Procol Harum

the Pale 

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Wuppertal ten years on / Procol's influence on Genesis

Chief Whaler, Michael Ackermann

Guten Tag liebe Whalers und Palers,

A special salutation to all of you who spent, ten years ago, a great and unforgettable time in Wuppertal with Gary Brooker, the Procols, orchestra and choir. In addition we had the ‘Echoes in the Night’ Convention.

After those days I thought to myself that I had made my dream come true – to get Procol to Wuppertal – and could retire from that field.

But I was completely wrong, because many, many of the participants from the orchestra and the choir said that we should go on with what we called ‘Rock meets Classic’.

So my friend Marcus Grebe (promoter) and I decided to go on.

So in 2023, with Steve Hackett and Band, we celebrated [thanks, Covid … the concerts were originally planned for April 2020] our tenth anniversary.

I’d like to share the impressions and experience I had last week of an extremely fantastic time. Jo and Steve Hackett are such great people. It was a pleasure to work with them: what I write here about those two also is valid for the band and the crew. Just awesome.

Why do I write about those days? I found out, in several publications, that Steve was always a big admirer of Gary’s music. So I asked him if he could write something down on this theme for the Whaling Stories fan club.

This Steve willingly did, and I was really amazed at what I read. For me it had not been that clear, how big Gary’s influence on Steve and Genesis was: see below!

The three concerts (each one sold out to the very last seat) were just bombastic. All were full of joy, and the audience romped around with enthusiasm.

Let me close my lines with another thought. As you will imagine, I sometimes looked to the stage and thought back ten years. The place where Gary was sitting at his grand piano was now shared between Roger King and Rob Townsend. I thought about the words Gary very often spoke, mostly when introducing A Salty Dog, thinking about all those who were ‘looking down from above’.

I’m quite sure, that Gary looked down at all three concerts … and sure, too, that he loved it.

Best regards and Shine On!



Steve Hackett, Michael Ackermann, and a Souvenir of Barmen

Wuppertal 2013 setlists one and two Convention review Superstar esteem for Procol Harum  


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