Procol Harum

the Pale

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PH at Atlanta, 1973

Brent Coursey

Brent Coursey writes,
Since BtP is compiling fans' Procol Harum experiences, here's one of mine:

Procol played a gig in Atlanta, GA on 26 April 1973 at the Fox. I remember this date well, because that was the day that I went to Vietnam - and while on leave, some months earlier, I had purchased a pair of tickets to the concert, just hoping the two dates wouldn't coincide.

They did - this is real life, remember - so I gave my tickets to Clark, my guitar player. (He, by the way, is the one who has that CD store where your autograph [RC's!!] is on the wall). I was in the Atlanta airport, drinking tequila shooters, awaiting the flight, and feeling mightily sorry for myself - and, hearing an English accent, I looked up and saw Chris Copping.

I'm certain that I startled the man - me, a half-drunk hillbilly babbling, "Hey, Chris."

But when he saw that I was not a Mark David Chapman sort, he showed what an absolute gentleman he was, and we spent a very pleasant ten minutes talking about PH, Vietnam, "Why did you even join the army, man?" and how I had had a sort of "Chris Copping" role in my band, being both the bassist and the pianist (I know, Chris played organ, but still ...).

He told me that he was sorry that I'd be missing the gig that evening, but, "Catch us when you get leave, man." Someday, if you see the man, please tell him that I said, "Thank You!"

And yeah, I got his autograph, and until sometime in the 80s, I had it taped to the Procol's Ninth album cover, directly above his "autograph" there. Our "roadie" Jeff's girlfriend borrowed the album from me and I never got it back. But that's another story;

I'm just glad that I had an opportunity to tell someone my PH story. And I still remember Clark telling me some months later, "Man! You shoulda heard what that drummer an' that organ player did on that song about Bacon, or something!"

But, hey ... I'm babbling too much. And Prima, our own 'TV Ceasar' is whining to go out, and Ann, my beloved, is just too entranced by some silly-assed TV sitcom to get up.

So I will let her out and then I gotta go to bed, because unfortunately, I work at the VA in Dayton, and we don't get the day after Thanksgiving off. And I'm dying to use a Bringing Home The Bacon sort of closing, but ... I can't help it, I do plan to, ah, "trip the light fantastic" and "turn a few cartwheels 'cross the floor" after I let the dog in.

Procol Harum tour-dates in 1973 | Ticket stub

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