Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum in Popnytt, 5 May 1968

Sent to BtP by Tancred Edwin

It would be prudent, when reading this article (and its translation into English by the BtP team), not to take too much of it at face value. Imagine the list of strange-flavoured questions fired at the band by these reporters! The authors, or the editor, clearly have an agenda and 'Procul' Harum seem to have been shoehorned into expressing some 'right-thinking' opinions for the education of the magazine's young readership. If the publication has taken as much care over the accuracy of content as they have over the proof-reading (Robin 'Tramm' springs to mind) then you'll need to read this piece with more than a pinch of salt. 

Pop News

Procul [sic] Harum: the name sounds purple, yellow and green, but the boys are dark blue, black and beige. They have disorderly hair, and they don't care about latest fashion in the men's clothing shops in the Kings Road. They became famous with a record named A Whiter Shade of Pale. The song redoled of church organ music and beautiful yet meaningless words. But then the group's singer and leader is a very serious young man.

'I have a religion that I follow,' he says. 'I believe in God. It has become fashionable to say that God does not exist, but you can only judge about this from your own feelings. If you have felt God's proximity, yes, then you know He exists. I think the Bible teaches us good things. Of course I'll accidentally break the Ten Commandments, but who doesn't stumble along the road? Nevertheless these Ten Commandments are a very good clue for your life.' Gary's ambition is to own a farm.

'I love animals and the country air. To me the soil is a wonder. The soil is full of life. I shall cultivate vegetables, potatoes and possibly look into rearing sheep. To me country life is the most right and valuable way of life.'

Gary is not convinced about the right to free love, unlike his fellows in the band.

'I know most people make love outside marriage. But I think love should be controlled, just like you restrict your food- or alcohol-consumption. By the way, I'm going with a girl named Franky Brown, and we are generally in agreement about all aspects of how a love life should be lived. I am strongly against the use of narcotics, and I have little understanding or say compassion for people who experiment with such dangerous drugs. The are bad things, nothing good to be said about them.'

The others in the group did not agree fully with Gary's views. And as David Knights expressed it, 'With Gary everything is so very simple. This is good and this is bad, he says; he's a stranger to compromise.'

'Why should I compromise my principles? I know what I think, hate fashion and don't expect to find sincerity among other people. These are things I am sure of.' He took a pause and laughed lightly. 'The thing about getting married must, of course, be seen in connection with the fact that I'll need someone at the farm I dream about, somebody who can fetch in the eggs.'



David Knights has no particular religion.

'My goal in life is to be as happy as possible. It may sound boring and indifferent but that is how I feel right now. I see nothing good in entering a monastery or torturing yourself in some way to please the Almighty. Also I believe I am just as important as anybody else, so I try to take care of myself as well as possible. But I am afraid of hurting others. Also, I don't think there is any point in punishing criminals. If I should happen to kill somebody, yes, then this will be enough punishment. The people punishing me are just as cruel as I have been, and so the world will have achieved nothing.

Robin Trower has strangest appearance in the group. If you ask him what he believes in, his answer will be that his ambition is to be himself as much as possible.

'Do you think that criminals should be punished?'
'The Lord talked about 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth', but I do not agree.'
'Should people get married?'
'Only if they wish so. I am against marriages that are arranged only because someone wishes to save face, to seem respectable. But to marry because you love the girl, I think that is healthy and stimulating.'



Here we change topic.

'We are one of the best pop groups in the world,' he said loudly, and all modesty flew out of the window.
 He loves girls.

'Since I am in a world famous group' the birds are flocking around me. I don't care about following fashion, the birds come flying anyway.'

Matthew Fisher is a philosophical character, whose ambition is to be in constant development, to become a more and more mature musician. He wishes to be fond of as many people as possible, and seeks the truth within things.

'I don't like people who are insincere: they scare me. Then I don't know where I stand in relation to them. You meet a crowd of such insincere people within the pop industry. Girls often come to me and say 'We like you Matthew', and I feel warm in my heart. But then they add, 'I would  like to get into the TV studio the next time you have a recording session', and you know they are after you to get something. These things make me feel bad.'

He is not steady with anybody.

'I was with a girl for a while, but since I joined the group there has not been much time to be a devoted suitor. But if you wish to build your career, it is necessary to make sacrifices.'

Barry [sic] Wilson believes in himself, But he is against free sexual relations. He is against dictators, and think drugs do mostly harm.

'Nobody has the right to tell you what you shall take or not. Everybody must take care of their own life as best as possible. Home in my flat there's chaos most of the time. I have no time to wash or cook. The kitchen is full of  dirty dishes and cups. I highly need somebody who comes by and helps in the kitchen,' says Barry.



 More Procol Harum history in print


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