Procol Harum

the Pale 

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FAQs at 'Beyond the Pale'

This site's most Frequently Asked Questions 

There are several Procol questions that the webmasters are asked almost daily. We would like to urge you to transfer your general questions about Procol Harum music and musicians to The Beanstalk instead. By using these vehicles you will bring your question before hundreds of fans, whose expertise and enthusiasm should guarantee a speedy reply.

Here, however, is a list of answers to BtP's most Frequently Asked Questions.

Jens and Roland

What does the name
Procol Harum

It is said to be derived from the name of a Burmese cat, though it is also not dissimilar to some Latin words ... full story here


What new records have Procol Harum released?

All This and More, the 4-disc Procol Harum Box Set, is released 28 September 2009 (available from this website from 12 September)

There's a great new CD reissue series (2009), with some choice bonus-tracks, from Salvo Records: the remastered sound makes these well-worth acquiring

2008: Procol Harum Live in Denmark with orchestra and chorus (DVD and CD)

Watch out also for Keith Reid's solo record

2007: One Eye to the Future: download-only live album

Live at the Union Chapel was the excellent new DVD (Summer 2004): order it from Amazon USA; Amazon UK; Amazon Germany; Amazon Canada

The Well's on Fire (studio album) was released on 3 March 2003. Click here to order from Amazon.

What is on the 2CDs
Lost in the Looking-Glass (2002), From Shadow to Shadow (2004), and Trace of a Feeling (2006), and how can I get hold of them?

These are three 2CD compilations, each containing 40 or more tracks celebrating the songwriting of Brooker, Fisher, Trower and Reid. They have been recorded in studios all over the world by musicians who admire Procol Harum, and they are a must-have for any fan of the band.

Explore the Palers' Project website to hear excerpts, see pictures, and order your copies. You will see that this is not a tribute band, nor a covers band, but something very special and unique to Procol Harum.

Proceeds from the Palers' Project go to funding 'Beyond the Pale'. A new double CD is in preparations for 2008.

Musicians: to contribute to Palers' Project releases, send us a mail

Does the website have search facilities?

We have two search-engines at your disposal, one for searching the whole website, and one dedicated to investigating Keith Reid's song words, kindly hosted by Peter Christian. You will find the former by following the Site search links on the menus; search Keith's words by clicking here.


How can I interact with the BtP team, or send material for the website?

Jens and Roland will be more than happy to receive your comments, suggestions or material suitable for BtP. Use the Interact with BtP link from the menu line on each page of this website.


How can I find my way around 'Beyond the Pale'?

You will find a menu at the top and bottom of each page. Click on menu selections to bring you to various sections of the website, where you will find further index-pages having lots of pointers to sub-sections and related pages.

The main page also has direct links to some of the most requested pages. 'Beyond the Pale' is a large web of more than 6,400 nested pages: so surf laterally to view the many links in the text, to make some interesting discoveries.


What is The Beanstalk?

A lively, friendly mailing list for discussion of everything Procol-related. Click here to sign up, then any message you send to will go to all subscribers, including yourself, and you can reply to any mailing you receive in the normal e-mail way.


Do you have a
Procol Harum newsletter

Yes, the Fresh Fruit newsletter will be sent to subscribers only when something important happens in the Procol Harum world. You can subscribe from the Interact with BtP menu. Subscribers will be among the first to know vital Procol news ... and more ... the moment we have it (that's how fans found out about the end-of-tour meal in December 2003, and ended the evening in a curry-house with Procol Harum as our guests ... )


Is 'Beyond the Pale' updated from time to time with new information?

A new Procol item has been unveiled at BtP every day of the year for 14 years, usually at about midnight Central European Time. From 8. October 2011 we have been doing weekley updates. To find out what's new on the website, follow the What's new link in the menus that's the page you should book-mark and return to daily.


Is 'Beyond the Pale' a commercial website?

No. BtP is run by the fans for the fans. It has no regular sponsorship or funding.

You can support the website by treating yourself to the albums Lost in the Looking-Glass, From Shadow to Shadow, and Trace of a Feeling click here to order them. Each contains 40 or more fantastic arrangements celebrating the songwriting of Brooker, Fisher, Trower and Reid: they are 22 USD each or 38 USD for two. Order with your credit-card or PayPal account: immediate despatch worldwide.

You may also make donations to BtP, using PayPal or your credit card, by following this link. Every donation, however small,  is gratefully received, and will be used to improve the website and our Procol Harum related activities. Remember BtP is free to all visitors, so no donations are required nor expected.


Where can I find the words of a particular Procol Harum song?

You will find the words to all Procol Harum songs in our words section, Nothing's better left unsaid. Some of them have been verified by the author, Keith Reid, in an ongoing programme. Those unverified are taken from published sources or derived from very careful listening. You may also try Peter Christian's wonderful word search engine.


Can you explain the title
 In Held 'Twas in I ?

There is no real mystery about this unusual title, if you consider the five vocal sections of the suite. The first begins with 'In the darkness of the night'; then 'Held close by that which some despise' is followed by ''Twas teatime at the circus'. After that come 'In the autumn of my madness' and 'I know if I'd been wiser'. Put together the opening words of each section, and you have the title.


Do you have
mp3 files
at BtP?

No. We respect copyright laws and think that musicians and writers / composers should get paid for their work. When we can find a way of distributing music electronically and still make certain the band get paid, we will consider it. Gary Brooker released a new song exclusively via this website for Christmas 2005.

For purposes of scholarship you will find some brief mp3 clips in the
Taking Notes and Stealing Quotes feature: none is longer than about twenty seconds.

There are, however, good excerpts from Procol songs here, here and here


Do you sell bootlegs?

See here for a full statement about Procol Harum bootlegs.

The BtP online shop will from time to time have Procol Harum related items for sale, often collectors' items of limited availability but no bootlegs.

I've got a signed copy of Procol's Ninth ... is it valuable?

This album was printed with the band's signatures from time to time eBay traders (perhaps in ignorance) try to flog it as a signed rarity.


What are the words of A Whiter Shade of Pale all about?

There's an interesting article here, and a few fans' responses may be found here; we don't think that there's any point in trying to be too definitive about 'meaning' in such an impressionistic text!


Do you have contact with members of the band, and do they sometimes give you 'inside' information?

Yes. Although 'Beyond the Pale' is an independent fan-driven website, we are glad and proud to know that many band members visit the site regularly. We also get information and help from them from time to time, and from their management.

But please do not expect to find 'inside gossip' at BtP: we respect the musicians' privacy, and information we are given will not be published at BtP unless it is intended to be.


What is The Palers' Band?

A group convened by 'Beyond the Pale' from time to time to play Procoloid music live: see (and hear) here.


What happened to our beloved BJ Wilson?

Understandably this is one of the most frequently-asked questions.

As a matter of fact, Barrie died in 1990 in the USA, having been in a coma for many months. Of course 'BtP' is not in a position to speak for Barrie or his family, and we would not wish to publicise anything more personal even if we were. The best response to this sad question is a celebratory one: check out his web-page, his top-of-the-world drumming accolade, and turn A Salty Dog up, way past ten.

What happened to BJ Wilson? He lives on, while we continue to play his music.