Carl Palmer coming to Newton Theatre

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  • Carl Palmer

The Newton Theatre presents Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy- Emerson, Lake & Palmer Lives On on Thursday, May 18 at 8 p.m.

Carl Palmer is a drummer’s drummer. He has thrilled listeners and audiences alike for nearly four decades with some of music’s most memorable bands including Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Asia. Along the way his dexterity, speed and mastery of the drums, combined with his infectious stage personality, have secured for him a respected place in history as one of Rock and Roll’s greatest drummers. His new band captures all the power of ELP’s hits in a hard driving instrumental performance.

Carl Frederick Kendall Palmer was born in Birmingham, England, in 1950. From the beginning it was clear that music was in the stars for the young Carl Palmer. From a musical family, Carl’s fascination with music began early, he studied classical violin, and by the age of 7 had learned to play the banjolele. The film “Drum Crazy” (aka “The Gene Krupa Story”), captured young Carl’s imagination. His biggest influences became Krupa and drum legend Buddy Rich. He received a new drum set for his eleventh birthday and he set to work becoming a respected working drummer by age 15.

Carl joined Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds whose Out Of Time, written by Jagger and Richards of The Rolling Stones, propelled them to the top of the UK charts. At 18 Carl joined The Crazy World of Arthur Brown at the absolute peak of their success. In 1969, Carl returned to the UK to form Atomic Rooster, enjoying his first real success as a founding member of a band.

But it would be in the spring of 1970, Carl received a phone call that changed his life forever. Keyboard virtuoso Keith Emerson from The Nice, was forming a new band with King Crimson founder Greg Lake. Immediately dubbed a “super-group” by the media, Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP) entered the musical arena with great expectations. The single Lucky Man was a hit, and their stage show became the stuff of legend. They released five albums in four years, all of which reached platinum status, among them Tarkus, Trilogy, and Brain Salad Surgery. An insane touring schedule followed and the legendary scale and musicianship of ELP’s live show continued to grow. After a grueling four years, 5 albums and hundreds of tour dates, the band took a hiatus. In 1977 they released albums Works Volume I and Works Volume II. The band continued to tour and record for two more years, before disbanding in 1979.

Opportunity knocked again for Carl when he was approached to form a super-group concept for Geffen Records. Along with King Crimson vocalist/bassist John Wetton, Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes and Yes guitarist, Steve Howe, Asia was born. The band’s self-titled debut album was released in 1982 and went to number one, selling over seven million copies worldwide. Singles such as Heat Of The Moment, Only Time Will Tell, Wildest Dreams and Sole Survivor dominated the charts for months.

After Asia disbanded in 1985, Carl played in different combinations of bands with Keith Emerson and some of the Asia members. ELP regrouped in 1992, remaining together until 1998, having one final appearance in London at the High Voltage Festival in 2010.

In 2001, Carl created his own new band with two accomplished musicians: bassist Simon Fitzpatrick and guitarist Paul Bielatowicz. Together, they have toured the world as the progressive trio “Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy”. Carl Palmer assembling a progressive trio might seem like he was relying on formula, especially since the band’s material consisted mainly of ELP classics, but this was indeed a new direction. Purely guitars-driven, this band put a new face on the ELP classics, performing them with musical complexity and a raw energy not heard, since the earliest days of ELP.

To date, Carl Palmer has sold nearly 50 million records.

Tickets for Carl Palmer range from $27 to $42. Purchase tickets by visiting or contact the Box Office at 973-383-3700.

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