20. October 1977

Horton Fieldhouse, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, IL, USA

from a fan report : After the main set was over, the dynamic trio were exhausted, taking their bows before a packed house of fans madly cheering foran encore. Keith's Steinway grand piano was sitting midstage on a motorized elevating orchestra pit. Carl had failed to notice this part of the stage had been lowered. To the shock of everyone in the place, he lost his balance and fell off the stage, landing hard with his side impacting the edge of the piano.Collectively the audience gasped, OOOOH, OUCH, that looked serious! They later discovered that the Champion of Percussion had cracked a rib or two in that very public fall. But here's the best bit: After ELP took a short breather, they came out and played a dynamite encore! Pictures, as I recall. Carl's mid-section had been wrapped with a bandage, but he insisted that the show go on! He even did a drum solo as if nothing were wrong at all. He didn't miss a beat. The guy must have been enduring a lot of pain! You have to admire that kind of courage and dedication. After the encore, Greg jokingly held Carl around the shoulder like a big brother, preventing him from repeating his plunge. I later heard that ELP had to postpone a concert or two after that night to allow Carl to heal a bit before continuing the tour.