Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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1975: Procol Harum at Tivoli Gardens

Photos + captions by Axel Leonhardt and Peer Lund


Procol Harum concerts in Copenhagen had established their own tradition: the well-known repertoire, AWSoP, and the extras: free style rock 'n roll; and we loved it!

'Shh ... Hey Mick, who's placed that amp so close to the organ? I can't get my counting-leg out ... there's no space ... I can't keep time!'

 

There is no doubt that BJ was our favourite. The audience gave him roses. This year he had changed his position on stage so that he was at counterpoint with Gary: the grand piano to the far left, the drum kit to the far right, sideways to the audience.

' ... goddam roadies, I told them to raise my stool for the second set. Now I can only play the snare drum, high-hat, and bass drum for the next hour!'

 

Last time in Copenhagen Gary had been dressed in a green and yellow striped over-all and called himself 'Andy Pandy'. This time he wore a white suit. We had learnt to live with that. Images and expectations may alter. Gary will be Gary.

'... what a good idea to dress in white and play God!'

 

It was not until many years later that we really understood that it was in this area of tension, of personal involvement as this unique picture shows, before our very eyes, between the counterpoints of grand piano and drum kit and with Matthew's unseen touch that the magic of Procol Harum was created. But we know now but now we are much older.

'... boy, those Danes! They offer you open sandwiches in the break with herring, capers, and raw onions. Smoked salmon, pickled herring, smoked cod-liver and then they ask you to play A Salty Dog!'

 

We were so glad when we saw that Gibson Les Paul because at that time we had not met the player yet but we knew the guitar. Later we agreed that he was a fine substitute and to see Chris playing the organ only was new too.

' ... I wonder where Alan went off to? Anyway, Chris is playing the bass on the organ with his feet ... should keep his leg busy for the moment ... should I just test my wah-wah pedal here? No, better not, Gary'll get mad ...'

 

A very concentrated likeable bass player. He did not say much, but it did not take long before we noticed the mutual understanding between him and BJ. The Copenhageners took Alan to their hearts immediately.

'... A minor ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ...boy, my first time in Copenhagen ... C minor ... 2 ... 3 ... 4... I wonder if it is true with those Scandinavian blondes the boys were talking about ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... G major ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... A minor ...' 

 


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