Procol Harum

the Pale

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Gary Brooker
and the Fifth Metacarpal

Goodwill messages from fans!

Hello Procol Harum (+orchestra +choir),

Thank you for a wonderful night last Friday at the RFH.

Gary Brooker dealt with his significant fall heroically and with characteristic humility and professionalism – a brilliant example to set in an era of selfishness, vanity and hubris.

The band, orchestra and choir (from planet Zarg) all did the business. I particularly enjoyed Whaling Stories, Symphathy for the Hard of Hearing and AWSoP with the string prelude.

Good luck with the new album – I’ve ordered a copy already.

All the best
Mark Horrocks

Dear Procol Harums,

We’ve been in London for your wonderful concert! Great music, excellent new song Sunday Morning!

And we’re quite concerned about Gary’s health after his accident on the stage Friday night.

We hope very much that our accident-man is all right and has no serious injury!

Hope we see him soon again in good shape!

Warm regards
Andreas and Anne from Berlin

We were there last night. Absolutely fantastic show.

I saw Gary trip on the stairs. Didn’t think he would be able to come back out.

So glad he did but I think he was in a lot of pain and seemed shook up.

Can’t thank him and the band enough.

I have dementia and was in a box on the side.

I loved it and was so pleased to be there: music is a very good therapy for dementia.

Thank you again.
Chris Ryan.

Hi, first of all we hope that Gary’s head and hand are OK after the fall on Friday.

It was an amazing concert, thank you. I loved the Sunday song and wondered if you do requests – could it be on the setlist for the Liverpool gig that I am also going to, please?

Thank you,
Hilary Bulfield

Hi Gary

I discovered the wonderful music of Procol Harum through my father.

I wish you a speedy recovery!

Looking forward to the gig in Heerlen, the Netherlands, on 6 September !

Best regards
Dominiek Schrijvers (Belgium)


This is just a short note to say ‘thank you’ for decades of wonderful music, and to wish you a quick recovery.

As strange as this might sound, Carina and I also want to thank you for staying grounded in a business that creates divas and self-proclaimed musical gods with delusions of grandeur. Thanks for treating starry-eyed, awkward fans (like myself) with openness and respect.

Now – get better! You probably can’t imagine the wave of panic and concern that went out when Procol Harum fans around the world heard that you took a bad fall at the Royal Festival Hall concert.

We were hungry for titbits of information about the concert but never expected to hear that. The fact that you came back to finish the concert caused a collective sigh of relief from Procol fans all around the globe.

Now, we just want to hear that you get back into full strength and we’ll really be able to relax again – and to call for more concerts (come to the US again – we’ll take good care of you)!

Franky – thank you for taking care of a national treasure. It was so very good seeing you both in NYC this past February at the Winter Solstice concert.

You and Gary said there would be some surprises coming soon – gee, you know how to deliver!

God bless you both!
Bert and Carina, NY

Dear Gary,

Myself and my wife and our two boys love you and your music so much.

You’ve made our lives richer with your melodies, chord changes, voice, and humor for decades.

When you get hurt, we really feel it too.

Please feel better soon.
Ronnie, Susan, Brian & Michael

Dear Gary,

I was there Friday night and you did a superb job throughout and especially in the second half of the show after what happened.

I wish you a speedy recovery and I send my respect and thanks to you.

Kind regards,

Tony Dobbs (Berkhamsted)

Hello there,

Just wanted to send my and my family's best wishes of a speedy and good recovery to Gary...

On the bright side, the bad didn't happen at the worst possible moment: at least it's not in the middle of a tour and he will have some time to heal and get back in top form before the next concerts.

Saluti from Italy,

Hi Gary,

We haven’t met (actually, one degree of separation – you would have met my brother Brian, who played Chapman Stick and bass for Charlie A’Court – blues singer – his trio opened for PH during some German dates in 2003(?) when you were touring The Well’s on Fire. They were from Nova Scotia, Canada).

I just wanted to say how sorry I was to read of your injury, and, needless to say, how relieved I am it wasn’t worse. Obviously, I hope your recovery is swift, but that it takes as long as it needs to. My age is close to yours, and I know we don’t heal quite as quickly as we used to!

I also sincerely hope your rather ambitious 2017 itinerary can be fulfilled. (A side trip to Canada would be nice!).

Please take care, and congratulations on the fiftieth anniversary of one of my favourite bands, and to you for “holding it together” all this time.

I have every PH studio recording, and will purchase Novum – a new beginning indeed. (I’m also tempted by the LP re-releases of the “First Four” – I already have several versions of those!).

All the best to you and Franky.
cheers Peter  (Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada)


Umberto, Aurora, Lory Borellini.


Dear Gary,

We wish you a complete and soon recovery.

You were fantastic at the RFH.

Shine on, see you in Hamburg.
Marianne & Wolfgang

Sincere wishes to one of my favorite music heroes.

Kenny Reed (USA)

Dear Gary,

Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery!

Having been at the Royal Festival Hall ourselves, we would like to express our admiration and respect for your courage to continue the show. Despite a lot of pain, you gave your all and maintained your humour, too.

I was worried though that you might get dizzy and kiss the floor again!

It certainly was a night to remember and a superb performance of all involved.

Thanks a lot, take care and much love from Switzerland,
Heidi & Jakob.

PS: Many thanks for personalizing my BtP Christmas quiz prize! It looks amazing!

Hi Gary,

We Swish You.....(just checking your vision) ... that is ...

We Wish You A Full Recovery From Your Work-Related Injury.

It was terrific seeing Franky and you last December. We look forward to attending future performances with the band, you and with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir accompanied by The International Silver String Submarine Band.

Best wishes for a full recovery,
Don and Cindy

Hi Gary,

I was at The Royal Festival Hall the other day and we were all very concerned when you had your accident.

It was extremely brave of you to carry on for the second set. However, "the show must go on."

I'd just like to say how glad I am that your injuries were not worse. I hope it's not too long before you are fighting fit again.

The concert was fantastic, and it was a very special gig.

Thanks for coming back for the second set, when many others would have cancelled the rest of the show.

Best wishes
John Bobin

Dear Gary,

We both wish you a speedy and peaceful recovery.

Andrew and Eleanor Leslie


Stop beating yourself up and don’t bash those fingers!

Since 1967 I have been a devoted follower and I hope you get well quick.

If you can’t get back over here then I’ll come over there.

But sincerely, Thank You.
Gil Henry

Thank you Gary, for PH’s performance on 3 March in London’s Royal Festival Hall. It will be one out of 23 PH-concerts throughout the years (No. 1 was in Stockholm, Sweden, 31 August 1967) for me to remember specifically, not only because of the unhappy incident affecting you.

I was there with a group of Swedish friends and we all wish you soon recovery and fingers crossed for your wellbeing, well in front of the upcoming PH-tour of UK and other parts of Europe this year.

Yours faithfully,

Jonas Sjöberg

Regards and all their best also from: Mrs Lise-Lotte Sjöberg, Ms Inger Wiklund, Mr Urban Stäck, Mrs Ann-Marie Grawin, Mr Anders Grawin (Stockholm) and from Mrs Ia Orlander Norlén and Mr Mats Norlén (Gothenburg).

Hi Gary,

My wife and I came over from Canada specifically to see Procol Harum at the Royal Festival Hall and we were thrilled by the band's performance. The show was wonderful and you sounded great throughout! You proved once again to be the real professional that you are by coming out to play after injuring yourself so badly. I can only imagine how uncomfortable it must have been for you to continue.

We hope that your cuts and finger heal quickly, but based on what we saw at the concert, your spirit wasn't injured at all.

May you continue to Shine on Brightly for many concerts and albums to come!

Paul and Suzanne Wolfe

Gary Brooker had a terrible fall
On the stage in the Royal Festival Hall
     His face went quite purple
     And he broke his metacarpal
But he sang and played as if nothing was wrong at all!

Chris had a medic look at the bone
Josh didn’t let’m play piano alone
     Matt’n’Geoff said “Get a Hat On!”
     David Firman waved his baton
And Sir Geoff said he was “accident prone”

"Sunday Morning – we can play with a push”
Whaling Stories
– it can start with a “Whoosh!"
     The Commander was brave
     The concert was saved
An’ they plugged the May gig at The Bush!

Charlie Allison, channeling William_McGonagall

Dear Gary,

We wish you speedy and complete recovery.

We can hardly believe you finished the London concert in your bruised state. Much respect!

Only two days after your accident, Micha (whom you signed a record to in Zoetermeer (picture below)), happened to suffer from a similar incident resulting in similar injuries


This is how he looks like now (picture above). Can we say "a trouble shared is a trouble halved"?

So, get back on your feet soon. Until September, in Berlin and Stuttgart.

Best wishes
Micha and Uta Koehler
from Stuttgart

My Dear Commander, ah Gary darlin',

By my faith ye never looked better, ye old salty dog! Still, do be careful, Monseigneur!

We all need and love you madly, certain we do!

Take care and all the best.

Thomas Byrnes

Get well, Commander!

Vänliga hälsningar,
Jonas Söderström

Dear Gary,

From Switzerland, best wishes for your prompt and full recovery!

I hope you will be soon fit and well for the Novum tour and I am looking forward to listening to the new songs.

Sincerely to you and Franky.
François Courvoisier

Dear Gary,

I am relieved you are doing better. I saw you take a fall and my heart sank and I feared the worst. Fortunately, it was not a fall from grace.

I was moved and inspired by your return to play again and also by the work of the band to help their wounded leader.

Thank you for a great show. I love the new songs and look forward to hearing the entire new album.

Get well soon.
Shine On,
Tito Davila

I have known Gary since the Paramount days at the Shades.

My daughter, who still lives in Southend, emailed a copy of the newspaper article regarding your recent accident. Gary you have reached the age when you simply cannot 'skip the light fandango ' !

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Kind regards
James Rawlinson

Dear Mr Brooker,

We were there, three whole families from Croatia, six parents and seven children, two generations, saving pennies to attend your Fiftieth Music Birthday.

It was very, very emotional show, grand and majestic, as expected.

My late father introduced me to your music when I was a little boy, and it also added a personal touch to the heartwarming  evening. It really was a night to remember, one of the anchors in life that hold the whole life's tapestry in place.

We all wish you good health, long life and personal happiness.
All the best from our hearts,
Nenad Resnik

Dear Procol Harums

We travelled all the way from Brazil to be part of this very special evening.

The concert was perfect and brought us to tears.

We managed to take our father, who first introduced us to Procol Harum's songs, to London only for the concert. Me and my brothers used to listen to the band when we were kids.

This concert was my father's special gift and what I really wanted was to have my father shake hands with GB, but it was not possible!

Now, we want to participate in the contest to try to get the band autographed CD. We cannot wait for it!

Best wishes
Fernanda, José Osório, Pedro and José Osório Filho

So relieved, as it could of course have been so much worse.

During the concert interval we were all standing around. Then the murmurs began that someone had fallen while leaving the stage. I was seated near the back and saw nothing.
Not long after the news filtered through it had been Gary. How was he? Would there be a second half?

Everyone, Gary, was so impressed you made it back to give a performance second to none. To the ear, no one could have been aware of what had happened.
And Sunday Morning is a truly magnificent new song. Can't wait to hear it and the other tracks on Novum when it is released next month.

Take it easy for the next six weeks and rest up, hoping you will soon be back to full fitness.

Looking forward to the concerts in May
Peter Cohen

Get well soon Gary!

I was at the show with my mother and a friend and, Gary, I have never been more proud to be a Procol Harum fan than I was that night.

To come back on stage and perform a second half like that, well, it was incredible. I Told On You was the highlight of the night for me and I'll remember it forever. A terrific performance.

I saw all that I love most about Procol that night: finesse, solidarity, class and dedication.

I'm looking forward to seeing you and the band on the tour at Manchester and wish you all the best in recovery.
Claire Margerison, UK

I was at the concert Procol Harum had in my home town Ålesund in 1975. It was a great experience, and the concert in London March 3 was even better. I think, it is very hard to decide.

 Anyway, I was very impressed that you continued the concert after your injury. Actually you followed my family motto: WIPE OFF THE BLOOD AND CARRY ON. Which makes us sort of family, perhaps?

 Well done, and get well quickly.

 Sincerely J

Steinar Nilsen, Ålesund, Norway

Dear Gary,

Never a dull moment for Procol fans! The rejigged In Held, the ukes and accordion ... then the Ominous Interval.

It was a huge relief to see and hear you on stage again. Congratulations on the right-handed piano-break in Man with a Mission ... I guess adrenaline must be a very effective painkiller.

We wish you and the rogue metacarpal all the very best for a swift and trouble-free recovery!
Linda and Roland

Dear Gary,

The concert at RFH is a night I will never forget. A fantastic concert. Great songs and great performance. For me, the orchestral version of the great Sunday Morning with a beautiful choir was the highlight of an evening full of beautiful music.

But I will also remember it for the shock we all got when you fell from the stage. What a scary moment.

But maybe most of all I will remember it for the dedication to your music, and the fans, you showed by coming back on stage and performing the second set.

The action of a real hero and a great man. At that moment I was even more proud to know you than ever before.

Get well soon and keep Shining On!

Jens (in Norway)

Gary Brooker MBE | Procol gigs, 2017 | Setlist from Royal Festival Hall | Metacarpal bulletin | GB's own account


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