Procol Harum

the Pale 

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Pictures from Huizen, Netherlands

(6) Dave Ball visits Frans Steensma's Harum museum • 30 November 2008

Procol Harum's Dave Ball writes to 'Beyond the Pale'

On a recent visit to Amsterdam I was lucky enough to be able to meet up with Frans Steensma and visit his Procol Harum Museum. Now, some people build model railways in their attics, some people store old suitcases, some probably practise hydroponics, but Frans has chosen to create the most comprehensive library of Procol Harum-related memorabilia in the world.

This includes (probably) all versions of Procol Harum recordings from labels around the world, posters, press cuttings, marketing gizmos and photographs (I even offered to have myself stuffed and put in the corner of the room after I'm gone, but unfortunately the ceiling is quite low and I wouldn't fit).

There are files of newspaper cuttings stored from one side of the room to the other, which would take years to wade through. It is quite the most extraordinary complement to a musical group from Southend, and whilst it doesn't have the glitz of a Hard Rock Café wall with imprisoned cast-off guitars signed by hairy shredders from overboiled metal bands, it manages to capture the very essence of understated Procoldom.

Frans hasn't stopped at PH players when they are in residence either, as he follows the ex-members of the band through their prior and post incarnations. So I was able to savour some bad reviews from my Bedlam and Long John Baldry days.

So thank you Frans for this unusual commitment to Procol and its many members over the years. I'm feeling a little more iconic since my visit – bit like an episode of Doctor Who. On this page are a couple of photographs of me standing in the Museum trying to look like an icon.

Ah well ... I tried my best ...


On the same day Procol historian Frans Steensma wrote to BtP about his photographs:

Re. the two Ball pictures in my attic (30 November).

On one he is holding the Bedlam LP (UK 1973). As Cozy Powell is on it, it's very sought-after, especially in Japan, so Dave told me. At the recent record fair in Utrecht I saw a Japanese copy of the Bedlam album on sale for 350 euros!

On the higher photo Dave is in front of a German 'Rock Meets Classic' poster (Gary's orchestral outing in the early nineties). You can read about the poster in my Edmonton piece. I put Dave in front of it for obvious reasons, as you'll understand.

More shots from Frans's Procol museum  | More Procol in a fan's museum

Dave Ball's page at BtP

Frans Steensma's writings at 'Beyond the Pale'



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