With A Little ELP From Our Friends!
Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer, are proving on their 1992 world tour that progressive rock is in safe hands.
One of the those lucky enough to witness the triumphant return of ELP was Radio 1/Rock World contest winner, Cheryl Moss, from Enfield, North London. Cheryl was flown to Boston, USA, to see the band play a concert at Great Woods Centre, and meet Keith, Greg and Carl after the show. It was the first time I had seen them and they were fantastic, said Cheryl.
Cheryl won her prize to visit America and meet ELP when she heard the special Rock World launch contest on Radio 1. At a party after the show, she was introduced to the band. Carl was intrigued by the fact the Cheryl (25), worked for Enfield Council as a re-cycling officer. I used to live near there myself - what a small world! Cheryl was amazed, not because they were almost neighbours, but at the incredible energy that Carl in particular put into ELPs show and his spectacular drum solo. Its not that tiring - it just looks it! Carl told her. Ive been doing it a long time. Yes I do drop drum sticks occasionally - Chris will tell you that! But Ive practised picking them up. Sometimes I get bruised during a show, but it is well paced so that the middle part is easy and it gets hectic towards the end. So I get a rest! I like to keep fit, and Im doing fencing and that keeps my weight down. I dont drink a lot, because when you drink you sweat a lot and get tired.
Cheryl asked how the audiences had reacted since they last played together, a decade ago. Its been pretty amazing. With all the new technology everything sounds better. But it takes longer to set up these days. My drums look acoustic, but they are actually electronic.
Carl explained to Cheryl that the secret of ELPs precision on stage was rehearsal. We rehearsed for six weeks before we went on tour. Believe it or not, you cant play for more than three hours a day in a row. You have to remember stuff, and were going Oh do you remember that song we played in 1973? It takes forever to learn it, because you havent done it in a long while.
Four hours is excruciating for me, so I prefer to make a list and go home and learn it from the record. Then I can walk into the rehearsal and play it.
Carl reported that the band was thoroughly enjoying touring again and looked forward to playing at Londons Royal Albert Hall in October. Weve had a great time. We have a lot of fans in the States and it was great to come back and play to them. ELP did return with another drummer whose last initial was P (Cozy Powell). That was while I was in Asia for most of the Eighties. But the original ELP stopped in 1978. Before that ELP worked really well for nine years, so theres no reason why it shouldnt work again now. Music is down to whether you want it to work. We didnt have an argument and break up. That is the truth. So we havent come back with any grudges about the past. We dont socialise a lot, but we work hard together, and there is a certain chemistry between us on stage.
You could have three better musicians together and it wouldnt be as good! We all grew up listening to similar types of music, classical and jazz, while Greg likes folk music a lot. Keith and I have a similar jazz record collection, and we all liked The Beatles, because we are all old!
Keith Emerson, fending off autograph hunters, agreed with Carl that the bands return to the worlds rock stage had been a heart warming experience, if not a heart attack inducing one! Only minutes before he had been crashing his famed Hammond organ around the stage and attacking it with daggers, just like he did in The Nice, back in the Sixties.
Its been an amazing reaction, said Keith. He revealed he had been nervous about the whole business of getting back into touring, and for a very alarming reason.
I was feeling apprehensive because two years ago I broke a finger in my right hand through a silly accident, which Id rather not talk about. Although it healed, it left the finger weaker, and I had a lot of pain in my right hand. The break developed a lot of excessive calcium to help it heal and I had to go to a clinic for therapy. The incident left a psychological scar and for a while I couldnt play. I was so worried that I actually went to get a job - as a motor-cycle courier. I didnt tell them who I was - I just got on with the job. It would have been tragic indeed if one of the finest keyboard players in rock history had been unable to play in public again. But Keith gradually regained his confidence and faced up to the task.
I was so relieved when we did our first concert of the tour. It was in Philadelphia and it was really nerve-racking. But it turned out to be a really good gig. I still get a bit nervous on stage. In fact Im ALWAYS nervous, but not as bad as I used to be in the Seventies, when I used to get horribly nervous before every show. Audiences in the States have given us marvellous support, and you can feel great love and warmth from them, which is really wonderful. There are a lot of our older fans, of course, but a lot of people have never seen us before.
Greg Lake added: Its been very revealing to see all the young kids listening to ELP. We dont claim to be the cleverest band in the world, but we try and play good music. The nice thing is the new songs are going down well and that really makes me think the band has a real future. We put ourselves to the test every night, and its a bit like a trial by fire!
Rock World competition winner CHERYL MOSS had a fabulous time when she visited America to see top British rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer perform on their sensational come-back tour. Cheryl, who lives in North London and works for Enfield Council, won the chance to visit the States in the Rock World launch competition, in conjunction with Radio 1.
On July 28 she flew to Boston with Rock World executive editor Chris Welch, where she attended an action packed show featuring ELP and Jason Bonham. Later she went backstage to meet the band and enjoy drinks and hospitality with Keith Emerson, Greg Lake & Carl Palmer.
She also had the chance to hear an impromptu duet by Keith and Jason on the Holiday Inn bar piano - until they were turfed off by hotel security! Cheryl later visited New York City for a visit to the famous Blue Note jazz club, to see a performance by soprano sax player George Howard.
I had a wonderful time, and ELP were fantastic, but I dont think Id like to be a rock journalist. I couldnt stand the perpetual jetlag! said Cheryl later.