Procol Harum

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Evgeny Makeev, 1967–2019

'Sad to say Farewell' • Hans Tammes salutes a fellow Paler

In memory of my dear friend Evgeny Makeev

Again a terrible message reached me this week. I know, when you’re getting older you can expect more of these messages. But we never get used to them!

My dear friend Evgeny Makeev was only 52. He died from brain cancer, exactly three years after the loss of our dear friend Luiz de Boni, who had the same problem, and whom we also can never forget.

Evgeny was born 17 March 1967 in a village in the Urals not too far from Ufa. He lived most of the time in Moscow, with an interruption of a few years in the DDR in the 70s. In the 80s he became more and more involved with western music (the picture below shows him playing guitar in a band in Canada): Procol Harum was his first choice. The first concert of Procol he saw was in 1992 in Moscow, on Gary Brooker’s birthday, as he told me!

 He bought some LPs in Russia, which he showed me as seen in the picture. The last Procol concert he saw was in 2017 in London. He had all the LPs, later CDs, of Procol,  and also Gary’s solo CDs. He was also interested in Genesis, especially Steve Hackett! Before I met him he already knew about Kayak,  and owned Kayak CDs as well.

Procol Harum was the reason we became friends, like so many others have done: the founding of the Palers’ Band, by Roland and Jens, is a reason that so many international contacts grew to dear friendships.

Once I told everybody on Facebook that a picture such as that made in London (below) – featuring five nationalities, inclusive Evgeny, with so much respect and friendship for each other – is unique, and an example for the world.


Already since 2015 I met Evgeny on the Procol side. It seemed we had much many common interests that we never realised before. Our more than deep historic interest in each other’s countries, the knowledge about military planes, because both our dads were air force men. As a consequence we simply recognised almost every military plane, and could talk about these aircraft.

The never-ending historic scenes witnessed over the past fifty to sixty years on TV – like Chairman Chroestjov in New York UN HQ, sly with his shoes on the desk (many older men of our age can remember), the U2 spy-plane affair of Gary Powers in ’61 who was shot out of the air by rockets, or the landing of a small airplane by a young German pilot on the Red Square in Moscow.

We hardly could stop talking! Evgeny said he wanted to meet my father – well he died forty years ago, so not possible – so when we met in London (2017), I thought to take a surprise for him or for his father. I had a silver spoon with the insignia of the Royal Dutch Airforce. I gave him this and I got something back: the pilot-watch of his father … amazing.

I think it was April this year when I got a sign on my iPad that Evgeny needed to talk with me, and it sounded serious. When we started our conversation, his face looked quite tired. He told me he had a tumour in his brain and his short-term memory was affected! That was clear to me because he repeated the things he said all the time.

 He could be nervous, but was positive too. Of course flashes of Luiz came up and it scared me a lot. I didn’t want to believe that this could become to a fast end, nevertheless it was worse than I thought. My last conversation was about 8 August and I saw that his situation became really grave … Evelina, his lovely wife (who was in London 2017 also), took over the conversations.

She informed me so well and told me Evgeny was brought to a hospice and it was clear to me it was a matter of only days. A conversation between Evgeny and me was no longer possible! Lina came through with the message last Wednesday that Evgeny had passed away.

The acceptance of this real fact is always difficult. Such a talented man – a wonderful, dear friend, loved so much by his wife and daughter – should live forever! I have sent her Kayak’s Sad to Say Farewell for the music list at the funeral.

And I will never forget him !

The Palers' Band | Another Paler tribute from Hans


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