Emerson Lake & Palmer “PROGRAMME”

This is the official “Programme” for the 1977 North American Tour, the one with the orchestra, which they had to let go by the time they got to Cleveland. This thing had to be expensive to print, it has a die cut ELP logo on the cover, with a red skull showing through, which is, on the inside cover, on a pirate flag. There is quite the pirate theme here, because of their song “Pirates.” My school was the Pirates. Pirates are IN more than ever RIGHT NOW, I guess due to that Johnny Depp movie, and Disney. But it really really baffles me to no fucking end WHY pirates are so romantic and fun to everyone, but GANGS and TERRORISTS are so scary to everyone. I mean, you can’t even JOKE about terrorists without risking going to prison. But you can go out and dress like a pirate and run a Jolly Roger up the mast of your stupid boat. Do people not understand that pirates and terrorists are THE SAME THING? I know people are dumb, but THAT DUMB?

Sorry… okay, a two page corny pirate spread with lyrics. Big color photos of the guys in the band– nice– oh, whoops!– Greg Lake’s left handed in this one! There is an ELP crossword puzzle! Extensive articles and interviews. They don’t like the label “classical rock”– they prefer “progressive rock with a lot of regard for the past.” Yikes, there is some funny shit, the way they talk about music. You really understand where punk rock was coming from when you see this stuff. You get to hear a little bit about how much they exercised in preparation for the tour. (This was back when NO ONE exercised!)

On tour with 25 tons of gear, seven 45 foot trucks, and three busloads of orchestra musicians. You’ve got to hand it to them. Lots of rotating moving stage shit, and risers, all that. And Greg Lake keeps it real by simply standing on one of his priceless Persian rugs. I really do miss the Seventies sometimes.


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