Carl Palmer

crumbdrums

Senior Member
Wow....I'm very surprised that there isn't an existing thread for Mr.Palmer. I wouldn't say that I'm a huge fan of his stuff, but I do enjoy a lot of it. He seems (to me, anyway) very similar to Neil Peart: excellent fills, timing, rudiments, etc., but not a lot of groove or feel.

His work on The Barbarian is awesome, along with Tank, and Karn Evil 9, just to name a few.

What are your thoughts?
 

Mook

Senior Member
His groove is an acquired taste - however it's very distinctive (& very 70's) - Not sure how many takes or overdubs it took for him to record 'Tarkus' - but it's one hell of a Drumming feat either way! Also find his Drumming on the track 'Trilogy' very inventive. His right foot is very quick too, never 100% sure of his timekeeping but when you're playing in 5/4 at that speed - timekeeping is not the be all & end all.
 

crumbdrums

Senior Member
His groove is an acquired taste - however it's very distinctive (& very 70's) - Not sure how many takes or overdubs it took for him to record 'Tarkus' - but it's one hell of a Drumming feat either way! Also find his Drumming on the track 'Trilogy' very inventive. His right foot is very quick too, never 100% sure of his timekeeping but when you're playing in 5/4 at that speed - timekeeping is not the be all & end all.
I agree....his right foot is very fast.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Prog. rock drummer extraordinaire. Fast right foot, hell yeah. Carl and Ian Paice (that would be left foot for Ian, though), not just fast but endurance. Carl was also one of the first I heard to incorporate electronic/synthesizer elements to make a hybred drum kit on a major scale.
 

KONA

Silver Member
I've been a fan since the begining - 1970. Been to a few concerts when he was with ELP and had the pleasure of meeting him in 1977 when the band was in town for the works concert - nice chap. He's an articulate player, flashy, technical and awesome speed and endurance. He was the first drummer to use synthesized drums. He's contributed a lot of interesting music to the world of drumming over the years. I see by his web site he's still a very busy drummer. He's been a huge influence on my drumming life.
 

palmeris

Member
I have tickets ( row 8) to see Carl and ASIA on June 16 in a small intimate theater setting. I am really looking forward to it as I never got a chance to see ELP back in the day.
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Palmer brought the technical side of drumming into the rock arena or the arena rock, one or the other. I liked a lot of the prog drumming and still do but today it is seen as 'over drumming.' I think he did do fills to show off his speed. I think that was ELP detriment. When the music changed and speed was no longer seen as an asset, they couldn't make the change, even though I think musically at times they did really show that the were making music.
 

ablethevoice

Junior Member
Well, everyone has a "primary drummer" who they claim as their influence in their own playing style and Carl Palmer is mine. When I was first playing, many (if not most) of the other budding drummers I was hanging out with at the time were informal "students" of the awesome John Bonham. Any time I stated that my influence was Palmer, the typical reaction was something along the lines of "PALMER?? Geez, that dude is too fast for me!"

Because I forced myself to concentrate on speed at a very early stage of my playing, I managed to be a faster "filler" than the folks who studied Bonham's style. In a way, it limited my style for quite some time until I learned when to pour it on and when to back off.

Many folks are fans of Neil Peart and I agree that Neil is an astonishing drummer, but in a way, his inhuman perfection sometimes wears on me. I get the impression that he works so hard at being precise that he sometimes loses his musicality. Carl never struck me in that way. I guess its all a matter of perspective. I discovered and studied Palmer for a number of years before I listened to any Rush...

As far as my favorite pieces, Tarkus blew me away. So did Bitch's Crystal with that mean-ass 6/8 groove. My total favorite though, has to be his work in Karn Evil 9 SECOND impression. I think Carl pulled all the stops in that piece. They all did. IMO it's one of the more overlooked and under appreciated pieces on BSS, mainly because it was so overshadowed by KE9 1st.
 

bonzolead

Platinum Member
Mr Palmer very cool drummer first time I seen him was when ELP was on tour about 8 yrs.
ago during his solo he was doing a roll off the snare in the middle of the roll he did a one-handed roll with his left hand no less and with his right hand he took the stick and threw it behind his back and the stick went over his body and landed in front of him and he caught the stick without missing a beat and he also did the flip stick Gene Krupa trick which was cool also the guy just totally amased me I knew he was a cool drummer but seeing him live just knocked me right out very technical and very underrated if you have a chance to see him live I strongly suggest it.

Bonzolead
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Well, everyone has a "primary drummer" who they claim as their influence in their own playing style and Carl Palmer is mine. When I was first playing, many (if not most) of the other budding drummers I was hanging out with at the time were informal "students" of the awesome John Bonham. Any time I stated that my influence was Palmer, the typical reaction was something along the lines of "PALMER?? Geez, that dude is too fast for me!"

Because I forced myself to concentrate on speed at a very early stage of my playing, I managed to be a faster "filler" than the folks who studied Bonham's style. In a way, it limited my style for quite some time until I learned when to pour it on and when to back off.

Many folks are fans of Neil Peart and I agree that Neil is an astonishing drummer, but in a way, his inhuman perfection sometimes wears on me. I get the impression that he works so hard at being precise that he sometimes loses his musicality. Carl never struck me in that way. I guess its all a matter of perspective. I discovered and studied Palmer for a number of years before I listened to any Rush...

As far as my favorite pieces, Tarkus blew me away. So did Bitch's Crystal with that mean-ass 6/8 groove. My total favorite though, has to be his work in Karn Evil 9 SECOND impression. I think Carl pulled all the stops in that piece. They all did. IMO it's one of the more overlooked and under appreciated pieces on BSS, mainly because it was so overshadowed by KE9 1st.
I thin alot of drummers had that speed problem after listening to Palmer, and would wonder if Stewart Copeland was not one of them. I would thin that Palmer was very influential on Peart. I think in the early 80s it became taboo to say that you likes guys like Cobham or Palmer so that might be why he does not cite Palmer. I liked both Bonham and Palmer and remember reading many years ago that they were actually friends on the London scene.

I agree that Second Impression was one of the band's highlights.
 

KzSgDrummer

Silver Member
I'll third the notion that Second Impression was a band highlight, as long as we can throw the Third Impression in there too :)

I went through a Carl Palmer phase for a year or so where all I listed to was ELP, and to this day I can still hear how Carl has influnced my playing (mostly in fill concepts). However, I have trouble listening to him now because his time is (was) all over the place, with the pocket nowhere to be found. Having now absorbed the likes of Groovemasters Gadd, Colaiuta, Purdie, Porcaro ect I find it remarkable just how bad Carl could be at times.

Still, I can't touch him in the speed OR endurance department!
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
I have respect for his energy and ideas at that time of ELP but his meter sure got weird at times with really evident rushing as well as overplaying. I remember teaching this one guy way back and he asked me to listen to the tune "in the heat of the moment" by Asia a group that Carl played in after ELP. I could not believe how much he sped up in certain sections of that tune and slowed down in others. My student at the time was pretty perplexed by it too since he was learning the tune for a cover band he was working in. Still amazing chops and energy but groove and solid even time keeping were not his strong points IMO.
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
I'll third the notion that Second Impression was a band highlight, as long as we can throw the Third Impression in there too :)

I went through a Carl Palmer phase for a year or so where all I listed to was ELP, and to this day I can still hear how Carl has influnced my playing (mostly in fill concepts). However, I have trouble listening to him now because his time is (was) all over the place, with the pocket nowhere to be found. Having now absorbed the likes of Groovemasters Gadd, Colaiuta, Purdie, Porcaro ect I find it remarkable just how bad Carl could be at times.

Still, I can't touch him in the speed OR endurance department!
Palmer became identified as the antithesis of the groove masters mentioned and for good reason. But the thing I like about prog rock drumming is that it was highly dramatic; someone mentioned the end of The Barbarian or another great was Barry Barlowe on Hunting Girl by Tull. Today they call that "over drumming." I think if you could take the sense of timing and groove innovation of the guys mentioned, and put it together with all over the place drumming of guys like Palmer and Barlowe, you could find a happy medium that would be some nice drumming, knowing when to get crazy.

I think that the reason CP has not faired well is that he has the reputation of being quite arrogant to other drummers, and the two times I met him I can see why. Keith on the other hand is one of the nicest guys you'd ever meet.
 

ablethevoice

Junior Member
I'm rather envious of all you folks who actually met E, L or P. The closest I ever actually got to meeting any of them was in the early 90s when ELP came to Albuquerque for their Black Moon tour. It was the first time I ever saw the guys live (I didn't discover the group till '75 or '76- well after their wave had crested). I was standing in the lobby waiting for the doors to open when a side door- which opened from the lobby to a hallway leading directly back stage- opened up and there stood Carl, taking a look at the size of the group waiting to see the performance. I was maybe 10 feet away and I shouted. "Hey Carl!" He looked at me for a moment and replied, "Hey, how're ya doing?" and disappeared back through the door. That was the extent of my contact with any of the members. Oh, also: Hours before the show actually started, I went into the Convention Center where they were to be playing with the intent of figuring out where I'd be sitting in relation to the stage. I actually didn't expect the doors to the theater to be unlocked, but to my surprise, they were. Much to my delight, ELP were there doing their soundchecks! I sat hiding in plain sight in the darkened theater for maybe 30 minutes before one of the security guys with the band busted me and gently but firmly insisted that I leave until showtime.

Oh, and Delta: Peart did, in an interview I read in Modern Drummer some years ago, unashamedly cite Palmer as one of his influences. I agree that Palmer was/is more than a little sloppy but to me personally, that sloppiness puts a very human sound on his playing which Peart's inhuman perfection lacks. That's why I said Peart's incredible technique can sometimes wear on me. He's so damn perfect that I sometimes have to remind myself that I'm not listening to a well-programmed drum sequencer...

Palmer will always have a special place in my heart because it was Carl, and Carl alone who inspired me to pick up a pair of sticks in the first place. I had seen the likes of the awesome Buddy Rich, Louis Bellson et al throughout my childhood but never considered the possibility of becoming a musician. I was always the nerdy kid with my head in a book, or my hands in the guts of a TV or radio tinkering with some sort of electronic project or gadget. Everything changed when I first sat down at a drumset in a music store (after air-drumming to ELP with a pair of Regal 5B sticks someone gave to me years before) and I literally discovered at that moment that I could actually carry a beat... I could play drums! Soon afterwards, I convinced my folks to co-sign an agreement with a local music store who offered a rent-to-own deal on a beginner's CB700 5 piece. The shells were tissue-paper thin, the hardware was wobbly and rickety, but it was a drum set and it was mine! (at least the cymbals were good; 14" A. Zildjian new beat HH, and one 18" A Zildjian crash/ride) It took less than a year of almost constant practicing before I was in a paying band and for almost 20 years I never looked back.
 
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f106dart

Junior Member
Wow,
You guys are tough....the guy is one of the most famous drummers in the history of Rock, lets rip him a new one! Seriously, he got famous for a reason and not because he had timing problems.

ELP had a rep for a great live show. Speaking of live, I challenge anyone to find a concert performance better than Toccatta on their triple LP. I saw him on the '93 tour and the guy was amazing. He nailed Pirates and Pictures at an Exhibition (they had a year of touring to get into shape) with a new, more physical furor. And his solo was better too. He was wearing headphones and was into a solid groove on Paper Blood.

I think the guy contributed quite a bit and was indeed a different drummer, being classically trained. Arrogant toward other drummers? Perhaps on a few occasions, like when he said in an interview Neil Peart shouldn't have done the Buddy Rich Tribute concert. But you know, after finally seeing it on You Tube, he was right! What the #$%# was Neil doing? I like Neil, but compare that crap to Carl playing with Buddy's band on his Anthology CD. No timing problems there...... IMHO, he had a right to say it, as he and Buddy were freinds.

Palmer said in an Interview that he got along well with John Bonham (another influence of mine) and that they were both from the same area, but totally different style drummers. They did have big bass drums in common!
 
M

michael drums

Guest
Wow,
You guys are tough....the guy is one of the most famous drummers in the history of Rock, lets rip him a new one! Seriously, he got famous for a reason and not because he had timing problems.

ELP had a rep for a great live show. Speaking of live, I challenge anyone to find a concert performance better than Toccatta on their triple LP. I saw him on the '93 tour and the guy was amazing. He nailed Pirates and Pictures at an Exhibition (they had a year of touring to get into shape) with a new, more physical furor. And his solo was better too. He was wearing headphones and was into a solid groove on Paper Blood.

I think the guy contributed quite a bit and was indeed a different drummer, being classically trained. Arrogant toward other drummers? Perhaps on a few occasions, like when he said in an interview Neil Peart shouldn't have done the Buddy Rich Tribute concert. But you know, after finally seeing it on You Tube, he was right! What the #$%# was Neil doing? I like Neil, but compare that crap to Carl playing with Buddy's band on his Anthology CD. No timing problems there...... IMHO, he had a right to say it, as he and Buddy were freinds.

Palmer said in an Interview that he got along well with John Bonham (another influence of mine) and that they were both from the same area, but totally different style drummers. They did have big bass drums in common!
Oh really?????

What Carl Palmer interview was that?

Can you reference that interview with a link?

Neil playing crap?

This is so ridiculous...it's HILARIOUS!!

SMHIUD!! Hee...hee... ;-)

Geeessshhh....
 
M

michael drums

Guest
I'm rather envious of all you folks who actually met E, L or P. The closest I ever actually got to meeting any of them was in the early 90s when ELP came to Albuquerque for their Black Moon tour. It was the first time I ever saw the guys live (I didn't discover the group till '75 or '76- well after their wave had crested). I was standing in the lobby waiting for the doors to open when a side door- which opened from the lobby to a hallway leading directly back stage- opened up and there stood Carl, taking a look at the size of the group waiting to see the performance. I was maybe 10 feet away and I shouted. "Hey Carl!" He looked at me for a moment and replied, "Hey, how're ya doing?" and disappeared back through the door. That was the extent of my contact with any of the members. Oh, also: Hours before the show actually started, I went into the Convention Center where they were to be playing with the intent of figuring out where I'd be sitting in relation to the stage. I actually didn't expect the doors to the theater to be unlocked, but to my surprise, they were. Much to my delight, ELP were there doing their soundchecks! I sat hiding in plain sight in the darkened theater for maybe 30 minutes before one of the security guys with the band busted me and gently but firmly insisted that I leave until showtime.

Oh, and Delta: Peart did, in an interview I read in Modern Drummer some years ago, unashamedly cite Palmer as one of his influences. I agree that Palmer was/is more than a little sloppy but to me personally, that sloppiness puts a very human sound on his playing which Peart's inhuman perfection lacks. That's why I said Peart's incredible technique can sometimes wear on me. He's so damn perfect that I sometimes have to remind myself that I'm not listening to a well-programmed drum sequencer...

Palmer will always have a special place in my heart because it was Carl, and Carl alone who inspired me to pick up a pair of sticks in the first place. I had seen the likes of the awesome Buddy Rich, Louis Bellson et al throughout my childhood but never considered the possibility of becoming a musician. I was always the nerdy kid with my head in a book, or my hands in the guts of a TV or radio tinkering with some sort of electronic project or gadget. Everything changed when I first sat down at a drumset in a music store (after air-drumming to ELP with a pair of Regal 5B sticks someone gave to me years before) and I literally discovered at that moment that I could actually carry a beat... I could play drums! Soon afterwards, I convinced my folks to co-sign an agreement with a local music store who offered a rent-to-own deal on a beginner's CB700 5 piece. The shells were tissue-paper thin, the hardware was wobbly and rickety, but it was a drum set and it was mine! (at least the cymbals were good; 14" A. Zildjian new beat HH, and one 18" A Zildjian crash/ride) It took less than a year of almost constant practicing before I was in a paying band and for almost 20 years I never looked back.
Uhhhh...

Pearts' inhuman perfection lacks human sound???

Carl Palmer was/is more than a little sloppy???

First of all...I've seen NP 22 times live, and THE absolute last statement, I would give, to describe every one of his performances would be "lacking human sound" WTF???

And second...I just recently saw Carl Palmer play in a small jazz-like club in Annapolis, Md., less than a year ago, and he was no where near sloppy. Dude...I was sitting at the front table, at this show, 6 FEET from him! You've got to be kidding? Right?

He was fantastic. In every way. Phenomenal, would be a fitting description of Carl Palmer, that evening.

Sloppy? Huh. Everyone on this forum wishes they were as sloppy as Carl Palmer...

Wow!
 

KzSgDrummer

Silver Member
^ Great to hear about Carl playing jazz and doing a phenomenal job of it. I'd love to see it for myself, because I really want to hear him play with good-feeling time. Even back in the early 90s on the Black Moon tour I thought his time was stiff and lacking in anything you could call a groove, and I do love the guy, so I want to hear him fix his deficiencies. In other words, please don't think I'm needlessly bashing him.
 

2bsticks

Platinum Member
Big ELP fan here, have been ever since I first heard Luck Man back in 1970. I can see where some of you do not like Carl's groove, but I don't think that is where the focus was at that time. Prog music was breaking all the rules back then. Time signitures,dynamics, morphing jazz and classical music into rock etc. was very exciting for me and also gave the drummer a chance to step it up and be noticed as something more than a time keeper.

My timing was challanged back in the 80's by a guitarist, I wanted to drop the guy because IMO he was insulting my playing. It was the best thing to happen to me because from there I joined a band that used sequencing and I had to play the groove or I was gone. I'm getting off track here sorry.

Carl is one of my greatest influences to this day. The best groove player, not at all. When I want to hear a groove I'll listen to Vinnie C. or Gadd ar many of the other great players. When I want to hear and see flash and technique I will listen or watch Carl Palmer.

We all march to the beat of a different drummer, that's what makes playing drums so great.
 
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