Procol Harum

the Pale

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Fisher and Brooker: Partners in Crime

Bert Saraco / Express Image Photography

Bert Saraco writes to BtP:

Here are some images of Procol Harum from the 90s. Most of these were taken at Town Hall in New York during the Prodigal Stranger tour. The rest are from the Westbury show in '95.

What a thrill it was, after so many years of inactivity, to see and hear this music performed live! Sure, there was an element of sorrow for the irreplaceable loss of BJ ... but how encouraging to see and hear a healthy, better-than-ever sounding Gary Brooker!

No, Gary and Matt were back - aided and abetted by a new line-up, but doing the job and doing it very well, thank you! I'm inclined to think, that if BJ were on drums and Mick (sorry! just my opinion!) were on guitar, that the band would sound better than they ever did before! Certainly, Matt was in fine form (even if he still looks very reluctant to be on-stage) and Gary has gained a poise, maturity, and command that really seemed to anchor the good ship Procol.

Why yes ...

One of the nicest images at 'Beyond the Pale', surely?

... I am a rocket scientist.

And one had to wonder; did Matthew have a Dorian Gray-like clone secreted away somewhere ageing while he got younger? The Town Hall show proved that this was not just another 'revival' show, where they drag the near-corpses of some drug-ravaged, semi-coherent pair of ageing rockers on to a stage to half-sing / half lip-synch to their 'greatest hits' ... while a legion of faceless 'back-up' players, half-obscured by elaborate stage-sets, does the real work (allowing the 'legends' to grimace and shake their hair extensions, of course!)

The button Matthew is wearing simply says, 'Why, yes. I am a rocket scientist.' Anyway, enough ramblings and run-on sentences. Here are the photographs. Enjoy them. And let's hope that there'll be another tour soon! - Bert, USA

Thanks, Bert!

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