Re: Carl Palmer
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.