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Prog Rock :: Blog

Carl Palmer Goes Solo

Friday, October 14: 9 a.m.
Posted by Bruce Pilato
Acclaimed drummer Carl Palmer at the Rock Hall

On October 9, Carl Palmer, the acclaimed drummer and founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Asia, came to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum as part of the Museum's Legends series. Palmer is one of the great rock drummers. His playing ranges from the orchestral-like percussion of the Emerson, Lake & Palmer live album Pictures at an Exhibition (1971) to the powerful rock blast of the Asia hit “Heat of the Moment” (1982) – a track that also contains the sonic inspiration of Hal Blaine’s boom-boom, boom-chak from the Ronettes' “Be My Baby.”

During his Rock Hall appearance, Palmer candidly addressed his life – from his childhood in Birmingham, England, to an illustrious career that's included time in psychedelic act The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, prog rock innovators Atomic Rooster, platinum-selling ELP and Asia, and most recently the Carl Palmer Band. "I came from a family, half of whom worked in retail shops, the other half were musicians or worked in music," said Palmer. "The work I did with my dad working in our retail shops gave me my strong work ethic, but the fact there was always music being heard in my home had ...


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A response to "Why No Yes in the Rock Hall"

Thursday, January 13: 2 p.m.

John Covach’s December 29th column in The Plain Dealer, “Why no Yes in the Rock Hall?” offers a provocative view on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction process.  Covach correctly pointed out that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has not yet inducted many prog rockers. Only Genesis and Pink Floyd have made the cut, while bands like Yes, King Crimson, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer have not. But Covach uses this fact as evidence that the induction process is “rigged” and that the Rock Hall is “not primarily a historical institution.” Those charges are unfair.

Prog rock’s status in the Rock Hall is less about bias and corruption than it is a reflection of the changing history of the definition of rock and roll itself.  From its inception, prog rock got a mixed reception.  As Covach himself has shown in his book What’s That Sound? An Introduction to Rock and Its History, many critics originally saw the music as pretentious and some rock fans were turned off by prog’s lofty subject matter. 

By drawing from classical elements, prog rock implied to some that rock itself wasn’t artistically interesting or important enough to ...


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