Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale 

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Geoffrey Charles Whitehorn

29 August 1951, London


 
Left, Photoshopped image of a bearded Whitehorn! 'By some comedian at JHS. It's supposed to be a promo picture for a new Fret-King guitar, adopted by me and John Etheridge' (thanks, Geoff).

Main instrument: Guitar, sequencers ... click here for a Whitehorn gear film (initially at St Wendel, near Saarbrucken, and latterly at GW's pub gig in Crayford). 

Procol albums: The Long Goodbye, One More Time, The Well's on Fire, One Eye to the Future, Live in Ledreborg (CD, DVD, download), Spirit of Nøkken

Solo albums

Live and on record with The Palers' Project

Hear Geoff on the Marshall showcase CD, and with Siggi Schwartz (here also)

Audio-visual Whitehorn in action:
Siggi Schwarz Band (Woodstock) | Siggi Schwarz Band (Purple Haze)
Crawler (Stone Cold Sober) | Paul Rogers (Fire and Water)

'Beyond the Pale' interview
Shine On interview
Total Guitar interview, January 2000
Dmitri Epstein's GW interview, October 2004
Geoff's solo A Whiter Shade of Pale in Guitar Techniques.
Geoff onstage in the West End musical, 125th Street
Guitars and equipment used by Geoff
Whitehorn update, including equipment and winter 2004 gigs

Whitehorn update, including signature guitar news, 2008
Whitehorn update, including signature guitar news, 2012
Geoff's 'Thursday Band', and again here
Pictures and text from Gitaar Plus, January 2008
Geoff at the Frankfurt Music Fair March 2010 and at Lake Constance in 2011
Geoff in concert at Novara, Italy, July 2013
Geoff Whitehorn, Player of the Month in Beat Instrumental 1977

 

 

From Seventeen Watts? by Mo Foster
'As an eight-year old, Geoff Whitehorn took violin lessons and despite hating them he now appreciates how they helped him to read music. In Geoff's mind, the marriage between rock 'n' roll and his formal musical education formed an interesting concept. He says: 'I vividly remember putting a tremolo arm made from a strip of Meccano on the violin after seeing The Shadows on TV, but that didn't go down particularly well with the violin teacher. My very first guitar I actually made from Meccano and fishing line - A Dalekcaster possibly.'

In this same book, says Frans Steensma, there's a picture of Geoff playing in his first group as a 14 year old: The Sunbeats (more from Frans here)


Musical CV (thanks, Geoff!)

Took up guitar at age 11

August 1973 - December 1974: toured and recorded with British jazz-rock band, If

1974 - early solo album, Geoff Whitehorn

1975 toured and recorded with ex-Stone the Crows singer Maggie Bell, notably opening for Bad Company on their first headlining US tour

1976 joined UK / US band Back Street Crawler, replacing ex-free guitarist Paul Kossoff after his untimely death. Band's name changed to Crawler. Band also featured John 'Rabbit' Bundrick on keyboards; it folded in 1979 (pictures here, article here, listen to Bottom Line 1977 show here)

1979 joined Roger Chapman (ex-Family / Streetwalkers vocalist) in The Shortlist, touring Europe extensively and recording ten albums (co-producing three with Chapman). Left in 1988. During this period also toured and recorded with Elkie Brooks from 1979, becoming her musical Director from 1981 until 1983. Geoff toured with Elkie again, working around the Procol commitments, from 2004 until December 2007 when he quit her band to pursue other musical interests: photographs here and here [Geoff Whitehorn plays on Elkie's 2005 Electric Lady CD (Swing Café SWING003): buy online from Amazon USA or Amazon UK]

Released first [sic] solo album, Geoff Who?, in 1990; second album, Big in Gravesend, released October 1994.

Joined Bad Company for their Hold Water US tour in June 1990 until the return of Mick Ralphs in April 1991.

Joined the reformed Procol Harum in December 1991: still a serving member!

Joined Roger Daltrey band in April 1994.

Played with The Who at the Hyde Park Quadrophenia Concert in June 1996, and also at the Madison Square Garden run (6 nights in July 1996) of the same show.

Playing (since January 1993) with Paul Rodgers (ex-Free, Bad Company) - promoting the Now album on which also played (2011)

Has worked as main demonstrator worldwide for Marshall Amplification since 1986 at NAMM, Frankfurt music shows etc.

Session credits apart from the above include Roger Waters, Manfred Mann, Paul McCartney, Eric Burdon, Lulu, Kevin Ayers, Paul Young, Billy Ocean, John Parr, Jimmy Nail, Chas'n'Dave, Vanessa Mae, Dame Edna Everage, British Rock Symphony, etc ....

Nice clip of Geoff playing the blues with the NHS band (7 October 1992: personnel credits at the end of the song)

(right: portrait of Geoff by Mark Brzezicki, kindly sent to BtP by Matt Pegg) 


The above mentions If as Geoff's first band. However, before If he had played in a Kent band known then as Chapel Farm, which later became Fantasy and recorded an album called Paint a Picture in 1973. By that time Geoff had left the band, but he appears on some demo tracks released as bonus tracks of Fantasy's second album Beyond The Beyond (originally shelved by the record company and released for the first time in the early 90's). These include a song called Fire-Fire, written entirely by Geoff, and another track called Afterthought with Geoff as co-writer.

Mikko Alapuro

Two Procol guitarists for the price of one

Where can you see a band play twice weekly, once with Geoff Whitehorn, and once with Prodigal Stranger Jerry Stevenson?

At The Bear and Ragged Staff, in Crayford: e-mail for details here, including orders for their new album (pictured) which costs 10 pounds (recorded in November 2003 and produced by Geoff).

Or telephone 01322 664551! 


Sessions list: all non-PH and non-Paramounts records (up to 1986) to which Procol Harum members contributed

Geoff Whitehorn's page at The Musicians' Olympus

 


More Procol personnel

 


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