Beverly Peyton was Gary and Franky's hair-dresser and friend for many, many years. This is her birthday tribute to Franky Brooker. Read also Franky's tribute to Bev.
As I enter into my thirty-three year love affair of this great band of musicians called Procol Harum, there is one member in the wings that most of you are unfamiliar with.
If any of us, including myself, had designs on being PH's #1 fan, I would have to insist that we back up here. The lady that goes by the name of Franky is PH's #1 fan and that's all there is to that. I also think it is time that the dear lady married to the Commander be given her due. Franky, the first mate, is as dignified and gracious as they come. A lady to the nth degree.
The year was 1969. It was her hair, that being my line of work, that struck me immediately. It almost fell to her waist and had a beautiful, brown soft natural wave to it. Upon a second glance, it wasn't hard to miss that her legs nearly met her hair and her face was that of which models are made. The Peytons have always prided themselves on their eye for beauty ... and Franky is a natural beauty. Then she spoke and this stately Swiss accent that could melt an iceberg came forth. There was no excuse, had Gary ever let her get away. In this department, dear fans, he has done well.
I think it is safe to say that she is the envy of any woman in her presence and any man for that matter. I think it also safe to say that she has kept Gary on his toes. Statuesque and confident, they make a stunning pair.
Be it inbred or acquired, Franky's assets go way beyond her hair and legs now that I know her better. Despite the years (and this is a laugh) she spent apologizing for her English, she can rapt and rivet any one or group of people in conversation, obviously well-read, with a keen sense for detail. She is the embodiment of a free spirit with a cordial and receptive charm.
It is no longer her hair that captures my attention although I do love working with it. It is the admirable grace at which she has taken a backseat to Gary, willingly serving him up for the treasure that he is while his fans dote.
In a world where so many of us have watched marriages go down the drain, here we see a match made in heaven. Instead of behaving like 'who is this so and so trying to home in on my husband', she stands by and beams with pride. Of course, over the years she has developed her own fanbase. The respect they exhibit is surely a testament to their love for one another.
Several years ago Gary treated me to an opportunity to listen to some songs that were a complete departure from what we are accustomed to hearing. The titles still elude, but the beauty and delivery of one song in particular made me realize that it is their love that has fuelled the incredible music Gary has given us thus far.
Any of you that have had the pleasure to have met Franky and been enhanced by her charitable ways in and out of the public eye would be hard-pressed to let it go unnoticed. So, to the dear fans of Procol Harum at BtP and around the world, I hope you don't mind that I have taken the time to salute and celebrate one phenomenal lady.
Happy Birthday Franky!