Physically, the Manticore was known as having the body of a red lion, the face and ears of a blue eyes human and a tail ending in a sting like that of a scorpion. The mouth contains three rows of teeth and poisoned spines along the tail could be shot, like arrows in any direction. The Manticore was also attributed with having a voice that was the mixture of pipes and a trumpet. The beas is very swift and makes very powerful leaps. The Manticore is reputed to roam in the jungles of India, and is known to have an appetite for humans. Like it's cousin, the Sphinx, it would often challenge it's prey with riddles before killing.
The earliest accounts seem to be from Persian legend. The name itself is from the old Persian 'Martikhoras' meaning 'man-eater'. The earliest accounts of the existence of the Manticore come from the Persian courts in the fifth century B.C., documented by Ctesias, a Greek physician at the Persian court. Other Greek and Roman authors described the beast the same way the Persians had.
In the middle ages, the Manticore was the emblem for the prophet Jeremhia because the Manticore lives in the depths of the earth and Jeremiah had been thrown into a dung pit. At the same time, the Manticore became the symbol of tyranny, disparagement and envy, and ultimately the embodiment of evil.
Manticore Records Ltd. was located at: 16 Curzon Street, London W1Y 7FF, England
Emerson Lake and Palmer purchased an old cinema in Fulham, London, and converted it into a rehearsal and production facility.
"Brain Salad Surgery was rehearsed upstairs in the foyer, as it were. The downstairs area was used for bands to go through production rehearsals; we rented the part of it out. We stored our own equipment downstairs, and then we had our workshop and rehearsal facilities upstairs. In the back of the balcony area, where the concession stand would be, is where we rehearsed."
THE RECORD COMPANY
Mario Medius (the 'Big M'), former president, recalls: "Manticore came into being on paper around January, 1973. At that time, ELP had been off the road and out of the studios for around 18 months, so everyone knew that something was not going right. They just weren't happy with Atlantic Records and, you know, when a group sells the amount of records ELP sells, a record company should do a lot to keep them happy. So, Keith, Greg and Carl got to form Manticore - their manager Stewart Young was in it too - and Atlantic got to distribute the records. ELP knew they would be too busy to really run their own company, so they called me up and asked if I was interested, and I was. I'd worked with them since their first album. I'd known Greg even longer than that - since he was in King Crimson. So by the time Manticore came around, we were all very old friends. I joined the company in April 1973 and really started it here. Before that it had really only existed on paper. For a brand new record company, we were in terrific shape."
"Stewart Young visited me in my London apartment and asked if I have a name for a new venture. I didn't feel the band would go for anything I suggested. I took Manticore from the 'Tarkus' album and Greg and Carl agreed in it."
Manticore also began signing other acts to release. Among them: Peter Sinfield, PFM, Stray Dog, Keith Christmas, Junior Hanson, and Banco.
In October 1974, Manticore has reached a distribution agreement with Motown Records and left the Atlantic Records family of distributed labels. Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Manticore's premiere act, remained with Atlantic Records for the duration of its commitment to the label.
Mario Medius was a promo man for Atlantic Records and also served as a part time talent scout for Atlantic. He was assigned to cover 'a new group' signed to Atlantic who were playing at The Boston Tea Party, that group was none other than 'Dr. John and The Night Trippers'. Actually he is an accountant in Miami.
Mario Medius: then and now
US Branch Manticore Records staff
Manticore Management Inc. was located at: 170 East 61th St., New York, N.Y. 10021, United States
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