TRIUMPH Reunion A No-Go!

April 9, 2003, 18 years ago

news rock hard triumph

According to a recent posting at www.rikemmett.com, the former TRIUMPH guitarist addresses the burning question: Why he left the band in the fall of 1988? The following is his official statement.

“I left Triumph in the fall of 1988 after a great deal of soul-searching. I decided to leave because I was frustrated with the group dynamics and image. I'd lost faith in the directions that the band was taking, and became personally convinced that the band had run its course, both creatively and commercially. In the end, it was simple, really. I love making music, and I felt I couldn't make my best music under those circumstances anymore.

Instead of a fascinating story, the truth is actually complicated and boring, full of business and financial issues that make people's eyes glaze over. The water went under the bridge a long time ago. Now that old riverbed has dried right out. Scraping it up is a little painful, but mostly just counterproductive for me at this stage of my life.

Back when 1987 was turning into '88, I had several discussions with the other two group members as to what might be the best way to deal with all of the business, legal, financial and logistical problems that would arise from my departure. We couldn't agree.

In any group, I suspect there are character, personality, creative and artistic differences.  They're initially seen as trivial obstacles to overcome, giving rise to the compromises and understandings that partners are willing to make in order to launch and establish their venture. Certainly, as long as there's a common sense of progress, growth and success, these differences are usually glossed over and underplayed, for the common good.

I felt that the original attitudes that had built up a sustainable partnership myth in Triumph for over ten years had been damaged starting around the Stages time period (1985) of the band's career, then exacerbated during the Sport of Kings (1986) and subsequent Surveillance (1987) recording projects. Every partner had his own agenda.

There were many complications that arose in my attempt to leave the partnership of Triumph. I won't bore you with the details. The resolution of the issues raised by my departure from the Triumph partnership took over seven years.

I'm only informing you of these problems as background for answering the 2nd question - will there ever be a reunion? Now, I no longer have a business interest in Triumph. I receive no royalties from any Triumph recordings or videotapes. Triumph is, quite literally, none of my business. My former partners and I are simply not compatible - we're just not on the same wavelength.

I still love some of those great old songs - even in my new concerts, both solo and band performances, I still love to sing and play them for old Triumph fans, and I try my best to rekindle the fires that burn in them. It's a privilege to have been a part of the soundtrack of many people's lives, and it's an even greater gift that I have been able to sustain my career long enough to have it evolve. There is a connection, a strong, emotional one, maybe even somewhat nostalgic, a mutual understanding about emotions & thoughts expressed in a song, or a lick, or a lyric, and it's my gig to honour that connection, to service it, to try and revitalize it.

But there's one more thing that's important to me, now more than ever - that I've been blessed with the gift of music and that I dedicate myself to sharing that gift, in new and different ways, as I look to the future, with an optimistic heart and an enthusiastic spirit. I want to thank my friends and fans for understanding this initiative.

And that's it, folks. I hope this puts these questions behind us!”

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