Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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May Day 1971 with Procol Harum

in Washington DC


John Ferrari who has the distinction of having been the first person we know of to have mounted a Procol Harum website writes to BtP from Houston, TX

On Saturday, May 1, 1971, Procol played at the May Day concert at American University's Woods-Brown Amphitheatre in Washington, DC. The overflow crowd was estimated to be about 10,000 and included a large number of Vietnam war protesters and their "leaders," the likes of Abbie Hoffman, Rennie Davis, et al.

For some reason, the show began VERY late, and, to my recollection, did not end until somewhere between 2 and 4 in the morning, to the consternation of the nearby residents of affluent and stuffy Northwest Washington DC.

After the show, Gary left the song list for the evening on the grand piano and I quickly took it up as a memento. I have lost track of it over the years, but as best I can recall the set included Shine on Brightly (abbreviated as all the songs were on Gary's list simply as SoB), Simple Sister (I still remember standing not far behind Gary onstage and watching his left hand bang out the octave bass lines of the long bridge), Whaling Stories, Memorial Drive, AWSOP, Still There'll Be More, Nothing That I Didn't Know and more (sorry, it's been nearly thirty years)

The line-up was Gary, Robin, Chris Copping (alternating between bass and Hammond organ) and the late Mr Wilson, Matthew having regrettably left the band some time before by then.

On a personal note, it was something of a special show, since as a student there I had lobbied long, hard and ultimately successfully for Procol to be booked. For those interested in such things, I was told that we paid Premiere Talent $10,000 USD for the evening. I have no idea of the accuracy of that number.

Thanks, John; and thanks Bill for the image he was there too.


More Procol concerts


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