Procol Harum

the Pale 

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Procol's Progress since Redhill, 19 July 1997

Five years of glorious aftermath

This page lists some of the noteworthy happenings in Procoldom in the five years since we first came together at Redhill to hear the nine-man Procol Harum give a retrospective command performance that many thought was their final musical statement. Yet it's been commented recently that the Procol Community is in better shape than it was even in the band's supposed heyday: and Redhill, it seems, really lies at the root of this burgeoning. We must also, of course, acknowledge the development of the Internet … and the early influence of Henry Scott-Irvine's Shine On magazines, which were indeed 'a thought to sow the seed'.

Of course not all the events below were demonstrably caused by the Redhill party … but Redhill proved to many Procol fans that they were not alone, and that it was enjoyable to keep in touch with others of like mind. And one thing feeds off another. This communication whets latent enthusiasm and revives the appetite for great music: and a record company will unearth or commission Procol material if they know there are fans willing to buy it; Procolers will be interviewed for broadcast if there is audience feedback; and this makes promoters willing to invite the band to perform … and that creates new fans …

And it didn't affect only the fans: there can surely be little doubt that we are now seeing a renaissance among the Procol players also, which has been fostered over five years of continuing post-Redhill development in the fan-base … it has now come to a point where we have a fixed-personnel Procol Harum again, with a new live recording out and much talk of a further studio album.

So please enjoy the list below, on this fifth anniversary of the Redhill party, and follow the various links … which should take you well into the next five years of Procoldom …

19 July 1997

30 Years of A Whiter Shade of Pale – the party at Redhill, organised by Diane Rolph and John Grayson of Shine On

Pictures from the first Palers' Party, (even before Palers were invented!); the Redhill setlist

The Redhill reports: the first from Jens, Leonard Boehm, Pat Keating, and the detailed and entertaining report from Roland, later used as the basis for the Glossy Souvenir programme

19 July 1997 in Redhill was in fact the first meeting between future BtP webmasters Jens and Roland, and the first ideas about building a new website – based on Jens's website at that time, Shine on Brightly – were discussed in a local coffee shop.

8 October 1997

The new Procol Harum website 'Beyond the Pale' is born. And the webmasters, Jens and Roland, selected this interview with Kenny White as a tribute to BJ Wilson for the opening day.

Amazingly the website is updated every single day, thanks to a great community of contributors all round the world, and quite a number of Patron Saints.

25 December 1997

Gary Brooker's first Christmas message to 'Beyond the Pale (see also 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001: 'special thanks from all of Procol to Roland & Jens for making BtP such a warm home for all visitors')

23 January 1998

Keith Reid and Gary Brooker write to the 'Beyond the Pale' guestbook

March 1998

Westside Records begin their series of Procol re-releases – several rare or half-finished tracks are brought to light

June 6 / 7 1998

A new Gary Brooker composition is premiθred in Switzerland

July 1998

Gary Brooker's own label puts out the long-awaited Liquorice John album

19 July 1998

The Redhill anniversary is celebrated at BtP. Take the time to re-read these entertaining and moving impressions from several Redhill participants.

October 1998

A great Paramounts CD comes out

23 October 1998

Gary Brooker presents his musical influences on the German radio show Klassik, Pop et cetera

12 November 1998.

Procol Harum Live at the BBC is released on CD – with liner notes from the BtP team

18 November 1998

Japanese TV makes a programme about Gary Brooker

18, 19 and 20 December 1998

Gary Brooker and friends play in Guildford, with several Procol players on stage, and unveil a hitherto-unknown Procol Harum song, A Real Attitude. Geoff Whitehorn says '… I'd drop everything to do a new Procol Harum album.' Fans present Gary with a great petition urging Procol Harum to play again.

No Stiletto Shoes play in Southend the following day. This great weekend saw the second meeting between several international Procoholics, soon to be known as the Palers. 'Could this be the first sign of a much-wanted re-birth of Procol Harum?' Jens wrote in this report  

27 July 1999

Pioneer Entertainment releases the first Procol DVD: Best of Musikladen including the 1971 BeatClub show and Grand Hotel and Drunk Again from a 1974 appearance.

24 November 1999

The Danish Procol fans form an organisation and meet in Copenhagen: details here

7 December 1999

Gary Brooker is interviewed by Douglas Adams at London's Barbican Centre: Palers attend from various countries: a suite of pages here

February 2000

Claes Johansen's biography of Procol Harum is published

February 2000

AWSoP is performed as a Brooker / Fisher duet for London Weekend Television

6 March 2000

45 minutes'-worth of Brooker music and a new interview are broadcast on Deutschlandfunk Rock et Cetera

25 March 2000

Matthew Fisher is interviewed on BBC Radio 2 about Claes Johansen's recently-published biography of Procol Harum (transcript here)

9 April 2000

A sealed copy of Procol Harum with poster reaches USD 160 in an online auction: interest in Procol Harum runs high

15 May 2000

Keith Reid's book, My Own Choice, becomes a reality

September 2000

Gary Brooker's label issues a CD of Procol Harum Live in Utrecht

17 September 2000

The Procol Harum Millennium Concert in Guildford – 'Worth the Wait in Gold' as BtP wrote. The BtP team writes the Procol note in the official programme.

Revisit this suite of pages documenting the long awaited re-birth of Procol Harum, and the advent of the first Palers' Convention and Palers' Band … which will subsequently issue three live albums  

October 2000

Matthew Fisher's albums Journey's End and I'll Be There come out on CD at last (order here or here) with liner notes from the BtP team

October 2000

More Brooker / Fisher TV AWSoP sessions

6 November 2000

Gary Brooker in the Psychedelic News: 'I'm sure that we should play in America at the start of the next millennium, we will be there'

December 2000

Metro Records releases a good Best of 2CD, proof, if any were needed, of the continuing market for Procol Harum songs among ordinary, non-fanorak, music lovers.

13 December 2000

Gary Brooker plays AWSoP at the annual Hootenanny on BBC2 with Jools Holland

27 December 2000

Procol Harum wins a poll on Norwegian radio for the best single ever: A Whiter Shade of Pale clinches 22 percent of the votes

8 January 2001

'100 Greatest Hit Singles' on the UK's Channel 4 places AWSoP in the top twenty

31 January 2001

The Whalers' Double CD contains fans' original music and Procol cover versions: Chris Copping and Dave Ball contribute

25 May 2001

Procol Harum opens the European Tour 2001 in Copenhagen, Denmark: the first of many Danish concerts this year and the following year.  

26 May 2001

The second Palers' Band plays at the Palers' Party in Jens's hometown, Kristiansand. For the first time all Procol Harum members witness the performance ('I think the band are great,' said Gary, 'I just can't stand the music!') before they had to leave the party to prepare their own performance later that night. 

16 June 2001

The Palers' Convention in Manchester saw the third incarnation of the Palers' Band, although the evening's main attraction turned out to be Procol Harum making a surprise visit and playing for us.

The following night Procol Harum and the Hallι Orchestra play at the Bridgewater Hall 

17 September 2001

Gary Brooker plays Holding On at the memorial service for the life of Douglas Adams, Procol Harum fan.

23 September 2001

University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) broadcasts its first Procol internet radio marathon: the series extends to seven huge shows with interviews with Brooker, Fisher, Reid, Whitehorn, Brzezicki and Pegg – and even Clare and Ravnaas from 'Beyond the Pale'

15 December 2001

Procol Harum plays their last gig of the year, closing the circle by playing in Copenhagen again. Danish TV documents this concert in an excellent film later to be released on DVD under the name Procol Harum Live in Copenhagen
14 concerts in 2001 really proved that Procol Harum is back again.

30 December 2001

Danish TV broadcasts the interview and magnificent concert mentioned above

16 February 2002

Polish Radio broadcasts Procol's 2001 Warsaw concert

March 2002

Metro Records releases Classic Tracks & Rarities - an Anthology

15 March 2002

Procol Harum live from Hell broadcast on Norwegian TV

May 2002

Classic Pictures release Procol Harum - Live (DVD) : 150 minutes of Procol Harum filmed onstage in December 2001 and also in rehearsal

25 May 2002

Procol Harum opens this year's summer tour in Croydon (after their scheduled concert in Newcastle the preceding day was cancelled). The setlist included some nice surprises, and Palers from more than 20 countries celebrated the 35th anniversary of AWSoP by drinking 'One More Toast' with the band.

July 2002

Repertoire Records reissue Broken Barricades with three bonus tracks, Live in Edmonton with one, Liquorice John Death, a 3CD 67-track set of Singles A's & B's with all the 45s Procol Harum ever released, including rarities such as Adagio and The Blue Danube

Beyond these things …

… who knows?



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