Pat Keating tells his tale ...
"Geoff Whitehorn told me at the Dallas '93 show that Niagara is actually 30-plus minutes in length! He said that they ended up cutting it down to the 8 – 10 minutes that they performed live. When I listen to it, it certainly does sound like a lot of verses may very well have been cut out, if you assume that the song is supposed to tell a coherent story.
"In fact, Geoff said that when they were rehearsing it before the tour, they ran out of tape, or had to switch tapes, or whatever. That's why I've assumed that they must have recorded it during rehearsals. Geoff also said that there were something like 35 – 40 Procol Harum song references in it.
"I don't remember right now, but I think I could only come up with something like 10 – 15 from the performed version. Again, this certainly supports Geoff's statement that the song is actually much longer.
"Actually, it would have made a great number at Redhill – even the "shorter" 8 – 10 minute version. The fans I've discussed it with either love it or hate it. I personally love it a lot – I think it was an ingenious way for Gary and Keith to weave a story about the Procol Harum history. I think it would be a shame if the band never enlighten us with the alleged full version of Niagara."
Regarding Pat's final paragraph: attentive Redhill veterans may have heard a recording of Niagara being played faintly over the sound-system in the Harlequin lobby ... whether this idea originated with the band, or among mischievous theatre-staff, 'Beyond the Pale' cannot say ...
|Words of Last Train to Niagara, with some PH references annotated||Geoff Whitehorn's own account of the composition of this song|