Procol Harum

the Pale

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Ringo's All-Starrs, 1999

Westbury Music Fair, 21 February 1999

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of seeing Ringo and his All-Starrs at the Westbury Music Fair, a theatre in the round, not far from my home on Long Island, a suburb of New York City. Since Gary was again an All-Starr it was a no-brainer as far as attending was concerned. I have never sat so close to Gary even in the old days at the Fillmore East in the late 60s - early 70s.

The venue was fantastic, with a rotating circular stage and the clearest sound-system ever heard.

Gary wore his dark green beret throughout the entire show, which lasted a little less than two hours. He sang Whisky Train with the slow bluesy twelve-bar intro. I have not heard him 'use' that voice in many years, it reminded me of the early years when the band would come out for the encore (not mandatory in those years) and Gary would sing the R&R standards, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis etc. It was like seeing two concerts in the same evening.

Gary's second song of the night was A Salty Dog. The last time around here with Ringo in the summer of 1997 at Jones Beach, he soloed on this piece while the other band members took a break. Tonight, the group joined him midway through the piece and it sounded much like the recorded version that we all know and love. Todd Rundgren tried to make whale sounds on his guitar during the song but I found the emerging sounds very distracting, as if the whale was in its final seconds of life after being fatally harpooned. Since ASD followed many more animated and louder songs, many people in the crowd of 2,800 used the song to talk amongst themselves and scamper up the aisles to get a drink or use the bathroom. It was distracting for a short while.

The last solo for Gary during the night was AWSoP which got the loudest non-Ringo ovation of the evening. It is always special to hear this classic live and tonight was no exception.

These musicians were a pleasure to watch and listen to. If we can't have a Procol Harum tour again at least evenings such as these can stir up fond memories of past PH concerts. My brother took some pictures at the show, I will scan them over when I get them.

Dave Volpi

Dave adds: Here is an article I found from the Chicago Tribune relating to the Ringo / Gary February 28th gig. Did Gary add a new song to the arsenal or is this reporter misinformed? Check out the 8th paragraph.

What  do you think? Is it clearly a reporter's error or has  Gary added a song mid-tour that no one can imagine him performing. Or am I thinking of the wrong song?

More Ringo / Gary dates Another review of this concert

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