This is the section on Chris Copping from the Melody Maker's two-page Procol Harum spread from March 1973. Yes, we know it's not the right picture ...
"We're all fairly quiet in this band. It's not a circus, is it. If we sold out a twenty thousand seater I think we'd have difficulty in getting it over because we're not a showy band."
Chris Copping is a quiet guy. He sits back and takes in what's around him. In Procol he's [should be "it's"?] the guitar that takes the lead and fills with pensive melody lines, while the organ is there to fill out the sound.
"I think the organ in this band is for getting a good full sound and not an instrument that needs to be played with a lot of flash. I don't think there's any room for me to be flash and it isn't a circus. But then I don't think it's an office job either because there needs to be a lot of co-ordination between organ and piano."
Procol's distinctive sound comes from the way the two keyboards are used, but originally Chris joined the group at the end of '69 to double on organ and bass. At the time Robin Trower was still in the band and needed room for his distinctive blues style. It suited Chris's temperament to be playing both instruments. There were problems for him, not with either the organ or the bass, but when he had to play keyboard bass.
"Playing keyboard bass was alright with slow numbers but it was impossible with numbers like Kaleidoscope. Now it would probably be alright playing bass on a synthesiser keyboard, but there's really no substitute for a bass guitar."
After Robin left Procol there was a general consensus of opinion in the group that they should go back to a five piece. Chris decided that he should just concentrate on playing bass, especially as on the Broken Barricades album there was very little organ. That didn't work out.
First they auditioned organists, gave up and decided to ask Matthew Fisher to rejoin the group, which in the end didn't work out.
In the meantime they'd been auditioning guitarists and Dave Ball joined.
"Dave was the only guitarist who could play, the play [sic], the ones who had balls couldn't cope with more than five chords in a song."
Matthew left, Chris went back to organ and Alan Cartwrigh [sic] joined on bass.
"I was with the Paramounts, me, Robin, Gary and a local drummer. I left to go to university to study chemistry, the drummer was elbowed and Barry [sic] joined. The only time I ever played with Barry, Robin and Gary was when the bass player was ill one night.
"At university I didn't have any real contact with music - I played double bass for a while and kept in contact with Robin. After I left university I got a job and started a part-time PhD course; after one tour Matthew and Dave Knights left and Robin phoned me to ask me to join."
More from the Melody Maker's two-page Procol Harum spread from March 1973