Procol Harum

the Pale 

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home

Procol Harum on tour

Dave Ball's mum's list of Procol dates from 1971, part 1

We have no authoritative master-source for Procol Harum concerts, and we have relied on fellow-fans to search their diaries, photo-albums, ticket collections, poster-stashes, even their memories to supply us with dates. Dave Ball writes to BtP, however (January 2010),  saying 'Since my Dad passed away last September, we have been sorting through the piles of papers, photographs, and general stuff that they (Mum & Dad) had accumulated over the years. In amongst Mum's bits and pieces I found [ ... ] itineraries from Procol days. She tried to keep track of all her sons and so used to keep notes.'

Here is the first page of those notes, followed by a transcript with comments. Please read carefully and write in to let us know which of these shows you remember, and to advise us how to resolve the occasional mysteries and inconsistencies. We will publish other pages from this series in days to come.



Phoenix Arizona

Nancy Zohner wrote (but read on below):
'I was glad to see Dave Ball’s mum’s list of concert dates, as I have been trying for some time to fix in my mind just when I saw Procol in Phoenix in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s. I have some doubts about this date, as I will explain. Unfortunately all my memorabilia from that period have been lost, so I will try to reconstruct as much as I can, with apologies for my hazy memory.

'I distinctly recall the venue: a small outdoor stage at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, with no, or only minimal, audience seating. This combination of location and date would be very odd, for several reasons: First, the State Fair takes place in late October-early November, and the grounds are rarely used at other times, which is why I recalled the concert as being in the fall. Second, if the date was indeed July 30, 1971, that would have been the worst possible heat/humidity conditions in Phoenix. At least our famous “monsoon” thunderstorms didn’t make an appearance, and it was evening, so people weren’t dropping right and left from heat exhaustion! I remember wondering why the concert hadn’t been booked into the 14,000-seat Veterans Memorial Coliseum, then only a few years old, which is just a few hundred feet away on the same grounds. The Coliseum would have provided far superior sound, not to mention comfortable, indoor seating—and air conditioning!

'As to the music: I know that we all enjoyed the performance, despite the unfortunate setting and less-than-ideal sound system. I distinctly recall a beautiful rendition of Homburg, which thrilled and delighted me since it was then unavailable on vinyl save as a 45rpm. Other than that, and AWSoP as an encore, there were several numbers from A Salty Dog, which was one of our great favorites at the time. (I can’t swear to who was playing organ, since I now know Matthew was no longer with the group, but someone definitely did!) I recall Still There’ll Be More and Whisky Train, but I’m not sure about anything else from Home.

'Judging from the date, it would seem this tour preceded the US release of Broken Barricades, which I recall as fall 1971 (when a dear friend rushed out to buy it for me as a birthday gift). I do not recall any selections from BB, but then we hadn’t yet heard the album. They MAY have performed Power Failure or Simple Sister.

'I was, and am, ashamed that my hometown (and/or some misbegotten promoter) offered such a terrible venue for such a great band, but hopefully the 1976 Celebrity Theatre in-the-round date helped make amends—it was superb. Shine on!'

Dave Ball reponds:

The gig in Phoenix Arizona was in fact my very first gig with the band. It was a theatre in the round, with a revolving stage. We performed two shows that night, and between shows (whilst we were across the car park in our accommodation) a sand storm blew up and Derek collected us under a blanket. The next day we travelled to San Diego where we had the day off. We went to the venue for the next night and watched Taj Mahal. (I got 'pulled' by Susy Sunshine – but that's another story!).

Nancy's recollections of a Procol gig (below) will be from a tour previous to me, probably the one prior to my joining. It certainly was not mine. Firstly, we were indoors, and I never played Whisky Train with the band. Nice of her to have written however.

Nancy Zohner responded with three e-mails, as follows:

The revolving stage is at the Celebrity Theatre, & the 1971 date was definitely not there. The Celebrity concert was in 1976 or 1977 – I'm sure about that because I was dating the house sound tech.  :+)

I wish I could find some documentation! I did attend both concerts, and while my memory of the Celebrity revolving-stage show is more distinct (I remember Keith peering out from the top of the stairs behind the house-mix board), I just don't have good recall of what was played at either. Whisky Train may not have been performed at the State Fairgrounds show – I just remember several ‘rockers’ and was guessing that might have been one of them.  I'm sure the Celebrity has some record at least of dates, but I haven't been able to find anything online, and no longer know anyone on staff there. Sorry!

I spoke with my ex this weekend about the Procol concert we attended at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. His memory of events past is frequently more specific than mine. He too recalls the setting and the minimal seating (bleachers – ugh!). Based on where we were living at the time and who went with us, we have reconstructed that the show must have been in late October-early November of 1969, or 1970 at the latest. He doesn't remember any of the setlist apart from
AWSoP, but then I was the big PH fan. At any rate, this was definitely the period of A Salty Dog.

So I yield to Dave Ball's memory of Procol#s playing at the Celebrity Theatre in July 1971. It definitely makes more sense that a July date would have been indoors. It's very strange that I not only didn't attend that one, but didn't even know it happened. :+) 

Any other Arizona fans out there who remember?


San Diego

 (not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)



(not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)



(not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)



 (not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)



(not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)



 (not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)


Santa Monica Civic

 Already attested on our existing page


LA Houston

 (not noted elsewhere at BtP: on our existing page we have Santa Monica again)


LA Houston

 (not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)


Canton Ohio New York (Central Park)

 Strangely conflicting data. Maybe ‘Ohio’ relates to the following date, which specifies no location . Our existing page has ‘Schaefer Music Festival, Wollman Rink, Central Park,’ for this date

'We can certainly confirm the Central Park, NY date. ...Procol played Central Park, New York City in the highly popular Schaefer Music concerts at least twice:
* 30 July 1969: Buddy Rich, Procol Harum (two shows)
* 16 August 1971: Procol Harum, Mylon LeFevre (probably two shows?)
These dates are cited in several sources including here' (thanks, Evan)






(not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)



 (not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)


New York Staten Island

 (not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)


Lake Milton Ohio

 Our existing page has Stakladen, Arhus, Denmark … which can’t possibly be correct!



 (not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)



 (not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)



(not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)


El Paso

 (not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)



(not noted elsewhere at BtP : any info out there?)


Wild Wood PA

The 'Wild Wood PA' date is actually Wildwood, NJ, at the Convention Center.  Vivid recollection as it was my first PH concert.  Turned my head around, especially Repent.  Dave did not seem up to speed, a bit new maybe?  (Billy from Philly)


St Louis

 Already attested on our existing page



 Already attested on our existing page

Thanks, Dave!



Index of tour dates at BtP 

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home