Procol Harum

the Pale

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From Pam Quinn's scrapbook

A 1965 telegram to the Paramounts on the Beatles tour


This greetings telegram, addressed to The Paramounts, Odeon Theatre, Glasgow, and dated 3 December 1965, was sent to the band by Arthur Howes and reads 'Hope you enjoy the tour good luck'.

The design, with troubadours in the top right-hand corner, might seem Paramount-specific, but in fact this was an off-the-shelf standard greetings design.

The ordinary, non-greetings, telegram of the era was a drab affair delivered in an ordinary brown envelope; receiving a greetings telegram of this kind was a lot more special.

The frayed envelope has been used for a variety of abstruse calculations (not about money, incidentally, since Britain used pounds, shillings and pence until 1971, and these are decimal sums).

As a working musician the sixteen-year-old Barrie inevitably seemed 'quite distant' to his little sister, but she remembers him always calling out 'Bye, kids!' as he left the house to play a gig.

But he seems to have been mindful of the family on his travels: Pam relates how he got her the Beatles' autographs on a tour programme and on a poster. He also acquired an unsigned poster, and this was exhibited on Pam's bedroom wall: it's now on her son's. But what became of the signed memorabilia? When her parents' house was cleared, no trace of them could be found. 'Barrie also got us two tickets to see the Beatles,' says Pam, 'But my parents wouldn’t take me … they feared we might get crushed!'

In later days, when Barrie travelled the world with Procol Harum, he would always come back with souvenirs for the family: a Chinese doll from Chinatown for Pam, a matchbox-holder for his parents, a magnificent Chopper bike for his brother Richard. (RC)

The third of December was a very important date, because this was the first time The Paramounts played on the same bill as The Beatles! Glasgow was the start of the sixth UK tour of the Beatles and it would prove to be their last. Other supporting acts on this tour were The Moody Blues, Koobas, Beryl Marsden and Steve Aldo.

Interesting detail: on their way to begin this new tour George Harrison's expensive Gretsch Countryman guitar fell out of the car and was run over and destroyed by a truck. The story doesn't tell if Robbie lent his Gretsch to George that night ...

Arthur Howes was a very well-known promoter at the time (thanks, Frans Steensma: more from Frans here)

BJ's page at BtP

More from Pam Quinn's scrapbook

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