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Beyond
the Pale

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Allen Edelist, 19 November 1950 – 16 May 2018

Fellow fans pay tribute to our sadly-missed friend


Allen's memorial service took place on 1 June in the Factor Chapel of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, 3663 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010.

On behalf of all fellow Procol Harum fans, 'Beyond the Pale' sent a wreath of carnations [unfortunately not laced by
mermaids]:
ninety-eight flowers in all, one for each of the Procol Harum concerts that helped shape One-Eye's life.

So, as a BtP reader, you – visiting this page – are florally represented at our great friend's final gathering.
See pictures of our wreath here, alongside the wreath sent by Procol Harum
Many thanks to Jeremy Gilien for all the LA help


Heidi Widmer, Switzerland

It has been a great privilege to have met Allen ‘One-Eye’ Edelist at several Procol Harum shows or related get-togethers. He had a vast knowledge of all things Procol Harum and was the Palers’ roving reporter who travelled all over the world to catch his favourite band. The news of his unexpected passing made me very sad at heart.

If my memory serves me right, we met for the first time in Pratteln (CH) on 18 June 2005 at a Procol Harum gig which turned into a sixtieth birthday celebration for Gary Brooker. A year later, Allen asked me to organise him a ticket for Procol’s show at Kongresshaus Zurich, and we had time to go for a stroll around town on the day of the performance. Allen took a great interest in the sights, but also in Breguet watches (however, after careful consideration, he did not succumb to the temptation of buying one)… and coffee at Starbucks! In addition, he was looking for presents for his daughters.

Allen and Heidi in Zurich Allen and GB's handprints Heidi, Jakob and OE in LA

Six months later, my husband and I were on a round trip in California and while staying in Los Angeles, Allen picked us up at our hotel in a Mini Cooper. He drove us to the Rock Walk at Guitar Center Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard where we viewed the handprints of many famous rock musicians. Gary’s were there and we also found those of Dave Pegg, Eric Clapton and Cream. Jakob and I went to see Eric Clapton at the Staples Center that night – and with regard to Cream, Allen had been attending one of the reunion concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall in May 2005 and we happened to be at that show, too. He had such a wide interest in music and also told us about his deposition agency and about producing a movie. However, I have no idea whether the movie ever came to fruition, or whether it was a misunderstanding from my part. Later in the day, he took us to the Farmers’ Market to meet with fellow-fan Jeremy Gilien, and insisted on paying for our meals. Allen enjoyed socialising and was a charming and most generous host. We did see him again a few times since but in recent years he travelled less and our paths crossed for the last time at London’s Royal Festival Hall in March 2017.

Allen will be sorely missed and never forgotten. He will live on in the music of Procol Harum, he will shine on brightly. Jakob and I wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.

Thank you and rest in peace, dear One-Eye.   


Wolfgang Lieke, Germany

Just back from holiday, I was confronted with this terrible news.

I first met Allen in Manchester 2001 at our Palers' Convention. I was impressed immediately by his charm, humour and huge knowledge of Procol Harum. It was like meeting an old friend again.

Through all the years we were in steady contact. Any Procol-concert or Palers' Convention without him? Unthinkable!

We all will miss a wonderful man who lived his passion. What a loss. I will never forget the great times we had together.

Shine on, Allen!


Michael Ackermann (Germany)

Whaling Stories’ started in the second half of the ’80s of last century. In a short while many long-lasting friendships started within the group of fans. I remember especially that, in the ’90s, you always met the same great people when you attended Gary’s concerts. But in my opinion there was a gap between Europe and the States concerning fan relationships.

So it was kind of a big surprise, at the beginning of this century, when a man appeared on the scene, a man you couldn’t miss: they called him ‘One-Eye’. The question arose, where had he been up to now? Why didn’t he appear earlier?

I met Allen about five or six times: the first was in June 2001 at Manchester, when he joined the Palers’ Band. I had the pleasure of spending plenty of time with him in November 2007 in Winterswijk, and October 2008 in Hagen, when we had the opportunity to talk a lot, and got to know to each other much more.

In Hagen Allen told me how much he regretted that he hadn’t heard earlier about the activities of the Fan Club. But we agreed that it was surely not too late!

Allen was a quiet man with a lot of soul. I remember Winterswijk, when we went to buy tickets before the show. He told me that Gary had offered him to be a fixture on the guest-list. But Allen said it was very important to him to give his share to the musicians and the people organising the concerts of the music we shared our love for.

So I was very glad to hear that he was coming ‘my’ Wuppertal concerts in 2013. I couldn’t have known that this would be the last time I met him.

Allen closed the gap between Europe and the States.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, when I read the sad news. He was such a great and lovely man. We will miss him so much.
 


Roland Clare, UK

[ ... ] Between 2000 and 2009 I reckon Allen and I coincided at some 23 Procol concerts, in eight countries: Denmark (2), Finland (1), Germany (2), Italy (3), Norway (2), Switzerland (1), UK (11) and USA (3). After 2013's two Wuppertal concerts, however, he was less in evidence on the Procol scene (though it was nice to see him at The Dominion Theatre (November 2004) and the Royal Festival Hall (March 2017) for two memorable London orchestral shows). But there was no waning in his fascination with the band’s music. No AWSoP-fixated retrohalcyonist, he moved with the times, wholeheartedly embracing changes in line-up and musical emphasis. He was certainly a discriminating listener; but even his most critical opinions were rooted in a warmly positive outlook on the world. And pretty well every discussion would end with the consensual affirmation, ‘Exactly!’ and a gurgling chuckle. The generous spirit of ’67 lived on in him ... [the whole tribute is here]

Gary Shepard (USA)
I certainly remember LA 2003 and that grand breakfast rehearsal [Gary refers to this tribute]. I remember Lejre and Bridge of Sighs with Allen. At Southend-on-Sea Allen aided my very overworked hands and arms with both body rubs and medication. I was forever in his debt for that.

In Wuppertal we had many all-nighters with Dave Ball, Jack Ponnisi, Jens and others. Fabulous memories all. I also spent an afternoon's walk with Allen visiting Germany's first Jewish Synagogue to be commissioned since WWII. The then Chancellor of Germany did the ribbon-cutting. We had quite a time just getting in, as we were met at the door by two armed guards with machine guns pointing at us. We had to convince them that we really were NOT terrorists planning to blow up the temple! This took some doing ... I guess we were pretty threatening looking in our Procol tee-shirts! It turned out to be a small, tastefully decorated synagogue with the names of Holocaust victims from the city emblazoned in plaques on the wall. It was quite moving. We might not have been the only Jews in the Paler camp, but we had an experience in that temple which could not be beat. I'm glad I had that with Allen.

I am still shocked that he's no longer with us. Memories of him will always be with me.


Jeremy Gilien, USA

I first heard the name ‘Allen Edelist’ not long after I began posting at the Procol Harum Yahoo group in early 2000. We began commenting on threads there and soon discovered that, in addition to our mutual love for Procol Harum, we had a geographical connection, both of us being natives of Los Angeles and still residing within a few miles of each other in that city. We learned that we had attended many of the same Procol Harum concerts in the 1970s, including the classic Hollywood Bowl performance and several of the wonderful Santa Monica Civic shows.

Our first in-person meeting (on 23 February 2002, according to BtP) was when Allen picked me up in one of his cool European sports cars and we drove to UCLA to appear together with DJ Number 6 (Bob Kloner) on his fifth Procol Harum internet radio marathon. We immediately became fast friends, and also found out that we shared an interest in local sports teams, especially baseball – me as a life-long Dodger fan, and he (though I never could figure out why) a fan of the Angels. He took me to many sporting events, not only baseball, but also to see his beloved LA Kings hockey team, and to LA Galaxy soccer matches, where we saw the great David Beckham play on more than one occasion.

Besides being a great (if not the greatest) fan of Procol Harum, he loved many great rock bands, and took me along to see some of his favorites including Psychedelic Furs; Crosby Stills & Nash, Crowded House, Squeeze, Robin Trower and probably several others that I can't now recall. He tended always to have the best seats for these games and concerts, and even at the Wilshire Blvd. Temple – where he once took me to a musical Kaddish service, and where I will be paying my last respects to him tomorrow – he had center seats in the first row of the balcony!

He was also a great supporter of my own musical endeavors, attending several of the productions I musically directed for the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and coming to see my rock band Village play in local clubs on a number of occasions.

We participated in and made music together at Palers’ Conventions in Denmark (2006) and England (2007); and in 2003 – along with another late great Paler, Gothic Harris – assisted in hosting events surrounding Procol's (partly rained-out) performance at the John Anson Ford amphitheatre, and great after-party at BB King's Blues Club in Universal City.

I hadn't seen Allen too many times in the last couple of years, but I am glad he was there last August for the retrospective concert of my classical compositions.

Generous is the word that seems to come first to everyone's lips when remembering Allen. I have no idea what his financial situation was like, or whether or not he could really afford the amount of treating he bestowed on me and others, but it was never an issue with him because he truly took pleasure in giving to his friends.

He is now the stuff of Procol lore and legend, and his unique quirkiness will always be remembered whenever Palers convene.

It was great knowing you, One-Eye: you will be sorely missed.


Don Milione, USA

Allen's spirit lives on. His generosity, comradeship and love of life positively affected everyone who was fortunate enough to know him. We shared the love of the music of Procol Harum that still continues to attract new generations of listeners.

We shared his enthusiasm by attending their concerts. As "The #1 Procol Fan Extraordinaire", I often joked with Allen requesting his bonus flight mile awards, which are probably in the one to two million mile range.

His performances at The Palers’ Soirées were always entertaining and embraced us all with his dedication and he helped guarantee that all the participants had a terrific time. With the extraordinary organizational skills of Roland and Jens, who were graciously supported to the local/regional Palers, Allen was the catalyst that assured us all of having a grand time.

Allen and his brother Evan with their families opened their homes to us Palers while in Los Angeles while we were preparing to perform at BB King’s and attend the Procol Harum concert at The Ford Theater.

Allen, who is waiting patiently to go on stage, appears to be focused
on providing a close to – make that a really close to – on-key vocal performance
All cued up and ready to go. Alan takes command of the stage and is ready to sing his heart
out without the safety net of his lyric-loaded iPod! Cheers Allen!

Above, two photos of Allen in rehearsal at Wuppertal, Germany. Thank you and play on, my friend!


Josh Phillips, UK

I joined the band on a permanent basis fourteen years ago: time flies. Very soon, later that same, year I met Al – ‘One-Eye’ – after a show, I think in Germany, though that’s probably a guess. He was incredibly welcoming to me – as if I’d joined a club and he was the secretary. He was a walking encyclopædia of all things Procol, with an attention to detail like a forensic scientist … and he had his microscope on me, dissecting every show.

To some this would seem somewhat irritating, but quite the reverse to me: I almost hunted him down to get the low-down after a show. He helped and encouraged me tremendously in the early days, giving me confidence that I needed in a situation that at times felt ever so slightly hostile. Filling the boots of previous members playing the organ wasn’t the easiest job.

That friendship continued in person, via e-mail or other electronic forms. He lived for his family, friends and Procol Harum … oh, and gadgets. He was generous beyond the pale, and always willing to listen or help. I’m already missing him, a loyal friend and True Fan.

Continue keeping one eye on the future, Al.

Love, Josh and family.


Poul Achton, Denmark

Back in 2007 I was the lucky part of the Danish band ‘Procol Harum Project’, founded on the basis of the Procol Harum concerts in Denmark a year earlier; we had been invited to join the Palers’ Convention in Southend and London, to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the amazing hit A Whiter Shade of Pale – or maybe it was even the anniversary of the band itself (please, forgive me, dear Paler friends).

This was my first Palers’ Convention, and I was so excited by it all – the prospect of rehearsing and playing seven or eight songs with total strangers from all around the world … songs, that we had all prepared the best we could beforehand.

The very first song for me to rehearse – in the small, damp and hot studio in Southend (see picture) – was a straight blues, Seem to have the Blues (Most all of the Time), and the line-up, carefully picked by webmasters Roland and Jens. Don Milione/organ, Bjorn Jensen/bass, Poul Achton/drums, Dave Ball/guitar, Gary Shepard/piano and Allen ‘One-Eye’ Edelist on vocal. Playing this song was a huge thrill for me, and it was my first encounter with dear Allen ... . and, what an experience! Allen's performance on this song … his voice had a unique style … Tom Waits came to mind; he added so much to this song, in his very own way!

Allen and I did not get to talk very much during this convention in 2007, nor in Wuppertal, Germany, in 2013. But we did get to talk a little, and he was the kindest and most straightforward, down-to-earth kind of person towards me, and towards anyone! I remember the plaque he was given by Gary Brooker during an after party in London 2007, for having been the most faithful Procol Harum fan, having attended the most concerts of this legendary band – that is quite an achievement!

Allen was indeed a central figure and friend to all us Palers – this merry, crazy, talented and wonderful group of people that I am proud to be a part of and to be with, whenever possible! To meet up with you all (next time Roland and Jens decide to host a Palers’ Convention (may it happen soon!)) and to have neither dear Dave Ball nor dear One-Eye with us, will indeed be very strange and sad .. but they will be there with us, still – in our Hearts and our Minds!

So long, Allen ‘One-Eye’ Edelist – and Thank You!


Bob Kloner ( formerly DJ #6), Los Angeles, America

I was so sad to hear of Allen’s passing. I first met him in the early 2000s when he helped me with organising and then co-hosting some of the UCLA radio’s Procol Harum marathons. It was the early days of internet radio shows and I will never forget the first interview that we did when Gary Brooker called in from England. So very exciting!

Allen had a true love for the band and was a true Procol Harum scholar and enthusiast. He helped me dig up some very rare tracks and filled me in on a lot of the history of the band. I will miss his deep radio friendly voice, the many discussions we had about Procol Harum, and our conversations regarding his many trips overseas to see the band.

I last saw him at a PH concert in Los Angeles in 2010. One-Eye will be missed, and my deepest condolences go to his family and friends. He was a great 'fellow traveler.'


Michael Chaudhuri, USA

Although I did not know Allen well, he made a big impression on me. Firstly, I remember his powerful vocals during the Palers' Party in Manchester, 2001, and we talked briefly that night.

I do not know if he remembered me, but in 2003 I attended the first of two shows at the Bottom Line in NYC. I decided to go to the second at the last minute, and it appeared to be sold out. Allen was helping at the merchandise table, I said hello outside the venue and somehow he got me in! A very kind gesture to somebody he did not know well.

Those were some of the best PH shows I've seen, and Keith Reid was in attendance, so good times.

Thank you, belatedly, Allen. Say hello to BJ for us!

 



One-Eye on Stage in Wuppertal, Germany, 2013: he's singing Bringing Home the Bacon


Henrik Gøttrup (Denmark)

BtP
asked if I would write a few words about One-Eye. I gladly said yes, but having thought about it for a couple of days, I have to admit that it is impossible. To tell about One-Eye needs lots of words.

I personally met him for the first time in August 2006 when he came from LA to tiny Lejre take part in the Palers' Convention and the Procol Harum concerts in Ledreborg, Denmark.

The Palers' Band rehearsed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately I could not take part during the day due to my work, but Thursday I came back to Lejre early afternoon, and right at that time, there was this small man with a very personal and peculiar voice singing lead. A kind of Cohenesque performance. On a funny note: my first thoughts were, why do the band and singer not get in tune. But it didn’t take me long to realise that this guy was singing his heart out to do a new way of interpreting Procol Harum.

During the Lejre convention I got to know One-Eye quite well, and later met him a couple of times in Denmark, for the Brooker/Fame Tivoli concert, and when on his way back from Russia where he had been following Procol on tour.

He called me up and asked if we could meet later that day (he had only just arrived in Copenhagen and had a flight next morning for California). That was the kind of man he was: always travelling, always busy , but not to busy to have time for other people and keeping a friendship alive, although we were living thousands of miles apart. We met for a few drinks, and we didn’t only talk of Procol Harum. He was more than a Procoholic: he was a real friend who wanted to know things about you that didn’t only connect to Procol Harum.

Santa Monica (L to R):

Henrik's daughter Laura, and wife Helle
Mrs Pat Edelist
Jeremy Gilien
Edelist daughters Sydney and Adrian
One-Eye himself
Henrik Gøttrup

My family and I later went for a tour of South-West USA, and we all met up for a fantastic lunch in Santa Monica. His family, my family and dear Jeremy Gilien. Allen's generosity was limitless. He wouldn’t hear of us sharing the bill. Which I’m sure he later regretted, because his credit-card was copied by one of the restaurant staff and misused.

Helle and I will never forget him and his lovely wife and daughters.

Goodbye my friend and safe journey.

Those at peace shall see their wake, and you will.


Ian Hockley (Oman)

I can't remember when or where I first met One-Eye but he's been part of the Procol Harum family for as long as I can remember and I have many happy memories of meals together, drinks together and car journeys together.

Dinner at the Opera House in Oslo, in a backstreet in Rome, a swift pre-concert drink here and there, and many other occasions, and I was glad to be able to meet him socially on home turf in LA in 2013. Always interesting to talk to, not just on Procol Harum matters but a wide range of topics, his knowledge dispensed with immense candour and wit amassed during his extensive travels and long and distinguished service to the Californian legal profession.

One Eye was a seemingly permanent fixture of the large international supporting cast of this "unique entertainment" and the sudden and premature manner of his passing seems very cruel. One's thoughts are very much with his brother Evan and lovely wife Pat and their daughters at his time; Palers' gatherings will never be quite the same without that distinctive, smokey voice and chuckle.

 

A great dinner at a Helsinki restaurant: Linda, Jens, Titti, Juice, Ian, Roland and Allen


Bert Saraco (USA)

I can hardly believe what I just heard. Can it really be true that our beloved friend and fellow traveler Allen 'One-Eye' Edelist has passed from this life? The few too-short times that Carina and I spent with him were times full of laughter and a sharing of our mutual love for music – in particular, the music of Procol Harum. A couple of things were obvious from our too-few times together – Allen loved two things very much: his family and his music. He was jovial, and adventurous in a way that belied his ‘every-day guy’ demeanor. Who would have suspected that this was a man capable of crisscrossing oceans to enjoy live performances by his favorite band? Certainly, he didn’t hesitate to follow his muse…

For those of us who knew him either briefly, as I did, or remotely, through the means of this thing called the internet, it will be hard – at least for a time – to listen to a Procol Harum song without thinking of One-Eye, who at this moment (if you believe such things) is probably tracking down the likes of David Ball, BJ Wilson, and even Liquorice John.

Our condolences go out to the family and loved ones, which include, if I might take the liberty of saying so, everyone who's reading this right now.

Safe travels, Allen. Shine On forever ...


George Lovell (Costa Rica)

Shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Allen 'One-Eye' Edelist, who will be remembered fondly by legions of Palers and members of Procol Harum themselves.

A seaman's log of close to one hundred concert outings to hear the band he so devoutly followed will truly be a hard act to follow.

Rest in peace, dear friend, now that you are 'Home' among many as like-minded as your inimitable self. Give them all a rendition of Piggy Pig Pig, which I always recall singing (or trying to) alongside you in London at the Fortieth Anniversary party for our beloved band's founding. Let your fellow travellers up there hear once again how the tale unfolds.

You shine on brightly, here below, in the mode of memory: something magic it surely is to have known you.

 


Palers' Band | Allen's Procol shows | Floral tributes at Allen's Memorial Service | Extended tribute by Roland | Sad financial aftermath and appeal for help

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