Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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Matthew Fisher on BJ Wilson

'... very, very talented and a very lovable person ...'


The following comments come from an interview intended for Shine On in 1997. Matthew was asked about the importance of BJ Wilson to Procol, what he thought he contributed.

This is very difficult. I think BJ was an incredibly talented drummer. When he first joined the band, we were all knocked out with him. He was a terrific player. I think he probably peaked at around A Salty Dog, Home, maybe even Broken Barricades. He was absolutely at his best and, yes, he was incredible. But after that I think, for me, he started to lose it. He started to lose it generally. BJ was always a raver, he was always the one who did everything that musicians do, only much more so. It was always too much alcohol, too much dope, too many strange women, everything. He was a bit self-destructive that way. It was a great shame because he was also an incredibly lovable person, as well as being incredibly talented.

But he really sort of destroyed himself, you know? For me, part of the pattern it took was that his drumming started to get what I would call silly. It was like he was trying too hard. I tend to like drummers who just lock in there and get a nice groove going. BJ started to get a bit fancy, pompous, like he felt he had to do something strange and that no other drummer would do. I wasn't there, so this is only how it struck me at a distance. When I was in the band he was great. This was all after I left. But observing from a distance this was how it seemed to me and it was very sad. But as I say, he was very, very talented and a very lovable person.


BJ's page at BtP | The interview from which this snippet is excerpted


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