Procol Harum

the Pale

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'Beyond the Pale'

Two Danish newspaper notices

Allan Lykke Olesen in Ekstra Bladet, 2 April 2000

"A Dane residing in England writes a book in English about his favourite band Procol Harum

"Here comes the recipe for a success: Take an unemployed writer of lyrics and bring him together with a disillusioned ex-member of an R’n’B-outfit with little success. To this, add an ex-music student who has persuaded his grandmother to lend him some money for a Hammond-organ – and presto! You have secured yourself a Nr One-slot on every hit-parade in the world. Believe me.

"At least that was the way it worked for rock group Procol Harum as it put out its first single in 1967. A Whiter Shade of Pale was its title – one of the all time classic recordings of rock music which in 'the Summer of Love’ became the song to talk about and listen to worldwide.

"'It was the first evening that any of us had heard Procol Harum's AWSoP. The lyrics were all very poetic. We just thought, ’God, what an incredible record!’ Paul McCartney is quoted in a newly published book, ’Beyond the Pale’ following the career of Procol Harum, written by a lifelong fan of theirs, a Dane named Claes Johansen who has been residing in England since the early 90 […]

"A lot of fine music was the result hereof [the Brooker-Reid-cooperation] for another ten years until in 1977, a depressing feeling of being at a standstill personally as well as musically caused Gary Brooker to make this announcement in the dressing-room after the last gig of a USA-tour: 'It's all over, boys.'

"15 years later he revived the band featuring several renowned members […] however short-lived this show became, they managed to visit Denmark during a hasty world tour.

"Since then, the band has only performed sporadically – but as a firm entity Procol Harum must belong to the past, although Claes Johansen hasn't given up the hope of seeing the band work together again. 'I can't help feeling that there's still much more to come from this bunch of truly exceptional musicians and songwriters,’ is his final remark."

Excerpts published at BtP by courtesy of Allan Lykke Olesen.

Niels-Erik.Mortensen writes to BtP

Welcome back, my friends, to the miss-spelling that never ends:

The major Danish newspaper Politiken yesterday mentioned Claes Johansen's Procol-book as a book concerning 'Procul Harum’ – including the headline. How nice, that the important papers now are reacting – and now irritating (to say the least) that they after 27 years can't get the name right. And there's a lot of it around: see here!

It makes me wonder: Would the readers accept such spellings as O2, 11cc, Uasis, Blor, Eric Cloptan, Chris Roa or Broce Springsteen? Have a look here and send your protests to the paper as soon as possible:

Biografi: Dansker om Procul Harum
Politiken 11 april 2000, Kultur og debat side 2

Procul Harum-nummeret A whiter shade of pale er blevet en klassiker.

Det er da også denne titel, den danske forfatter Claes Johansen knytter an til i en ny biografi om den britiske musikgruppe. Biografien hedder 'Beyond the pale' og udkommer på engelsk på det britiske musikbogsforlag SAF. Claes Johansen har boet i England siden 1991, men han udgiver stadig bøger i Danmark, senest romanen 'Fodfolk' fra 1997.

Til efteråret udgiver han en ny roman på forlaget Forum. (CA)

(The PH-song AWSoP has become a classic. Obviously, this is the title to which Claes Johansen connects his biography which is being published on the English music-book press, SAF. /…/ This autumn, he will publish a new novel for the Forum Publishing Co.")

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Mor hidius Procul missspeliings

Index page about this book

More from Frans Steensma

Chris Copping's comments on the book

Full review in Danish: - click on 'Ekstra Bladet' and search for 'Procol Harum'. 

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