Procol Harum

the Pale

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A Whiter Shade of Pale

A couple of miscredits

Since the High Court adjudged Matthew Fisher a co-writer of A Whiter Shade of Pale it could be argued that almost all the published credits for that piece, which for 37 years or so was ascribed 'Brooker / Reid', are now incorrect.

This webpage, however, is dedicated to the collection of grosser misattributions; if you have more, please send them in. There are other Procol sleeve-note errors here.

Pictured left is the playlist for a free DVD, presented with Classic Rock in association with Eagle Records, entitled 'Icons', in March 2008.

Pinball Wizard, Layla, Black Night, Parisienne Walkways, All Right Now, Albatross, Living in the Past, Nights in White Satin, Heat of the Moment, Long Live Rock'n'Roll, Rockin' All Over the World, Golden Brown, Pictures at an Exhibition and Long Distance Runaround are on the menu.

Quite rightly the DVD includes A Whiter Shade of Pale ... but quite wrongly, we feel sure, it credits the three writers (see above) as Brooker / Reid / Richards.

So who is the mysterious 'Richards'? Was it a mis-hearing for 'Fisher'? Who made the mistake, and who proof-read the copy? We have no idea.

By sheer coincidence, Mr Justice David Richards was the one High Court Judge who, in the LAWSuiT appeal verdict, was to stand up (unlike Lord Justice John Mummery and Sir Paul Kennedy) for Matthew Fisher's right to financial gain for his co-composing of the disputed track. But no inference, satirical or otherwise, can be drawn from this onomastic oddity, nor is any intended.

(thanks, Christoffer)




Pictured left  is the opening of an unusually-lavish 16-page programme for a provincial wedding in the UK, which was solemnised in May 2008.

We've been asked by our contributor not to provide any further detail (that's why the pastor's name in our scan is blurred out) in order to spare the blushes of the bride and groom, who have incorrectly attributed A Whiter Shade of Pale.


No such indignity attends Campra, Lennon & McCartney, or Richard Wagner. Procol Harum seem unusually prey to such inaccuracies.

Yet 'Reid & Booker', curiously, is a real songwriting  partnership. A couple of tracks on Keith Reid's solo album, The Common Thread, have music written by the UK's Steve Booker, riding high in the 2008 charts with Duffy ('the Welsh Dusty Springfield' etc etc).

As Keith quipped when he rang BtP about The Common Thread, there is 'only an R between us' between the classic Brooker/Reid and the latterday Booker/Reid. Somehow the remark is reminiscent of 'so much C between us' probably not intentionally so.

Doubtless there are many people who've used the famous Procol Harum piece for their weddings: remind yourself of this page for example.



(thanks, 'x')

More erroneous labellings

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