Procol Harum

the Pale

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'Fits of horrified laughter ...'

Dave Ball, Cozy Powell and that review

In January 1999 Procol Harum's 1971 guitarist Dave Ball dropped a note to 'Beyond the Pale' as follows:

I was just browsing through the site when I came upon that review from Steve Peacock [excerpt below]. I remember cracking up when I read it. Cozy and I shared a flat in Hampstead at the time, so I must confess we both decided he should reply (he had really liked the concert, by the way). So the letter [excerpt below] was one of our two possibilities the other one would have gotten us arrested!

Steve Peacock in Sounds on Procol's Queen Elizabeth Hall concert in September 1971

Cozy Powell writes to Sounds
in response ...

... both BJ Wilson (drums) and Dave Ball (guitar) managed moments of crass insensibility [sic!] ...

For instance, Ball's guitar work on Shine On Brightly had me in fits of horrified laughter as he obliterated everything else with a one-note crescendo, and at times Wilson thrashed about like an octopus in a hot bath ...

... The fresh and dynamic approach by new guitarist Dave Ball added sparkle to the performance ...

Finally I must own up about some very fine and certainly entertaining drumming by BJ Wilson. A few so called 'heavy drummers' ought to go along and see him and perhaps they might learn a few points on technique.'

What I found particularly amusing, considering that Peacock purported to be a bit of a fan of the 'old' Procol, was that he had mistaken the bleeping guitar line in Shine on Brightly for a guitar solo. This 'solo' was simply part of the construction of the song. There was an actual guitar solo later in the piece, where I distinctly remember playing six or seven notes and changing their order about a bit.

I had some fun later when I left PH for Long John Baldry. Sounds wanted to interview me. I insisted that I would only be interviewed by the redoubtable Mr Peacock. He was somewhat uncomfortable as I recall. (I think I could be a little scary in those days).

Ah what fun we had! What a shame that Cozy has buggered off and can't join in this reminisce.

All the best,

Read the Octopus / Bathtub review in full,
and the Powell / Ball response

Picture of Powell and Ball

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