Carl Palmer is widely recognized as one of the greatest drummers of all time, and is often referred as a “prog rock God” in the progressive rock community. He has sold tens of millions of records as part of the iconic progressive rock band Emerson Lake & Palmer, and many more millions of records as part of legendary band Asia. As the last surviving member of Emerson Lake & Palmer, he has found a way to bring the band back to life and back to the stage in a production being called Welcome Back My Friends – The Return Of Emerson Lake & Palmer.
In this special interview, Carl talks about the tour, his artwork, the person he’d most like to have a conversation with, and his approach to playing in the rhythm section.
A personal note …..
On June 4, 1977, I attended the Super Bowl Of Rock at Soldier Field in Chicago. The lineup was Foghat, J.Geils Band, Climax Blues Band, and Emerson Lake & Palmer. I was 8 years old. I had a pretty vast knowledge of music and some concert experience already, but things like Kiss, Aerosmith, and Foghat were easiest to grasp and held the most appeal. My little 8-year old self wanted to “rock and roll all night and party every day.” I kept things simple… until I saw ELP. When I heard Keith Emerson and saw him destroy (quite literally) his keyboard, I was mesmerized. When I heard Carl Palmer play, his drums and cymbals seemed to have an intricate voice. Each cymbal had different tone and spoke differently to each song. Greg Lake‘s sweet voice and gentle guitar floated delicately on top of all the madness, and I somehow suddenly connected with all of it. The next day, I started to hear music differently – listen differently.
Over the years, I have explored all kinds of music and have been blessed with a career that allows me to connect with so many of the musicians that have shaped my life. In 2013 I had the honor and great pleasure of speaking with Greg Lake, and in 2014 Keith Emerson was kind enough to have a conversation with me. And now, almost 46 years after he showed me a new path in music, I had the great honor of speaking with the legendary Carl Palmer. Carl is about to bring ELP back to life and back to the stage through film and his great band. Look for the Welcome Back My Friends – The Return Of Emerson Lake & Palmer Tour to hit your town. Maybe take an 8-year old to the show with you.
The tour “sizzle reel”:
Visit Carl Palmer online:
Hello everyone! My name is Scott Itter, but some know me as Dr. Music. I am a music journalist and photographer out of the Chicagoland area, and I have been in practice for over 20 years. I grew up in the 70’s with two big brothers that showed me all kinds of rock and roll. As I grew older I ventured out into different genres like jazz, funk, folk, and whatever else I could wrap my ears around. As I read every liner note and every Circus and Hit Parader like they were the Old and New Testament, I came to realize that I just love sound and appreciate all the people that create it.
I later became a stay-at-home dad and started honing my writing and photography skills to keep my mind from turning into mashed peas. My kids are now adults, my mind is only slightly mushy, and I am thrilled to have the honor of presenting my work to you!