Procol Harum

the Pale

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What was new at 'Beyond the Pale'

October 1998

October 31: Hallowe'en!

Added a page detailing all the singles etc that Matthew Fisher engineered at his studio in the 80s for Carlo Little.

Les Démons de Jésus: anybody seen this film or know what the Procol Harum music is on the soundtrack? Further details at the foot of our film page.

Added a page with some links to Polish chart pages – where PH seem to thrive – so you can do a bit of Hallowe'en voting for Repent Walpurgis or The Dead Man's Dream (thanks, Mirek)

October 30: RIP Ted Hughes, Britain's Poet Laureate

Added a review of a strangely 'terrifying' cover of A Whiter Shade of Pale: mysterious verbal blunders and musical additions, yet it's recommended! (thanks, Pat)

Added some Brooker-related excerpts from a Copenhagen newspaper's interview with Bill Wyman (thanks, Niels-Erik)

Added two more versions of A Salty Dog to our Procol Harum cover-versions page (thanks, Werner Brunner)

October 29:

Added information about Gary Brooker playing on national UK television imminently.

Added two more BJ Wilson pictures, from Mick Grabham's collection: one shows BJ in action at the Hollywood Bowl in 1973, and the other – a splendid portrait – shows a moment of blissful camaraderie as Chris and Barrie, on banjo and mandolin respectively, encore with Souvenir of London (thanks again, Mick)

Added some more about AWSoP and The Commitments, and a micro-snippet relating to Bernie Taupin's estimation of the song (thanks, Joan)

Added a page with visitor information about the Gary Brooker and Friends Christmas concert. Tell us if you are coming!

October 28:

The Mammoth Task: Procol Harum news in its chart context, kindly extracted for BtP from the New Musical Express of 31 years ago today by Yan Friis: Homburg peaks in the chart back home as Procol Harum undertake their North American tour of clubs and television studios: and a Gary Brooker profile.

Added an article on Procol Harum's fine showing in the Netherlands' Radio Veronica chart (thanks, Sam)

October 27:

Added Roland Clare's brief interview with Mick Grabham about the 'Guitar Orchestra' CD and matters related.

Gary's musical birthday-present for Bill Wyman – a Norwegian newspaper reports from the Rhythm Kings' Oslo concert

Are you going to Gary's Christmas gig in Guildford on 18 December? Then read here.

October 26:

To conclude our week featuring pieces about Keith Reid, we add the substantial interview he did with Paul Carter in Shine On in 1997. Poets Betjeman and Auden are touched on, as are Keith's first significant record-listening, his early non-collaborators, and his favourite cover of AWSoP – an instrumental one, of course!

Added a review of the Rhythm Kings on stage in Linköping, Sweden (thanks, Jonas)

And here is a scan of Gary's set-list from the Linköping concert (thanks, Christina)

October 25:

Added a BtP review of Mick Grabham's Guitar Orchestra recording, complete with graphics and liner notes from the excellent Angel Air CD.

Added somewhat to the story of a legal misunderstanding between Cheap Trick and Keith Reid (thanks, Joan)

Charly Troska has received great numbers of recordings from PH fans for the Whalers' CD project, and has a lot of remaining work to do preparing them. The new deadline for sending recordings (details here) is the end of the year 1998. (thanks, Mirek)

October 24: Happy 62nd Birthday, Bill Wyman. Bill celebrates his birthday playing with the Rhythm Kings in Oslo, Norway

In the week of Keith Reid's birthday we unveil a gruesome page where we shall collect any parodies of his work that we come across. Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery ... we hope this page will be taken in the spirit in which it is made.

Added an excellent review of Gary Brooker and the Rhythm Kings in Copenhagen (thanks, Niels-Erik)

October 23:

More Reidism: no-one seems able to track down the Eng Lit thesis that was supposedly written about Procol words ... but Greg Panfile writes fascinatingly about presenting Reid to a poetry class at Rutgers University in the early 70s. ' ... the dark predilections of Keith Reid seemed to be more in tune with what was actually happening than the perhaps sincere but certainly unrealistic views from the last few remaining hippies ...' he notes. (thanks, Greg)

Added an interesting reference to John Lennon recording Imagine in an arrangement featuring AWSoP-like organ-playing (thanks, Marvin)

Added a review from the Rhythm Kings' concert in Aarhus, Denmark, three days ago (thanks, Per Ryolf)

October 22:

More Reidery: added some interesting additions about Keith Reid's words to our recently-published page, Nothing Called not Name or Number (thanks, Jason Scruton)

Added a link to a great Rhythm Kings website: find it on this page, next to the new picture of Gary onstage in Paris (thanks, Thierry)

October 21:

The Mammoth Task: Procol Harum news in its chart context, kindly extracted for BtP from the New Musical Express of 31 years ago today by Yan Friis: the tantalising prospect of a multi-instrumental Fisher solo LP, a far more realistic and interesting possibility than those film projects.

More Reidishness: did Keith Reid write with Cheap Trick? Hard to tell from this article ... (thanks, Sam)

'I question the wisdom of their negative attitude'. From Yan's Mammoth Task – NME 7 October, 1967 (Finally I did it, Yan)

October 20:

Further Reid-lore: added the words of The Fire, another post-Procol Keith Reid song, recorded by John Farnham (thanks, Frans)

Added a page about Gary Brooker's forthcoming appearance at the London Barbican: don't get your hopes up too high! This is not a musical event as far as we understand, but it's likely to be pretty interesting anyway.

October 19:

Happy Birthdays to Keith Reid (1946) and Peter Solley (1948)

To mark Keith Reid's birthday, we added a good interview with Procol's 'Mona-Lisa mouthed poet' about Exotic Birds and Fruit: the British political background is touched on, as is the contribution of Chris Thomas. The review, by Lance Loud, comments on many of the side-one songs: perhaps it was once longer, and the rest ended up on the sub-editor's floor (thanks, Doug Callowhill)

Added great news of Gary's big Christmas gig: booking now open!

Added a sartorial clue to last night's SOB+ review, in case anyone was losing sleep about the reversed Procol pictures (thanks, Richard)

October 18:

Added a BtP review of the new Shine On Brightly reissue from Westside, with its various alternate takes and its brand-new rarity.

October 17:

Added Joan May's Synthophobia (thanks, Joan)

Upgraded our scan of the sleeve of Something Magic here and here (thanks, Richard)

Added this link to a Ronnie James Dio page, which suggests that Matthew Fisher was in the studio with Dio / Ritchie Blackmore / ELF in 1974, maybe recording a song called Black Sheep Of The Family (seemingly never released), and also later (77-78?) maybe auditioning for Rainbow? The page is quite long: search for 'Fisher' and 'Fischer' – the name is misspelled once (thanks, Jonas)

October 16:

Added a page dealing with Carlo Little ... and the album Matthew Fisher recorded with Hurricane ... and some matrimonial reflections (thanks, Joan)

Added an AWSoP semi-cover, by Titiyo, to our list (thanks, Jonas)

Upgraded our scan of the Edmonton sleeve here (thanks, Richard)

October 15:

Added the liner notes for the Westside Shine on Brightly ... Plus! release ... so you will know exactly what you've ordered.

Added graphics to two setlist pages, here and here (thanks, Robert ... and for the rest of the parcel!)

October 14:

Added the track-listing for a long-awaited Procol Harum release, the Westside Shine On Brightly ... plus!: more about this recording – which sounds great – in days to come.

The Mammoth Task: Procol Harum news in its chart context, kindly extracted for BtP from the New Musical Express of 31 years ago today by Yan Friis: further extraordinary news about Procol and ex-Procol film projects, while the UK scene continues to be beset by doubts, cancellations and reversals: no wonder Gary got ill again.

Renewed our scan of the US sleeve of Shine on Brightly here, here, here and here (thanks, Richard)

October 13:

Added a lightning-swift resumé of this weekend's Rhythm Kings concert, in which Gary Brooker stole the show (thanks, Frans!)  

October 12:

Added illustrations to a long, interesting and extraordinarily positive interview with Robin Trower from Raves 1975 (thanks, Doug Callowhill)

Added two final paragraphs to our page on PH and the Billboard charts (thanks, Joan)

October 11:

Added a very thoughtful and instructive article about AWSoP and The Commitments, expanded from a recent posting on the Procol mailing-list (thanks, Jonas)

Added info about Anyway the Wind Blows, the new Bill Wyman / Gary Brooker CD (thanks, Frans)

October 10: Happy Birthday (1945) Alan Cartwright!

'I do not consider myself unfortunate, nor do I for one minute regret leaving Procol Harum.'

Added a couple of letters about the organ-part in A Whiter Shade of Pale written by Matthew Fisher to Melody Maker in 1973, one provoking and one rebutting an oddly childish and calculated response from a reader.

Here's a link to some David Bowie reviews that mention Matthew Fisher playing offstage piano and organ (including some Beethoven) with The Spiders from Mars (thanks, Joan)

And history needs to be rewritten: on the day of BtP's first anniversary, the hit count on our index main-page reached a record-breaking 178 visitors.

October 9:

Added a dose of useful data about the success of Procol Harum and Robin Trower in the US charts (thanks, Joan)

Thanks for the fireworks, Robert!

October 8:

'Beyond the Pale' is one year old today: read all about it!

Added a fine new piece written for BtP by Richard Beck, chronicling his impressions of two Grand Hotel-era tours; much musical detail and atmosphere, as well as insights like 'I concede one tiny conceit perhaps shared by some readers: believing I was among a humble few who knew their music well, I have always taken the greatest delight in watching others respond to a Procol concert for the first time. This concert demonstrated conclusively to me that this was truly the best band alive.' (thanks, Richard)

Fittingly, Richard's article is dedicated to the memory of Barrie Wilson, 18 March 1947 – 8 October 1990. We're also proud to be publishing, for the first time, two photographs of BJ in the studio, taken during an overdubbing session for Beyond the Pale – a most significant track for this website – and kindly submitted to us by Mick Grabham (thanks, Mick, and welcome aboard!)

And here's the article that we opened with 365 days ago.

October 7:

The Mammoth Task: Procol Harum news in its chart context, kindly extracted for BtP from the New Musical Express of 31 years ago today by Yan Friis: Homburg enters the chart, and there's further confusion about concert dates for the 'negative' Procol Harum.

Added some praise for A Whiter Shade of Pale from Doro (she of the virgins and the bathwater) (thanks, Sam)

October 6:

Added another page about Prairie Madness (thanks, Joan)

October 5:

Added a fine period graphic relating to Procol Harum's Toronto 'Rockpile' concert exactly thirty years ago today! (thanks, Doug Callowhill)

Added a page about Prairie Madness, a 1970s Fisher-produced album (thanks Joan, and Ron)

October 4:

Added details of another Procol Harum compilation (thanks, Richard Beck)

October 3:

Added a suite of pages about the man who named Procol Harum, and brought Brooker and Reid together: Guy Stevens, some Hoople history, and Nirvana's fascinating Indiscreet Harlequin (many thanks, Sam Cameron)

October 2:

Added a review from The Boston Globe on the Robin Trower Live album (thanks, Diane H Wells)

Upgraded our transcript of Gary Brooker's perverse hopes for Homburg as published yesterday (thanks, Sam)

October 1:

Added a transcript of Gary Brooker's perverse hopes for Homburg as expressed on BBC Radio One: this was his attitude to the sort of criticisms of the new single that were being expressed in reviews such as the NME excerpt we published yesterday.

Added another Procol Harum cover ... no, not AWSoP in a ceilidh arrangement by the Clockwork Gamelan of Antarctica, but something rather more unexpected and welcome: Repent Walpurgis, at last! (thanks, Fred Schröter)

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