Procol Harum

the Pale

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'Last man standing and proud of it'

A 65th-birthday message from Gary Brooker MBE

Detail of a March 2010 Procol Harum portrait by Simon Thiselton

May 29thOak Apple Day in England – the day that the future Charles II hid in an oak tree and successfully evaded his republican pursuers. The birthday of Clive Major (Southend – one eye blue & brown), Kenny White (Edmonton friend of BJ), JF Kennedy, and Bob Hope, and also yours truly (one eye blue & brown).

65 years on this planet – a lot of experience under my belt – but nothing to prepare me for the last few years of tumult and worry, only supported by the ones I love and by another entity. But in a world which is so much about money, one exception is the fans that enjoy the music. They just enjoy listening to the recordings or watching the band on stage – they give so much yet demand little, and this is a constant source of energy and hope for me.

There is of course one more exception to the cynicism of the above and that is the fine musicians and personalities that have played in Procol Harum over the last 43 years. Every one has added his take on things and at the end of the day there has been, and will continue to be, outstanding moments and with that support I am the last man standing and proud of it.

The band at this time is the most enthusiastic, loyal and talented that I can remember (that being a lot of gigs) and it is with great anticipation that I’m getting ready for this series of concerts, particularly in the USA where Procol had its first real appreciation of its music. In 1967 that was a big boost for us and we hope that some of the folks from those days and the ‘descendants’ and friends and follow-on fans will get the chance to see us this time out.

In the next few days we will have our rehearsals and work hard on a good repertoire to play for everybody. I’m ready – the guys are ready – all we need is you lot!!

Shine On!

Gary Brooker

Gary Brooker's page at BtP



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