Procol Harum

the Pale

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Lennon remembers ...

... that dope song, AWSoP

Ray Coleman, author of Lennon: The Definitive Biography, tells about an episode at a party at Brian Epstein's, just prior to the release of the Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper:

We spoke a little about the state of the music scene, and he (Lennon) said there was one 'dope' record which he couldn't get off his mind. He couldn't remember the title. All other pop music of that period was 'crap', one of his favourite words at that time.

Next day John phoned me. 'I remembered after I'd gone what record it is that I can't stop playing,' he said. 'It's that dope song, Procol Harum's Whiter Shade Of Pale. It's the best song I've heard for a while. You play it when you take some acid and ... whoooooooo.'

Marvin Chassman adds,

I came across the following on the web (while I should have been working). It's an excerpt from the liner notes for the upcoming John Lennon anthology.

The John Lennon Anthology offers a rare view into the day-to-day processes of how [Lennon’s] solo career took shape. It is a portrait of the artist in the thick of his work - exploring ideas for songs on home demos, running the show in the studio, performing on-stage, enjoying himself ...

  • ... Imagine, the title song of the 1971 album that followed up Plastic Ono Band, appears on Anthology in an alternative version that features a semi-classical organ part reminiscent of Procol Harum’s 1967 single Whiter Shade of Pale, which Lennon liked a great deal ...

  • Geoff Welch kindly sends this commentary and transcription from the documentary,George Harrison: Living in the Material World directed by Martin Scorsese

    ' ... and now (November 2011) being shown on HBO cable, there is an short interview with Joan Taylor, wife of Derek Taylor, the first ‘Press Officer’ for the Beatles. In 1967, when the Taylors were living in California, Joan received a ’phone call from the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, inviting them to his house-warming party in Sussex, England.  Derek and Joan took a ’plane to London's Heathrow Airport.

     'Waiting for us was John and George and they were dressed in this exotic way; they had silk shirts that were this incredible color and they hugged us and they kissed us and all of a sudden there were no barriers – and what’s happening? We were swept outside of Heathrow Airport where John’s Rolls Royce like a Romany caravan was waiting for us – George in his Mini and us in the Rolls Royce with Procol Harum playing Whiter Shade of Pale, driving along the English roads from Surrey to Sussex.'

    Gary Brooker attended the première screening of the film in London and informed us of the above Procol mention.

    The Scorsese film is available by clicking an Amazon link: (DVD or BluRay) or (DVD or BluRay).

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    PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home