In my “tour guide” series, I’ll be setting up guides to certain tours by certain bands. This is an aspect of a project I have been undertaking in some form or other since the summer of 2017, with some collaboration. I hope it’s useful to fellow music historians and aficionados!
Although we were not so aware of it at the time, this tour was to become a significant event in the band’s European career. It not only defined our success as a band with our own brand of music, but it had also confirmed that we were at the very cutting edge of live show production.Greg Lake, Lucky man, p 161
Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s third tour, the Get Me A Ladder Tour, is something of an anomaly for the group’s touring work in the 70s.
Unlike their three previous tours, there was no album released during the tour. In fact, there wasn’t even an album ready; while the music of their forthcoming Brain Salad Surgery was being prepared, the album had not yet been recorded. Recordings from this tour show that the group workshopped some of their pieces during the tour. The song which underwent the most dramatic changes night by night was “Still…You Turn Me On”, which showed up during Greg Lake’s solo spot in the middle of “Take a Pebble”. Early versions which appear during the tour feature a radically different second half of the song.
The band was accompanied by Stray Dog, an American band which had been signed to Manticore Records, ELP’s then-recently launched label. The band was brand new themselves, so putting them on the tour with ELP no doubt was a great help to them. Interestingly, guitarist William Garrett “Snuffy” Walden III of the band would one day work with Lake on his solo albums. Later still, he would score The West Wing!
This tour also featured a spate of cancellations, both due to bad weather and to Lake’s contraction of laryngitis. Even so, the tour was overall a big success. At the end of the year, in December of 1973, a documentary shot on this tour aired on the BBC.
The band performed a total of 22 dates. A total of two dates were postponed, and five were cancelled without any rescheduling. This was thus the shortest tour the group undertook in the 1970s.
|1973-03-30||Ostseehalle, Kiel, Germany||No||Here|
|1973-03-31||Philipshalle, Düsseldorf, Germany||Yes||Here|
|1973-04-01||Forest National, Brussels, Belgium||No||Here|
|1973-04-03||Saint Ouen, Paris, France||No||Here|
|1973-04-04||Les Arenes, Poitiers, France||No||Here|
|1973-04-05||Palais des Sports, Caen, France||N/A||Cancelled|
|1973-04-06||Palais des Sports, Lille, France||N/A||Cancelled|
|1973-04-07||Palais des Expositions, Nancy, France||N/A||Cancelled|
|1973-04-08||Palais des Sports, Lyon, France||N/A||Cancelled|
|1973-04-10||Friedrich-Eberthalle, Ludwigshafen, Germany||Yes||Here|
|1973-04-11||Friedrich-Eberthalle, Ludwigshafen, Germany||No||Here|
|1973-04-12||Stadthalle, Freiburg, Germany||Yes||Here|
|1973-04-13||Sporthalle, Köln, Germany||Yes||Here|
|1973-04-15||Hallenstadion, Zurich, Switzerland||Yes||Here|
|1973-04-16||Ernst-Merck Halle, Hamburg, Germany||No||Here|
|1973-04-17||Broendby Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark||No||Here|
|1973-04-18||Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden||Yes||Here|
|1973-04-21||Oude Rai, Amsterdam, Netherlands||No||Here|
|1973-04-22||Grosse Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, Germany||No||Here|
|1973-04-23||Münsterlandhalle, Münster, Germany||Yes||Here|
|1973-04-24||Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany||Yes||Here|
|1973-04-25||Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria||Yes||Here|
|1973-04-26||Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria||No||Here|
|1973-04-28||Velodromo Vigorelli, Milan, Italy||N/A||Postponed due to illness|
|1973-04-29||Ponte Sant’ Ambrogio, Modena, Italy||N/A||Cancelled due to illness|
|1973-04-30||Stadio Comunale, Bologna, Italy||N/A||Postponed due to illness|
|1973-05-02||Stadio Flaminio, Rome, Italy||Yes||Here|
|1973-05-03||Stadio Comunale, Bologna, Italy||Yes||Here|
|1973-05-04||Velodromo Vigorelli, Milan, Italy||Yes||Here|
Despite the cancellations and postponements, the tour went well overall, delighting fans across nine countries. Just as importantly, the stage had been set for the most famous tour the band ever undertook: the Brain Salad Surgery Tour.
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- Lake, Greg. Lucky Man
- Edit on 2020-09-17: Optimized for new site.
- Edit on 2022-03-17: Added info about “Still…You Turn Me On”. Improved readability