Carl Palmer puts Emerson Lake and Palmer split in perspective: ‘Couldn’t have lasted any longer’

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Carl Palmer has come to terms with the apparent dissolution of Emerson Lake and Palmer, more than 20 years after the group released what appears to be their final studio effort, In the Hot Seat.

“It was something that couldn’t have lasted any longer than it did,” Palmer has said, adding that Emerson Lake and Palmer was together for 16 years over stints in the 1970s and 1990s. “It was a long time, really, to play music that was so intense, and so eclectic.”

Emerson Lake and Palmer once went 15 years between studio releases in the ’80s. That’s nothing compared to this latest dry spell: In the Hot Seat was released on Sept. 27, 1994.

Palmer added that their breakups, even the first time, haven’t involved any animosity — just a desire to do other things. “When ELP decided to break up at the end of ’78, ’79,” Palmer says, “we had been together roughly 8, 8 and a half years. We’d made a lot of albums, and we’d toured a lot. We hadn’t really started families, except for Keith. So we wanted some time. Anyway, this time off sort of turned into 10 years. We didn’t fall out — no fights, nothing like that. It just ended.”

In the interim, Palmer joined Asia, and Greg Lake started a solo career. Both have more recently toured with shows that focus heavily on their time together in Emerson Lake and Palmer. Keith Emerson, meanwhile, issued a symphonic rock project called The Three Fates Project, which also referenced ELP.

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