To be honest, until Carl Palmer crept up the standings in our Sexiest Man in Prog-Rock poll, I couldn’t have identified Palmer if he showed up at my front door carrying drum sticks. It took me into my sophomore year of college to begin making sense of the prog-rock I couldn’t stand as a young teen, but even after digging King Crimson, Yes, Pink Floyd (maybe more of an “Art Rock” band), and some more obscure bands, I left Emerson, Lake & Palmer in the dustbin of my youth. Reviewing old live clips of the band, I still don’t like the music, but I’m seeing that ELP was the most brazenly sexual of prog-rock bands. There was a lot of bare, sweaty flesh being flashed at those old ELP shows. Palmer had the boyish-yet-hardy appeal of a star midfielder on the soccer (sorry, football) pitch. Maybe it’s the hair, but in this clip of Palmer’s drum solo I’m reminded of To Die For‘s Alison Folland.
Looking back at still images of Palmer, he’s occasionally seen in a soft, hippified light, but more often than not he’s in full-on jock mode. It’s coming back to me now, the crowd in my high school that liked ELP. It was a party-hearty crowd, but these guys were also capable of excelling in the classroom and on sports teams. If you were a prog-loving woman in search of a goal-oriented, dynamic guy, you couldn’t go wrong with any member of the band.
Next, the smouldering David Gilmour.