Procol Harum

the Pale 

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Some great Home-era Procol stage pictures

Unsteady Freddie

We don't knew where these photos were taken. Anyone out there remember seeing this floral-shirted Robin Trower with a scarlet Strat, in a hall with such a strut-supported ceiling?

An unusual backstage angle on Gary Brooker, sitting at a proper grand piano as was the norm in those distant days! Not easy to see the make from these shots, but it has a third pedal.

Note also the large, unprotected stage monitor to the right of the picture, and power amps to the left.

This fascinating shot shows Chris Copping in action at a B3 superfluously equipped with full radial pedal-board: one guesses this is not an instrument the band toured with.

Most intriguingly we can see his left hand is playing a bassline on the 'fart-machine', since this was the era of the four-man line-up. (The Doors and the Terry Reid band also used such a bass-guitar substitute on stage)

The keyboard in question was a Fender Rhodes 'piano bass': lots more, detailed pictures of it here

Nowhere in this set of pictures do we see any sign of Leslie cabinets to go with the Hammond. There does, on the other hand, seem to be a DI box on the floor just this side of the organ (near one of the pints of milk!). Maybe on this occasion the Hammond was plugged straight into the PA? Maybe the Leslie was dispensed with, since the organist's left hand, which would have operated its switch, was preoccupied with playing the bass line anyway.

Can you recognise anyone in the steeply-raked audience?

A bearded Barrie Wilson behind the famous kit with the geometrically-decorated kick-drum. Tom-toms are few in this set up: but the crucial cowbell is clearly visible near BJ's right elbow.

Plenty of spare sticks are in evidence, stowed for those slippery-fingered eventualities when the present pair goes flying.

Gary singing, pictured from the audience side this time. The stripy jacket may serve to remind someone who was at this show? The limp US flag on the back wall is a less distinctive feature.

It looks as though this is the beginning of a song, with BJ active and Robin waiting, right hand on the volume control.

A spare guitar waits at the foot of his 4 x 4 Hiwatt stack.

The other instrument is the bass guitar that Chris uses on the bashier numbers.

Note the position of BJ's left foot in this fantastic action-shot far above the high-hat pedal as he prepared to come crashing down for some no-doubt-characteristically-unexpected accent.

Two guitarists at work. Either Trower has lost his D string, or he's in the middle of a ferocious bend.

Copping meanwhile appears to be looking across to the drum throne, perhaps to ensure that he is co-ordinated with the kick-pedal.

Here Chris is pictured with all three instruments: the Hammond in the background, with the Fender keyboard perched on top; and a handsome-looking fretted Ampeg bass (as used by Rick Danko of The Band) with unusual, 'cello-style cutaway F-holes.

Under the B3 quite a gang of people may be seen, watching the gig from side-stage.

Robin Trower caught in a characteristic pose.

Curly instrument leads ('cords') were in fashion at this epoch, evidently. The one from the Fender spans to the amp-head in a catenary curve that, though elegant, would probably not be tolerated by a stage manager today.

(thanks, Unsteady Freddie)


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