Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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Brooker on Reid

'He could have been dumb for all I knew'


In April 2003 Gary was interviewed by Dan Campbell for the Washington Times during which he said ...

I donít know [Keith] from Adam. Heís a very deep person and a very private person. Although we work together, and we sometimes communicate in a very intimate way. Sometimes baring our souls. But at the end of the day, I donít know who he is.


Some time during the last few months of 1979, a Dutch national radio station, TROS, broadcast a series entitled The Procol Harum Story, produced by Tom Mulder. In the second part of this series, Gary Brooker related the following impression of Keith Reid:

'I'd known him for a year, and if I thought back, I couldn't ever remember him speaking. He could have been dumb, for all I knew. Very very quiet, and very very shy. Totally unapproachable. I was the only one that could communicate with him, and we never actually spoke to each other. Just sat down and worked a few things out.

I would go out for a whole night with him, and my girlfriend, and a guy, and this guy's girlfriend, and Keith would just not speak, for ten hours, never say one word. He's changed ... he came out of his shell a little bit.

He basically is a thinker. And he believes in the truth, he has always believed in the truth, and can't understand, can't come to terms with anything that is not like that. It has always been difficult for Keith to understand what has developed into the music business.

I remember when we first started Procol, and we were rehearsing, we managed to get some interest from a newspaper, in the fact that we were getting a band together. And the newspaper was meant to come down at two o'clock to have a chat, but didn't turn up. And Keith was absolutely dumbfounded, he was poleaxed, he couldn't believe it. Someone had arranged to come, and they didn't.

I said 'It's nothing', you know ... I'd been doing it for a couple of years. 'He just didn't come, he changed his mind, or didn't get the bus or something.' Keith couldn't come to terms with it at all.

He's always been like that, he's taking people at their word, and deals, with (?) himself, in the truth, in the ways he does things and the ways he writes words.'

Thanks to Wilfried van Damme for transcribing and submitting this


Gary Brooker on other fellow-Procolers


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