great regret 'Beyond the Pale' has to announce the unexpected death of Palle Bas Christensen, optometrist, musician and Procol Harum
fan from Køge, Denmark, during the
night of Wednesday 16 January 2008.
Palle Bas played an important
part in the fan-musicians' activities in Southend and London in July
2007. Travel arrangements meant that the Danish Palers couldn't rehearse
with the Palers' Band for our full four days in Southend; but when they did
arrive, en masse, midway through our preparations, Palle's
warm humour, individuality and good nature were immediately apparent.
Afterwards he wrote, with typical enthusiasm, 'What a journey it has
been, discovering much more into the music. Playing together with – or
just listening to – all you magnificent musicians, has been a great
time, joy, fun and experience, and will remain in my memory for the rest
of my life. If I could have one wish for the future – it would be really
nice to meet/play with all of you again on another journey.' Sadly this
is not to be; yet there is no doubt that we would have welcomed him to
play a much larger part in any future Paler excursions.
He mentioned that his diary dealt in part with 'a major project of some personal development, the amazing power that the Procol Harum music has been in my life for the past three months,' and promised that '... when thoughts, feelings and all other stuff have been researched and stored ... it will be an honour for me to contribute to the website.' His insight would have made a very interesting addition to these pages.
Palle Bas is survived by his girlfriend Nina, to whom we send our sincere condolences, as we do of course also to his family and to Søren, Poul, Benny and Claus, his former band-mates. A memorial service will be held on Thursday 24 January at 1 pm at the church in Herfølge south of Copenhagen. Søren, Poul, and Claus will perform A Whiter Shade of Pale at the after-church refreshments. For those who cannot be there in person ... play a suitable Procol Harum record at suitably high volume and give thanks for our departed friend.
At the funeral feast afterwards in Køge Claus,
Poul and I (unfortunately Benny was unable to be there) played our
expanded version of A Whiter Shade of Pale as we always do with
three verses (the one with the mermaid and Neptune) acoustically – Claus
on my Ovation, Poul on a few drum-things and me on a grand piano,
singing. So wherever Palle was, he must have been shining – and may he
shine on forever.