Keith & Carl 1971
Emerson Lake and Palmer....brought to you by the United States Air Force and I'm Frankie Crocker.
Nutcracker (sic) from Emerson Lake and Palmer's Pictures at an Exhibition. Our guests today for the United States Air Force are Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer.
FC: Fellas, I understand this is your second trip to the United States. How was your playing received here as compared to England?
CP: Well it's great.
KE: I like playing over here I think better than in England. The audience here is far more intelligent. They look for meanings in your music.
FC: Do you feel that this is because they are more sophisticated musically?
KE: I wouldn't say sophisticated.
CP: I think they've had a lot of influences over here. I think...I look at it this way, an American audience would know when to clap after a solo, when an English audience might not, y'know. They'd even shout during a solo because they realize they could shout.
KE: One sort of instance when I was with the Nice, we played over here and there was one number we used to play constantly in England. And a solo used to develop and it used to reach a climax and stop dead and then go right back to the start again. When we played it over here, we recorded this piece at the Fillmore, and the audience applauded at that climax when it just snap and bang...silence again. The audience applaud at that point. We had that record released in England and everybody heard that like, people clapped at that point. So then every time we played that number in England after that, the English audience thought 'It's on the record so we must clap at that point.' They'd never done it before. Always after that, we would always get like, applause from an English audience. They just follow like sheep, you know.
FC: Right now a word from the Air Force.
Frankie Crocker here for the United States Air Force, and this is Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
[plays recorded version of THE STONES OF YEARS ]
FC: STONE OF YEARS...and our guests today are Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer. You know fellas, its been said by some that you're the next super group. Does it worry you that you have to live up to all this?
CP: We ain't a super group, for a start, we are just three people who play together because we enjoy playing together.
KE: It doesn't worry me what people call us. They can put down whatever they like... .super group, whatever, I mean the thing is, we know what we are and it doesn't affect us as people or whatever. Its very, very on the surface all this thing you know. It's not at all deep, it's not at all meaningful. These words have gone on before, and they just don't affect us any more.
FC: But inevitably, you know, there will be those who would put you on a pedestal.
KE: Well this will happen any way...it's out of our control you know, this group has never been hyped or anything like that. The publicity which has gone out it has been....well, its been necessary to let people know...an album has just been released by Emerson, Lake and Palmer it's called TARKUS, and there's been nothing said about this band which we can't do.... its all fact. You give people facts that, you know, you can't go wrong.
CP: You get the response that you need, you know.
FC: You know there seems to a thematic unity to TARKUS.
KE: TARKUS is very sort of violent in its thing and I'm sort of trying to think what sort of made us feel that way to write like that...its very aggressive isn't it?
CP: It just came that way though...actually one of the other things you've just written is sort of quite aggressive as well you know.
KE: Yes it is.
CP: The left hand bass thing you've got together, you know...there again its very sort of like, growly.
KE: Yea I know.
CP: We seem...actually are very fortunate, because we've got such a percussive thing happening in the band: Keith plays very percussive and Greg can always manage to get in a great feeling, you know, in anything that we play. Well I think so, and I think that's one of the strongest things that we've got in the band. Yea we can be gentle as well. It's the greatest part of about it, but like, be very violent. Which I think the TARKUS album sums that up.
FC: Right now we're gonna take a break for a friend from the Air Force.
[plays recorded version of A TIME AND A PLACE]
FC: A TIME AND A PLACE....and at this time and place our guests are Emerson, Lake and Palmer. This Frankie Crocker...remember, you can always find yourself in the Air Force.
[Many thanks to J. Walker Grant for transcribing this interview!]