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Carl Palmer

Today we will tell you about one of the most influential drummers in progressive rock Carl Palmer:

(Photo: Jean-Pierre Nadeau)


1. He was born in Birmingham, England, on March 20, 1950, as Carl Frederick Kendall Palmer.


2. Palmer began taking drum lessons as a young teenager. He studied with James Blades - one of Britain's best-known classical percussionists. The classical training with Blades undoubtedly contributed greatly to Palmer's masterful technique.


3. Palmer's drumming style was developed from a wide range of musical influences. Among Palmer's early drumming influences were Joe Morello, Philly Joe Jones, Art Blakey, Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich.


4. His first band was originally known as "King Bees", but later changed its name to "Craig".


5. In 1966 the band released their first recording, a single called "I Must Be Mad" and and a B-side called "Suspense".


6. At the same time Palmer did his first session work, when he played the song "Love Light" by the "Chants", a band from Liverpool.


7. Later in 1966 Palmer joined the band "Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds".


8. In 1969, Palmer joined "The Crazy World of Arthur Brown" during a US tour, after original drummer Drachen Theaker left the band abruptly.


9. Later that year Palmer left the group along with keyboardist Vincent Crane and the two formed the power-progressive-trio "Atomic Rooster", along with vocalist/bassist Nick Graham.


10. The first album of "Atomic Rooster" was released in early 1970. It was a powerful album that relied quite a bit on Palmer's bold drumming.


11. Meanwhile, Palmer received an invitation from Keith Emerson to audition for a new band he was forming and left "Atomic Rooster" in the summer of 1970.


12. This was the "Emerson, Lake & Palmer" supergroup, consisting of Palmer, keyboardist Keith Emerson - formerly of the band "The Nice" and bassist/guitarist/singer Greg Lake formerly of "King Crimson".


13. Palmer was part of the group "ELP", starting with the debut album - "Emerson, Lake & Palmer" from 1970, until it disbanded for the first time in 1980 and released masterpiece albums with it such as: "Tarkus", "Pictures at an Exhibition", "Trilogy", "Brain Salad Surgery", "Works Volume 1+2" and more.


14. Interestingly, the band was nominated for "Best New Artist" at the 14th Grammy Awards, making them the first progressive rock band to achieve this feat.


15. The band developed a very special sound and style that influenced many prog bands, from a style that merged art rock, jazz, electronics, pop, rock and classical music.


16. In 1974, Palmer began collaborating with the jazz trio "Back Door". He produced their fourth album, "Activate" from 1976. In addition, He co-wrote the song "Bullfrog" with them, which also appears on ELP's "Works Volume 2" album.


17. After the first breakup of "ELP" in 1980, Palmer formed "PM" with blues-rock guitarist John Nitzinger. They would release one album called "1:PM" in 1980.


18. At the beginning of 1981 Palmer joined bassist and singer John Wetton who founded together with guitarist Steve Howe and keyboardist Geoff Downes, a new supergroup called "Asia".


19. The band released their debut album "Asia" in 1982 and was nominated for Best New Artist at the 25th Annual Grammy Awards, making them the second and last progressive rock band to achieve this feat. Palmer became the second artist to be nominated twice for this award, after David Crosby.


20. Palmer left "Asia" in 1992, after four studio albums, to join the "ELP" reunion.


21. Beginning in 1992, Palmer together with "Emerson, Lake & Palmer" released two more albums and a total of 9 studio albums with the band.


22. Palmer reunited with the four founding members of "Asia" in 2006. They celebrated their 25th anniversary, and have since released four new studio albums, "Phoenix" in 2008, "Omega" in 2010, "XXX" in 2012 , and "Gravitas" in 2014.


23. In 1982 Palmer played drums on the song "Mount Teidi" taken from the album "Five Miles Out" by Mike Oldfield.


24. Palmer was known for his virtuosity during the drum solos in his live performances. The big attraction in the seventies to the nineties was removing his shirt during his solos.


25. In 1988 he founded the group "3" together with his friend Keith Emerson and the singer-guitarist/bassist Robert Berry. Together with the band he released the album "To the Power of Three" that same year.


26. In 1999 Palmer will join the group "Qango" where his friends John Wetton and Geoff Downes played together with guitarist Dave Kilminster. In 2000 they released a live album called "Live in the Hood", which included one original song and songs from each of the members' bands.


27. In 2001, Palmer formed "Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy" with guitarist Sean Baxter and bassist Dave Marks. With this lineup, he performed instrumental versions of "ELP" songs.


28. In the same year, he also founded the "Carl Palmer Band" with which he released a series of three albums "Working Live, Volume 1" and "Working Live, Volume 2" in 2003 and "Working Live, Volume 3" in 2010.


29. Palmer is a "patron" of the "British Classic Rock Society", which promotes progressive rock concerts.


30. Palmer was the 11th drummer inducted into "Modern Drummer" Magazine's Hall of Fame.


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