Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Promenade & The Gnome


Anna Kipling

Anna Kipling

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Emerson, Lake & Palmer, also known as ELP, are an English rock supergroup. They found success in the 1970s and sold over forty million albums and headlined large stadium concerts. The band consists of Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (bass guitar, vocals, guitar) and Carl Palmer (drums, percussion). They are one of the most commercially successful progressive rock bands and from the outset focussed on combining classical pieces with rock music.
On several occasions in 1969, The Nice (with Keith Emerson on keyboards) and King Crimson (with Greg Lake on bass and vocals) shared the same venue, first on 10 August 1969 at the 9th Jazz and Blues Pop Festival in Plumpton, England and on 17 October 1969 at Fairfield Halls in Croydon, England. Emerson and Lake actually met, however, at Bill Graham’s Fillmore West in San Francisco and soon tried working together. The pair found their styles to be not only compatible but also complementary. They wanted to be a keyboard/bass/drum band, and so sought out a drummer.
Before settling on Carl Palmer, who at that time was a member of Atomic Rooster, they approached Mitch Mitchell of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Emerson and Lake were uninterested in Mitchell, however, as he showed up for a ‘jam’ session with an arsenal of guns and unruly bodyguards. Hendrix, tired of his band and wanting to try something different, expressed an interest in playing with the group. Since Emerson and Lake had settled on Palmer by then, this led the British press to speculate about a supergroup called HELP, or “Hendrix, Emerson, Lake & Palmer”. Because of scheduling conflicts, such plans were not immediately realised, but the initial three planned a jam session with Hendrix after their second concert at the Isle of Wight Festival (their debut being in The Guildhall, Plymouth, on 23 August 1970, with the band “Earth” as support), with the possibility of him joining. Hendrix died 26 days later, and the three pressed on as Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
Greg Lake made this comment on ELP’s discussions with Hendrix:
“Yeah, that story is indeed true, to some degree…Mitch Mitchell had told Jimi about us and he said he wanted to explore the idea. Even after Mitch was long out of the picture and we had already settled on Carl, talk about working with Jimi continued. We were supposed to get together and jam with him around August or September of 1970, but he died before we could put it together.”
Carl Palmer had previously been the drummer for the highly successful psychedelic band, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. ELP were, from the outset, a prototype of the ‘rock supergroup’. Aside from providing vocals, bass guitar, electric guitar and lyrics, Lake also produced five of their first six albums (Brain Salad Surgery being co-produced with Pete Sinfield, who had recently left King Crimson).
Pictures at an Exhibition (Russian: Картинки с выставки — Воспоминание о Викторе Гартмане, Kartinki s vystavki — Vospominaniye o Viktore Gartmane, “Pictures from an Exhibition — A Remembrance of Viktor Hartmann”) is a famous suite in ten movements composed for piano by Modest Mussorgsky in 1874.
The suite is Mussorgsky’s most famous piano composition, and has become a showpiece for virtuoso pianists. It has also become known through various orchestrations and arrangements produced by other musicians and composers (see: Arrangements and Interpretations, below, for further discussion), with Ravel’s arrangement being the most recorded and performed.
Pictures at an Exhibition (Russian: Картинки с выставки — Воспоминание о Викторе Гартмане, Kartinki s vystavki — Vospominaniye o Viktore Gartmane, “Pictures from an Exhibition — A Remembrance of Viktor Hartmann”) is a famous suite in ten movements composed for piano by Modest Mussorgsky in 1874.
The suite is Mussorgsky’s most famous piano composition, and has become a showpiece for virtuoso pianists. It has also become known through various orchestrations and arrangements produced by other musicians and composers (see: Arrangements and Interpretations, below, for further discussion), with Ravel’s arrangement being the most recorded and performed.

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Anna Kipling

Anna Kipling

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