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Gary Brooker: RD Crusader

19 October 2003, Ronnie Scott's Club, London

Some of the world’s most legendary names from the past 40 years of rock'n’ roll came together on Sunday 19 October 2003 to form the ‘RD Crusaders’, for a one-off gig at London’s Ronnie Scott's, in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust (from whose website we lift the following text)

The band, who rocked the packed club, included The Who legend, Roger Daltrey, on lead vocals, guitar pioneers Gary Moore and Greg Lake (Emerson Lake & Palmer), Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker MBE, Simon Townshend (Pete Townshend’s brother) on rhythm guitar, Kink’s saxophonist Nick Newall, pop singer Sam Brown on backing vocals and Zoot Money on keyboards and musical direction, with Richard Desmond on drums.

Express Newspapers proprietor, Richard Desmond, a keen drummer who bought his first drum kit at 13 and Who frontman Roger Daltrey came up with idea for the gig to see if they could raise money for the charity. The 250-strong invited audience paid £500 per head, with all the proceeds going directly to Teenage Cancer Trust.

The set list for the gig, which raised in excess of £350,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust, included The Who classics Pinball Wizard, I Can’t Explain, The Kids are Alright and My Generation as well as A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum, All Right Now by Free and a very special version of Stand By Me. [NB All Right Now is not on the list below]

In addition to the live entertainment there was a very special auction hosted by Virgin Radio’s Nick Stewart with items including an original BB King signed guitar, a limited edition Anastacia Sony Gold Disc, a Geoff Hurst World Cup Montage, a Sting guitar, a Who Live Encore Box set and a Manchester United shirt signed by David Beckham.

On playing this very special one-off gig for the Teenage Cancer Trust Roger Daltrey said:

"I met up with Richard Desmond several months ago to ask him to help us in our bid to raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust. After a great brainstorming session, and knowing Richard was a pretty good drummer, I offered to sing in any band he put together, and the RD Crusaders were born."

Charlie Allison kindly sends BtP these excerpts from OK magazine:

A Night In A Million At Ronnie Scott's : Rock'n'roll Crusaders

OK boss Richard Desmond drums up superstar support for the charity gig of the century

Back: Nick Newall, Steve Smith, Simon Townshend, Gary Moore, Gary Brooker, Richard Desmond, Russ Ballard, Greg Lake
Front: Aitch Mcrobbie, Margo Buchanan, Roger Daltrey, Sam Brown. Where's Zoot?


... Without doubt it was the most remarkable rock gig of the year - and it raised almost half a million pounds for charity. A glittering audience saw the legendary Roger Daltrey of the Who and a unique band of 60s superstars perform classics such as My Generation and A Whiter Shade of Pale in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust, with an auction of rock memorabilia adding over £200,000* to the staggering total. (*inc. Pete Townsend's smashed-then-repaired guitar from the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival which raised £50,000)

Gary Brooker

Franky and Gary, flanked by Miranda Black and Terry Shand (he of Eagle Records fame)

The show held last Sunday at Ronnie Scott's .... was the brainchild of OK and Express Newspapers Chairman Richard Desmond. He fulfilled a lifetime's dream by playing drums in The RD Crusaders - a one-off group that included Thin Lizzy guitar maestro Gary Moore, Greg Lake of the 1970s supergroup Emerson Lake and Palmer, Procol Harum legend Gary Brooker and Argent singer Russ Ballard. The bandleader was organist Zoot Money who saw it as the perfect excuse to play some of the greatest songs of the 60s. "Mind you," Zoot added with a smile, "it does help when you have the actual singers who did them originally".

The second set is somewhat longer than the first

.... then Gary Brooker almost topped the lot with A Whiter Shade of Pale. The Procol Harum singer may have a white beard now, but his magnificent voice was as moving as the day he first unleashed the track on the world in 1967's Summer of Love.

Have a look at other set-lists

Procol Harum concerts in 2003: index page

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