Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale 

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PH for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Four messages, and a foot in the door?


Carol Bellantoni writes to BtP:

"I sent the original letter (below) on 30 September and when I didn't get a reply I thought they just read it and went on to the next bit of mail.

Then I got an email from Laura DeMarco, the Music Editor for the Plain Dealer, on October 23rd asking to use an excerpt of my letter for the Poll. I was gobsmacked, but even more gobsmacked by the choice of the last paragraph as the bit they wanted to quote!"
 
To the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, sent on 30 September 2001

It is once again coming up to the time of year when the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame's voting body will be making their selections of those who have distinguished themselves in Rock 'n' Roll's musical legacy.

While there are arguments for many long over-due inductees, I would like to think that Procol Harum are on the short list for induction.

With strains of a Bach-derived organ melody, A Whiter Shade of Pale swept like a warm, seductive breeze into 1967 and the Summer of Love. From that moment, the song left its mark forever on that time.

Procol Harum were the band responsible for one of 1967's greatest anthems, fusing rock music with sophisticated classical elements long before labels of "progressive" or "art rock" were coined. They were also one of the first rock bands to perform with a full symphony orchestra.

The late rock empresario, Bill Graham, called them one of his favorite bands and he booked them at both of his Fillmores on a regular basis. This despite one nearly disastrous event at the Fillmore East when the early show crowd refused to budge for the late show and cries of "Storm the Bastille!" rose from the crowd on the pavement outside.

At one of Procol's early gigs at London's UFO Club, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and several of the Rolling Stones were in attendance.

When Paul McCartney met his lovely Linda in the Bag O' Nails Club in London, A Whiter Shade of Pale was playing in the background. Both Paul and Linda later recounted the story of their first meeting and "their song".

In the past 34 years, the respected musicians of Procol Harum have performed or recorded with a virtual 'who's who' collection of rockers including George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Bill Wyman, Madonna, David Bowie, Kate Bush, and Eric Clapton.

By no means a defunct rock 'n' roll band, Procol Harum recently finished a tour of Europe which took them to, among other places, the Kremlin Palace in Moscow and a performance with the Hallé Orchestra and Choir in Manchester.

I would probably 'skip the light fandango and turn a few cartwheels cross the floor' to hear that Procol Harum have at last received their due and been inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

All the best,

Carol Bellantoni

Laura DeMarco wrote to Carol:
 
Greetings, 

We'd like to run an excerpt from your comments when we publish the results of our 2002 Rock Hall Reader's Choice Ballot this Sunday (28 October 2001) in The Plain Dealer. In order to do so, I would appreciate it if you could reply to this email with your full name and city of residence, so we can credit your comments correctly.

Thank you in advance.

Carol wrote to Laura
 
Dear Laura,

I'm glad that my letter regarding Procol Harum was so well received! I'm very curious to know which bit you thought was worthy of excerpting ;)!

Now, if only the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would take notice, as well!

Laura DeMarco wrote back to Carol
 
Thanks for the reply Carol. 

Here's the excerpt we're running:

"I would probably skip the light fandango and turn a few cartwheels cross the floor to hear that Procol Harum have at last received their due and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

So BtP says to Carol,
Congratulations for getting your foot in the door thus far … and let's hope the combined weight of Palers will eventually get it fully open!

Read the article here



 
More about Procol Harum and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Carol's 1977 PH photographs Carol's Procol paintings


 
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