Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you. It is also New Years day, so I thought this start of this new decade, which follows a very shitty year for many of us, needed a big number to ring it in. Still, I am ambivalent. because I love the tune I have selected but its history is complicated and it has been exploited in rather inappropriate and insensitive ways. At least in my opinion. I could write an essay about it but I won’t go into the details. Perhaps I’m overthinking this.

My choice to ring in the 2021 new year is Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s adaptation of Aaron Copeland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. It seems appropriate that it is performed in an empty stadium. I dedicate my choice to all those who endured 2020 and survived and to all those who weren’t so lucky. I guess that’s everyone.

Kind Regards.

28 thoughts on “Drum Roll Please

  1. I don’t recall having heard this ELP performance. I think I’d stopped listening to them by 1977. Happy New Year to you and your family, Tracy! Here’s hoping it’s a better one for all of us.

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  2. As far as I know the video was shot at the Olympic stadium in Montreal which hosted the 1977 Olympic summer games. It was shot in November in this snow covered venue at minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Emerson, Lake and Palmer were in Montreal at a recording studio when “Fanfare for the Common Man” was climbing up the charts and the band needed a music video for television broadcast. Those were the days, as you know, of 24 hour music video broadcasts. I think they had three cameras recording enough tape to cut together to produce the music video. The gear the band was wearing shows just how cold it was. Perhaps like standing in a meat locker. I’m sure they got the recording finished without frost bite. I’m a big fan of E,L &P’s the “Hall of the Crimson King. I also am very attracted to Copeland’s “Fanfare…”!
    This stadium had a retractable roof which was opened to avoid a huge snow load. After the Olympics the stadium was used for baseball and American football. Currently the stadium has become a ‘white elephant’ with some teams using it but not to capacity. I think its cost is still being financed but I might be wrong.

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    1. I’ve always been in awe of this video – the dragons breath, playing those instruments with frozen fingers. It must have hurt.
      It might be a good venue for rock concerts? I’m not sure whether rock superstars with that sort of draw exist anymore.


      1. The last rock show to play there was the Rolling Stones in 1994 and they played a 24 song set to over 56,000 fans. Including “Jumping Jack Flash.” This stadium offers diverse of shows: Monster Trucks, Flower Shows, Home Improvement Shows and conventions of many types. The stadium’s nickname was the Big O or the Big Owe because building the stadium left the city of Montreal a debit of over $800 million. It took forty years to pay off the debit. The stadium is now a tourist destination.

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  3. This music is so appropriate. It makes me think of hope for the future and moving on. How symbolic is the empty stadium too. Well chosen Tracy. Hope you’re having a pleasant, relaxing day

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