||(caption:) English success band Procul Harum was in Stockholm yesterday. In extremely colourful, glossy silken costumes, Gary Brooker, Mathew [sic] Fisher, Robin Troyer [sic], Dave Knights and Barrie Wilson walked onto Gröna Lund's big scene.
Maybe you expected some big show - considering the outfit. But Procol Harum doesn't rollick. What we got was half an hour's quiet demonstration of what the band can do besides A Whiter Shade of Pale. And that was quite a bit.
Pictured: pianist and singer Gary Brooker.
Photo: Jonny Graan
I brought the bound books with the old newspapers to the boy at the counter in the archives.
'Could you make copies of that, and that and that for me, please?' I asked.
'Aha, Procol Harum ...' he said.
The guy could not be more than 25.
'Did you know,' he continued thoughtfully, 'there was a big article a few years ago, about the meaning of their biggest hit - what was it called ... '
At that moment, my jaw must have hit the counter. Of course I knew about that article: 1995, full-page article, with an attempt to translate AWSoP into Swedish. I have occasionally been working on a re-translation of it for BtP (but it's hard - the meta-structure is killing me).
How come this guy knew about that article? Could he really be a fan himself if he couldn't remember AWSoP's title? Or had he been locked up in these archives for years, and by now had learned every issue of The Daily News since at least 1995 by heart? Both seemed equally unlikely. Even better, it turned out.
'How on earth do you remember that?' I asked.
'Oh, quite a number of people have come here to get their copy of just that article,' he said.
I walked out, jumped on my bicycle and headed back to the office. It was a perfect day; the sun was shining, a warm wind through the trees. Stockholm is never lovelier than on a fine summer's day like that. It was exactly forty days until Procol Harum would play in Guildford.
And I felt that the world was a place even a little better than a few hours earlier.
Eighteen years later, Jonas informs us that the article has now come online ... click this link!
Many thanks to Jonas Söderström who found this and translated it into English for BtP