Before winding up November, let's all put Matthew Fisher's first solo album, Journey's End on our record players. Journey's End was released 25 years ago this month. And may some record company soon make this masterpiece available on CD!
Added a superb review of the above from Rolling Stone, followed by a typically detailed and stimulating commentary thereon from Joan May (thanks, Joan)
Added a brief review of the video of the Ringo / Gary show from Pine Knob (Detroit) in 1997 (thanks, Pat)
I had some other stuff that I could have used, which had Gary on piano, BJ on drums and Chris on organ ...
Added Roland Clares interview with Mick Grabham about his solo album Mick the Lad.
More about the delay involving the Shine On Liquorice John CD: the company Gary uses is also responsible for the Classic FM CD series, and there has been a huge pre-Christmas run on these which has apparently taken priority over the small private pressing of Gazza 2. John Grayson continues to welcome your orders, online and offline, but is not processing any of the money until the CDs are ready to despatch.
Meanwhile the new edition of Shine On went to the mail yesterday afternoon.
November 27: (a whopper)
Added some interesting observations about a possible Scott Walker influence on the sound of A Whiter Shade of Pale (thanks, Yan)
Added a link to a review of New Nation, produced (and played on) by Matthew Fisher for Roderick Falconer (thanks, Joan)
John Grayson of Shine On asks us to reassure everyone who has ordered the new Liquorice John CDs. There have been delays at the pressing-plant, compounded by computer problems resulting in John's being offline for quite a while. CDs will be despatched as soon as he takes delivery of them: keep the orders flooding in.
We're getting some very telling contributions to our 'Still There'll be More' feature: have a look at this one, for instance. If a good number of 'Palers' would like to add to this communal plea for further Procol activity, we shall print all the contributions and present them to Gary Brooker at Guildford on 18 December. They needn't be long, or clever - all they need to do is imply that there would be a handsome market for anything new that Brooker / Fisher / Reid and friends might decide to do. Please click here to add your own message on this subject.
We understand that the person whose name is attached to the 'Procol Harum sucks' message in the BtP guestbook says she does not know who filed that entry under her name. In view of that, one might as well not bother to mail her with 'a logical reason why they are like [sic] so much.' (thanks, Marcelo)
Are you coming to Gary's Christmas gigs in Guildford or Southend? Let us know you are coming. Have a look at this webpage!
Added a page about Mick Grabham's solo album Mick the Lad, (bonus tracks feature BJ Wilson) including liner-note, pictures, and a track-by-track BtP review.
The Mammoth Task: Procol Harum news in its chart context, kindly extracted for BtP from the New Musical Express of 31 years ago today by Yan Friis: poll predictions: PH in 'terrific fight for supremacy in the Best New Group division', some high chart placings abroad, and some desperately silly headlines.
Who thinks Conquistador is cheesy, then? These people do! Well they're entitled to their opinion, and to spell Procol Harum any way they want to too. If you're searching their site, go for the title of the song: you won't find the name of the band anywhere! (thanks, Sam)
Added, here and here, two 1977 set-lists from the Old Waldorf, San Francisco: latter-day recruit Dee Murray was on bass ... yet the band played a song from every single album at one of the shows. There were cracking drum solos from BJ on The Unquiet Zone, too, and at least one A Salty Dog of hair-raising intensity (thanks, Roger)
Added a good Melody Maker review of the Edmonton album, which claims that Brooker 'approached his arrangements from the pop side of the orchestra and leans more towards 60s Phil Spector'.
Should Procol Harum have a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Read Bert Saraco's plea for action ... (thanks, Bert)
A very interesting piece of contemporary writing about the recording - and re-recording - of the Live at Edmonton album (thanks, Roger)
November 21: Sorry for the delay in today's upload: caused by problems connecting to the net from Norway - Jens
Added a good NME review of the Edmonton album: 'I feel, though Brooker doesn't agree, that it will put them high in the esteem of the British public.'
Added Joan May's catalogue 'blurb' for the excellent Dewar / Fisher Stumbledown Romancer
Added a cautious and musicianly report on the Live at Edmonton concert (thanks, Roger again)
And do you know about the 45 rpm version of Skip Softly that lacks the instrumental section? Go to the foot of this page (thanks, Takayuki Fujii)
We welcome Gary G Gibbs, 200th Paleron thelistof Procol Harum fans who visit this website. [Another bloke called Gary once asked us if it wasn't 'the same fifteen people over and over again' that were still showing online interest in Procol Harum!] Click here to add yourself - the list helps fans keep / get in touch and (who knows?) might enable BtP to advise you promptly of anything special that crops up :-)
Added Disc's Live at Edmonton review of 'a very complete and highly talented album'.
Gary Brooker is to appear on Japanese TV on 21 December. More details here. I hope someone in Japan will use his or her VCR for the benefit of all us overseas Palers.
Added some sceptical comments to Ozzy Osbourne's praise for A Whiter Shade of Pale (thanks, Yan)
Added a piece of contemporary writing about the preparations for the Live at Edmonton recording which took place 27 years ago today: herewith, a snippet about Ritchie Yorke, who seems to have had the initial idea for the concert. (thanks, Roger McGuire / Dave Lee)
The Mammoth Task: Procol Harum news in its chart context, kindly extracted for BtP from the New Musical Express of 31 years ago today by Yan Friis: poll-mania taking its hold as Homburg continues to slide, and David Knights suffers the NME spotlight.
Added some approving comments on A Whiter Shade of Pale from Ozzy Osbourne (thanks, Joan)
See also superstar esteem from Lindsay Buckingham, Doro, Dave Gilmour, Ian Hunter, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page, Mick Ronson, Ringo Starr, Bernie Taupin ... anyone got any more?
Added a snippet about AWSoP to this somewhat neglected and under-developed page (thanks, Paula)
Pedal steel fans, or Procol ultra-completists, may want to investigate recordings by Gary's father, Harry Brooker: details here and here (thanks, Kerry)
Added some comments on the re-release of the Procoliferous soundtrack to The Big Chill (thanks, Joan)
Added yet another compilation album to our page on that subject (thanks, Hermann)
Watch your mailboxes for Michael Ackermann's Whaling Stories newsletter.
Refreshed our text from the Procol's Ninth tour programme by adding the original sketches of the band: some of the facial expressions are quite surprising.
Added a snippet or two about Procol Harum's showing in sundry album-charts: more data for this page would be welcome. (thanks, Sam)
Musicians now confirmed for Guildford on 18 December include Dave Bronze, Henry Spinetti, Mick Abrahams, Paul Carrack, Andy Fairweather-Lowe, Nick Pentelow and Beverley Skeete.
Added a brief article about A Whiter Shade of Pale etc from last week's The Times (thanks, Sam)
Added a page announcing the release of the legitimate Liquorice John CD, featuring Gary Brooker, BJ Wilson, Chris Copping and Robin Trower, and how to order it!
Added more personnel who are confirmed for Gary's gig at Guildford
The Mammoth Task: Procol Harum news in its chart context, kindly extracted for BtP from the New Musical Express of 31 years ago today by Yan Friis: Homburg slipping down the UK chart, PH eventually flying their own equipment out to the States, and the 'not really evil' Matthew Fisher!
Arrangements for a fans' get-together at a suitably-priced hotel in Guildford and Southend are here, and useful maps and transport arrangements may be found here.
'What the Beatles achieved only once or twice (on Strawberry Fields Forever most notably) - a definitive English rock music - Procol Harum have consistently achieved since that first single ...'
Added a good, early PH article from the Australian music press: it's a fascinating trip back in time seen through Antipodean eyes (many thanks, Rob Smyth!)
And the No Stiletto Shoes concert in Southend is now also confirmed for Sunday 20 December - expect hotel details for meeting in Guildford and Westcliffe-on-Sea at BtP tomorrow.
Added an article by an ex-Tour / Sound manager for Procol Harum, explaining how PH and Leo Kottke came to be musical friends: it's markedly at variance to Leo's own accounts here. (thanks, David Pelletier)
Check our covers page for more Kottke / Procol information.
As well as the Guildford concert, BtP can now reveal that Gary and Friends (this time as 'No Stiletto Shoes') are also playing Southend before Christmas: booking details here. Tiny, intimate club - very different from the Guildford theatre - so act fast if you're able to be there.
To round off the discussion on the Procol Harum mail-list about Hammond organ vs. synths, here is John Overall's humorous comment.
'My mother could have done a better edit with a rusty kitchen knife in the dark.'
Added a highly-informative page about the soundtrack to the film Separation. (thanks, Matthew and Greg)
Added the Guildford Press Release from Gary Brooker's office: some of his band confirmed (three Procols so far!) and an exceptional support act announced!
Added a list of Procol Harum press articles for sale, either as originals or as photocopies. This might be interesting in its own right even if you don't want to buy (or if you can already find the article concerned here at BtP). If you do end up ordering, mention BtP to qualify for a modest discount.
Further Christmas shopping ideas: Procol's Ninth and Salty Dog promotional items! (thanks, John)
The Mammoth Task: Procol Harum news in its chart context, kindly extracted for BtP from the New Musical Express of 31 years ago today by Yan Friis: Homburg 'taking off like mad' in the US while Procol get a standing ovation from the American press, and a Wilson / Trower article.
The Wilson / Trower article has previously been posted on BtP here: a fact realized by Roland only after Jens had spent two hours of typewriter torment on it :-(
Added some more fab Procol Harum pictures from Larry Pennisi's archive (thanks, Larry)
If you can receive UK's ITV, don't forget to set your video recorder for Gary playing on GMTV.
Added two snippets about Birds and
Fruit (thanks, Sam & Jonas)
Thanks to Torjus Ravnaas for updating BtP while the webmasters were AWoL!
'While I was with Procol Harum, the only time I'd see my guitar was either when I walked onstage or in the studio. That's how serious I was about it then.'
Added a very full and fascinating article in which Robin Trower talks about Procol Harum in Guitar Player: read all about which instrument he plays on which albums and much more besides (thanks, David Knight)
Don't forget that Gary Brooker is playing imminently on GMTV: video-recorders at the ready.
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