Procol Harum

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Whilst you play the piano faux

Dummy Grands as used by Procol Harum



Did you like the piano Gary Brooker was playing at Shepherds Bush, Guildford, at Manchester, at Cropredy and at the Union Chapel?

What was it a Steinway, a Bluthner, or a Bosendorfer? Not until he told us he had accidentally pressed the 'transpose' button did everybody become aware that he was using a dummy case with a 'stage' piano (what GB has called 'a knitting machine') shoved inside it as previously seen also on the 1992 European tour

Certainly a piano of this sort looks good with an orchestra, while obviating the difficulties of miking (and transporting!) a genuine grand. And in the Union Chapel DVD, for instance, the dummy shell simplifies what the camera shows: yet inside it is all the usual Brooker piano set-up of that time: Roland RD700 piano and Kurzweil module through his little Radio Shack four-into-two mixer, plugged straight into a couple of DI boxes. No trailing cables, no microphones, no feedback!

If you care to visit this page you may see where such 'faux' pianos come from: some pictures, below, are lifted with permission.

Barry Sinclair, who manufactures these and many other extraordinary items, is of course the same person who provided a great deal of the Tour Information as recently featured, to some acclaim, at BtP.

'As it happens I used to go to school with Gary ' he declares

The BtP team got to know Barry ('Sinkers' to the Commander) when he tour-managed Procol Harum's West Coast foray in July / August 2003.


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