More on The Commander, during the week of his birthday: Beat Magazine finds out why he feels a Farfisa is better than a Hammond, how he always understands Keith's words, how mime-dancers fit into The Worm and the Tree, and offers a hint of plans for the Gary Brooker Ensemble all from 1977 (thanks, Dave)
Your Anorak is too Long ... added helpful and surprising explanations from Henry Scott-Irvine, compiler of the liner-notes for the recent Westside Procol Harum ...Plus! re-issue, about why some of the supposed Royer / Harrison out-takes sound exactly like Trower / Wilson masterpieces (thanks, Henry)
Added another dose from the 1990 Danish Radio interview with Gary Brooker in which we learn about Classical influences, pre-Paramounts days, music lessons (thanks, Niels-Erik)
Added a timetable for the weekend of Gary's forthcoming world première (thanks, Office du Tourisme de Gryon)
May 29: Happy Birthday to Gary Brooker! (1945)
BtP begins its week of articles about The Commander with Roland Clare's interview, in which Gary talks about his new work, orchestral arrangements, Chris Copping, and much more ... (thanks, Gary)
And BtP's own top 20 list: most popular pages, and which countries produce most visits to BtP
Upgraded the index to the Redhill celebrations: by the way, who's organising the next one?
Read about a new recording of Conquistador and In Held 'Twas In I with an orchestra ... and contribute to the CD yourself!
The Mammoth Task: Procol Harum news in its chart context, kindly extracted from the New Musical Express of 31 years ago by Yan Friis: live dates, runaway sales, the primacy of Keith Reid, praise by Denny Cordell for the group's professionalism in the studio
Added a late arrival to the BtP Walpurgis celebrations (thanks, Jonas)
Added a set-list from 1972, Santa Monica (thanks, Joan)
Added Joan May's tribute to Linda McCartney
Added an unusual Australian Homburg EP picture sleeve (Thanks, Dave Cooke)
Added an illustration to the BtP page devoted to published Harum music, and, linked thereto, a very good portrait of the band from the Home era, juxtaposed inappositely with the words of AWSoP (thanks, Chris McLaren)
Updated Geoff Whitehorn's page with a complete musical Curriculum Vitae (thanks, Geoff!)
Added a little about tracking down Geoff Whitehorn's solo albums, (thanks, Dave Lee)
Corrected another bit of misinformation about a Brooker / Reid writing credit (thanks, Jeffrey Mlinscek)
'Brilliance and befuddlement': added a BtP review of this week's intriguing Procol Harum ... Plus! re-release, with the Westside press-release that accompanied it.
Added an illustration to the suite of Liquorice John pages. BtP would like to compile a list of Liquorice John Death tracks that have surfaced in various forms, so we'd be very grateful if you would please explore these pages, and mail us if you know of any titles that are not mentioned there.
Added a review of Robin Trower
at Kansas City, Missouri
(thanks, Pat Keating for the article and the Geography lesson!)
The Mammoth Task: Yan Friis has been searching the UK's New Musical Express for PH news: this week AWSoP was selling hand-over-fist but the NME had not caught on; have a look at the last Procol-free chart of the summer.
By way of compensation, a glimpse into the future: from July 1970, when NME said 'If someone asked me who was the best group in the world right now, Id have to say Procol Harum. And thats no lighthearted endorsement. (thanks, Yan)
Added a transcript of Keith Reid's 1973 interview on BBC Radio 1, which (almost) proves that Without a Doubt is the song that Chris Thomas referred to as 'duff' at the time of Exotic Birds and Fruit (thanks, transcriber Sam)
Kind BtP visitors continue to send details of Procol Harum covers we now have more than eighty so we've rationalised and alphabetised the listing: have a browse.
Added Lindsay Buckingham's opinion of A Whiter Shade of Pale
Added a page about the links between Procol Harum and
Leo Kottke (thanks, Jonas Søderstrøm)
May 17: The Norwegian National Day
Added a set-list from Procol's Academy of Music concert in New York City, 1992: Gary's remarks at this concert may be the source of the occasional queries we hear about Homburg in the context of anti-Semitism (Thanks, Marvin again)
Added another cover-version, an Italian Homburg (thanks, Antonio)
May 16: (RIP Frank Sinatra, whose classic 1955 album, In The Wee Small Hours, made its mark in the Procol world time to remember, what a legacy: 'I did it my way')
Added a retrospective review of the great first PH album from Zabadak (thanks, Sam)
Upgraded the Commander's page (thanks Joan) and removed a brainless mistake that nobody had commented on and that we're certainly not going to own up to now!
Added the famously-glowing 1967 review of Procol Harum's first album from Crawdaddy Magazine by kind permission of its author, Paul Williams: '... each musician does Gary's will without being any less himself ...' / 'stomach noises with soul' / 'Procol songs [...] continue to generate spontaneously in my mind as I walk down various streets, and I've derived no end of pleasure from imagining I was listening to the album.'
'But it was lead guitarist Mick Grabham who really stole the night's honours'. Review from Melody Maker, September 1974 which mentions the new PH single [sic], The Poet [aka Without a Doubt] (Thanks, David Knight)
Added two more AWSoP covers, fairly unappetising ones by the sound of them (thanks, Oleh)
Updated the memoir about Procol Harum in Venezuela (thanks Guillermo)
Today we're happy to announce a great new feature that we hope 'Beyond the Pale' visitors the 'Palers' are going to enjoy throughout the next twelve months.
Yan Friis has undertaken the Mammoth Task of digging out every mention of Procol Harum from UK's New Musical Express for one whole year, starting today. We're going to follow each week's unfurling Harum story ... the records, the gossip, the personnel-changes, management hassles, label-shifting, illness, scandals, solo outings and changes of plan ... all in the context of the UK and US chart-world of 31 years ago.
So, eyes down, for a week-by-week trip back through the Summer of Love [sic!] ... starting with the earliest mention of A Whiter Shade of Pale
And we have several new cover versions in store. (Thanks to many contributors, especially Pierangelo Valenti for all those Italian covers)
Added a personal memoir about Procol Harum's public profile in Venezuela (thanks Guillermo)
BtP is constantly acquiring new visitors and their kind comments are often illuminating: this week we were very honoured to receive this ...
... and this ...
This is a good reminder, for established visitors who look only at the pages we publicise in this 'What's New' list, that many other changes are made to BtP daily, linking related pages and updating them: so do try some lateral 'travelling' through the Procol Harum fractal ... Enough 'idle boasts' from 'crazy ghosts' (spot the song?)
This just in, from the horse's mouth so to speak: exciting news of a new Gary Brooker composition: première in June
Added a Redhill report from Poland's Tylko Rock: Mirek Plodzik's writing is perceptive, personal, human and humorous: it's got background, musical detail, and some good chat with Messrs Brooker, Cartwright and Copping. It's been translated from Polish into occasionally surprising but always-enjoyable English, and is a must-read! (many thanks, Mirek)
Added a few snippets associated with the famously cloth-eared assessment of Procol Harum by Robbie Robertson of the Band
Added more detail to the list of PH music used in
films: how AWSoP accompanies the catapulting of a body
to a watery grave (thanks,
Added an almost-contemporary review of The Prodigal Stranger from Zabadak (thanks, Sam)
Added some detail, about Robin Trower songs and other collaborations, to the page of Keith Reid's non-Procol Harum songwriting. If you know more still, please mail us with details ... about the Keith Reid / Jeff Healy collaborations, for instance?
Added details of the first Procol Harum compilation album that we know of (thanks again, Yan)
Procol Harum fans tend to be stylish, evocative writers with
long memories for great music. For proof, read Richard Beck's
feature on PH at the Atlanta Festival, specially written for
this website. (Thanks, Richard!)
Added two more cover versions (AWSoP and Homburg)
Added five more Procol Harum friends to the list which now has 111 entries!
Added information on the origin and signification of the name 'Procol Harum' as reported in an interview with Keith Reid who evidently considered it to be 'a silly name' (thanks, Sam Cameron)
Added two great reports on Robin Trower's American tour: New Jersey on 1 May 1998 and Boston on 2 May 1998 (thanks, Alan and Greg!)
Added information (including liner notes) about the 1997 Repertoire re-issue of Home
Added a page recording Procol's Rolling Stone ratings (thanks, Magnus)
Added a spelling-mistake to Dump my Thesaurus
Added publisher details for the songbook for Procols Ninth
Added interesting detail about Procol Harum's progress in the German charts (thanks, Yan)
Read what was new on this website in previous months