PROCUL [sic] Harem [sic]
singer Gary Brooker today lost a High Court copyright action over the group’s
1967 hit Whiter Shade of Pale.
Voted one of the greatest pop songs of all time, Whiter Shade of Pale sold more than 10 million records and still earns huge sums in royalties.
Former band member Matthew Fisher claimed he was due 50% of the song’s royalties because of his contribution to the song on which, he claimed, he made significant chord changes to the Brooker version.
Today Fisher was awarded a 40% share of the musical copyright but his claim for back royalties which could have amounted to more than £1m was rejected.
Mr Justice Blackburne said his contribution to Whiter Shade of Pale was “significant” but not as substantial as that of Brooker, who now faces a large share of the legal costs of up to £500,000.
Brooker said he based the tune on Johann Sebastian Bach's Air on a G String - which he had heard on a Hamlet cigar advert - and Bach's Sleepers Awake.
More about the AWSoP lawsuit