Thread: Carl Palmer
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Old 09-20-2007, 04:45 PM
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ablethevoice ablethevoice is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Far NW Florida USA IVAN and DENNIS survivor!
Posts: 15
Default Re: Carl Palmer

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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Last edited by ablethevoice; 09-20-2007 at 04:59 PM. Reason: eye hav too learn too spel gud
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