The author sits down with pen and wine to begin the signing, after his excellent Procol film presentation to
a couple of hundred fans at NFT 1, on the big screen with suitably massive sound
Glamorous ladies understandably flock to the scene: Nynke Van De Velde and Pia Meijer (from Amsterdam) as well as Boris Lajovic
The rival attraction at the National Film Theatre was
Shining – but these people are more sensibly queuing for The Signing.
Glimpses here of
Frans Steensma, Nynke and Boris again, and Charlie Allison and Mike Masterton, and Toby Woby in the background clutching something green
Eager customers get their books endorsed by the author himself: Allison Dore, Frans Steensma, Ninke Van De Velde
There were also people in the queue who had bought books from BtP and wanted them signed live in person
Now we're at the party in the BFI greenroom, where Mssrs Brooker and Whitehorn,
from Procol Harum, are also signing books!
'Because I'm mentioned', Gary wrote in one copy. Henry told us he's been interviewing Gary 'since I was a boy'.
These two high-spirited maestri had lurked in the back row of Henry's
NFT 1 Procol film-screening,
not unlike naughty schoolboys who believe their larking about will go undetected
Elsewhere at the party, to two authors of the 15,000-word book that accompanies the Procol 4-disc box set: Roland from BtP (left) and rock journalist Patrick Humphries (right).
How these two men collaborated on that opus without hitherto meeting in the flesh is one of the minor mysteries of the internet age (photo, Gary Haggarty)
Other Procol fans in attendance included the author Peter
Christian (pictured, left, with Gary Brooker), whose
The Genealogist's Internet
(now in its fifth edition) is the definitive guide to this fascinating subject. His badge says 'Steal the Alphabet'
Another author at the party was Procol historian Frans Steensma,
the Oor Encyclopaedia, whose scholarship was invaluable to Henry –
as were the 6,000+ pages of 'Beyond the Pale' – as supplements to his own trove of lore, painstaking research, and original interviews.
That's Frans on the left (all the way from Amsterdam) and Linda from BtP (all the way from Bristol) on the right.
If you want a highly unusual Procol tee-shirt like Frans's ... try here
Also at the party another author and broadcaster, infinitely more prolific than any of the
above: the celebrated Frank Key, of whom The Guardian (see
said that he 'can probably lay claim to having written more nonsense than any other man living'. Visit Frank's marvellous Hooting Yard blog
(updated even more frequently than 'Beyond the Pale') and buy his books as Christmas presents for your very sanest friends
Henry's own blog about the book is also
worth a visit: click here