At the 2001 Progressive Rock Summit in Montreux, talks aimed at strategically limiting the length of bass guitar solos broke down after delegates were unable to agree a maximum number of hours. Chris Squire of Yes pushed for an upper bound of six hours, but Geddy Lee of Rush countered that if the limit were reduced to four hours, “that would give me more space for an arpeggio”.
Elsewhere at the summit, the songwriters subcommittee made a controversial call for “shorter, more accessible” album tracks. Keith Emerson launched the initiative with a new piece entitled The Atomic History Of The Universe In D Minor, which clocked in at under 50 minutes. The performance was well received, although critics complained that the hip-hop/polka crossover in part 39, “The Dance Of The Neutrinos”, was unorthodox.
At a special evening ceremony, Radiohead, Mansun and Elbow were indicted into the Progressive Rock Hall Of Fame, despite vigorous protests from representatives of the bands.
The summit continues today and, as is traditional, concludes with a gong crescendo and fireworks when all members of the audience are finally asleep.