Procol Harum

the Pale

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Sam Cameron's Procolpaedia


Associates of Bob Dylan and a band of immense credibility amongst well known musicians.

A dividing line for Procol fans. Some like both groups and claim to see musical communality whilst others veer to apoplexy at the mention of the name. Paul Williams liner notes to Shine on Brightly are at the root of the trouble which has worsened over the years due to less than kind remarks by Robbie Robertson. [See here]

Liverpool quartet almost solely responsible for freeing bands from being in thrall to undiscovered R&B songs or hack songwriters.

The album Rubber Soul was praised by Keith Reid specifically in the terms "you didn't realize at the time quite how good it was". AWSoP was Paul and Linda's favourite record. John Lennon is said to have played it repeatedly and in Revolution in the Head it is claimed that I Am The Walrus was influenced by it. Gary may have sung backing on All You Need Is Love. He certainly played on a George Harrison record and toured with Ringo. He also played with Paul McCartney's Rock Arkestra.

Procol recorded a Beatles cover, Eight Days A Week, their sometime concert encore. Gary later said to Henry Scott-Irvine that he might have had to become a monk if that was a hit. Apart from Eight Days A Week, PH also performed Why Don't We Do It In the Road on stage, and Get Back once appeared in the middle of The Unquiet Zone.

Asked in 2000 about his favourite records, Paul McCartney still gave AWSoP as his sixties favourite


UK trad jazz clarinettist born Bernard Stanley Bilk in 1929. He played semi-professionally in Bristol, later forming his Paramount Jazz band uniformly uniformed in bowler hats and striped waistcoats.

Like Procol Harum he is overwhelmingly associated with one monster hit [Stranger on the Shore, 1962]. His version of A Whiter Shade of Pale is on a 1997 cd release.

Singer-songwriter, capitaliser on androgyny, generator of stylophone sales, internet fan and now issuer of shares in his own work.

Apparently said in an interview that he was influenced by Procol Harum not so much directly but by the diversity of styles on their albums. Interview not reproduced at BtP, yet [someone send it!]. Talking to Henry Scott-Irvine, Gary Brooker seemed to be pleased by this.

The disparity of David's pupil-size was caused by a blow from George Underwood, possibly a teenage accomplice of Keith Reid, and certainly the painter of the UK album cover for Shine on Brightly.

Matthew Fisher played piano for him (unseen) on 19 and 20 August, 1972 at London's Rainbow Theatre; see here

The most diverse bunch of eccentrics ever to be crammed into one music-comedy unit. Known mainly for their one hit I'm the Urban Spaceman produced by Paul McCartney as 'Apollo C Vermouth' their work was mainly surrealist parodies from Viv Stanshall and poignant ballads from Neil Innes.

They share the distinction of having a song with Mabel in the title [Hello Mabel]. Southend native Stanshall toured with Procol Harum in the 70s and they accompanied him in this spot. According to Gary Brooker, Stanshall and Reid wrote The Browns together.

Stanshall also penned words for Steve Winwood, a position that Keith Reid may have been up for [see Traffic]

BJ Wilson played on a final Bonzo-album which was never released thanks to deceitful managerial manipulators trying to pass off this very different sounding work as being by the original Bonzos. The full story is recounted in a (well-worth reading in full) interview with Vivian Stanshall. Musicians involved included Zoot Money, Gaspar Lawall and Steve Winwood among others.


US singer-songwriter in a country vein, some of whose recordings were aired at the Palers' Convention in September 2000

UK singer-songwriter and child prodigy. Caster of the template of the kooky but still unit-shifting female artist.

Played charity spot with GB in 1982. Quotes from words of AWSoP on her album The Red Shoes on track featuring GB on Hammond organ [as do two other tracks] although he does NOT, as some journalists suggest, play a musical quote from the song.

The song Gary played on at the Princes Trust Benefit was The Wedding List.

US band of lasting influence, and regular internecine squabbles, famed for jingle-jangle guitars and elaborate vocal harmonies

The later Byrds [Clarence White line-up] shared bill with Procol Harum, in 1969, and seem to have been given a better write-up. One of the (surely) few other rock bands to have a UK Top 20 hit with a horse mentioned in it [well there's Echo and the Bunnymen].

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