Emerson, Lake and Palmer


Rolling Stone magazine recently came out with their “50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All-time.”   Prog rock — short for Progressive Rock — was a peculiar off-shoot of ’60s psychedelic rock that was quite popular with the kids back in the ’70s.  Though, unlike the rock critics, we kids mostly referred to it for what it was:  “stoner rock.”

Emerson, Lake and Palmer was one of the most renowned practitioners of the genre.  And I was a big fan back in 1974, age 17.  I saw them in concert that year in this decaying football stadium in the swamps of New Jersey.  It was the “Welcome Back My Friends to the Show that Never Ends”/Brain Salad Surgery tour, for those of you keeping score at home.  And it was one of the best shows I ever went to.  Before the show started I scored some acid from this drug dealer who was selling his wares down on the infield.  It was some of the purest acid I had ever scored.  The surround-sound that swirled out of the Emerson, Lake and Palmer sound system and across the stadium was some of the sweetest mind candy my 17-year-old brain had ever grokked.  And the LSD added this crystal clear, cosmic, celestial, other-worldly grandeur to the music (LSD really is a stupid drug).

When I realized how good the LSD was, I went back down to the infield to score some more of that acid (usually they’re peddling bunk, but this time I got lucky).  I spotted the acid dealer. He was this little hippie dude in a brown fringed buckskin jacket (the de rigueur outfit for the cool drug dealers back then, circa 1974, and for some reason, a droopy fu manchu mustache was also mandatory).

But just as I approached him, three undercover cops swooped down on him, slapped handcuffs on him, and dragged him off towards the exit.  Bummer.

But I was already stoned out of my mind.  So I continued to enjoy the show anyways.  Still, I always felt bad for that poor bastard.  For all I know, he’s still in prison to this day. But aside from that one mishap, I gave the show a big thumbs up.  Don’t let nobody tell ya’ different.  Emerson, Lake and Palmer rocks!!




One thought on “Emerson, Lake and Palmer

  1. Great you saw them in 74. Trilogy is a classic, and I have all their albums – cept for “Love Beach.” Remember the song “The Endless Enigma?” Why do you stare…do you think that I care….you’ve been misled by the thoughts in your head.
    Or “C’est la vie?” Greg Lake sure had a great voice for their music. And Emerson was nuts with his knives. Great showmen.

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