Procol Harum

the Pale

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The Founding of 'Whaling Stories'

Michael Ackermann

Pictured to the right Dr Paul Thelen,
Michael Ackermann and
master-drummer Wolfgang Lieke: they are shown with some nice Procol memorabilia at the party for the foundation of 'Whaling Stories', 7 November 1992, Wuppertal


Pictured below are Paul, Michael and Wolfgang on the same occasion. Michael had contacted Paul following the publication of his Edmonton II story in Good Times, and he had lately met Wolfgang at one of the Rock Meets Classic gigs.

Michael is shown here with Doro, Germany's Heavy Metal Queen, and the 'Whaling Stories' logo. He explains:

'The first logo was the old Players / Salty -Dog label with some humpback-whales. When I thought about the new one (as far as I remember we started with that one into the new millennium) I was very soon sure that it should be some kind of mixture which should include BJ as our hero.

A friend of mine is a really good painter. I made a date, gave her a copy of the Salty Dog LP and a photo of BJ. A few weeks later I got the finished painting, and was really surprised how realistically BJ was depicted. I liked it very much.

It now graces the walls of the 'Whaling Stories' headquarters in Wuppertal. The painter-girl is Sigrid-Marie Bader and she loves Gary's music too.

From the 'Whaling Stories' archive: BJ Wilson in the Arosa Hotel, Berlin, 1970 (right) and Gary Brooker (who has signed the photograph) and David Knights in the Arosa Hotel, Berlin, 1970 (below)

The final picture shows Gary Brooker with the late Tony Ashton (to whom Michael Ackermann dedicated his performance of Barnyard Story with the Palers' Band at Manchester). It was taken at the Rock for Leukemia concert on 18 July 1992.

'Perhaps some of you know that I was a big admirer of Tony's music too,' writes Michael in November 2002. 'When I visited Sandra Ashton this summer in London, she was so kind as to give me that out of Tony's inheritance. Sandra told me quite a funny story about the concert mentioned above: before starting AWSoP on that occasion, Tony shouted across the stage - Gary was sitting just on the opposite side - "I can't play Bach!" Gary shouted back, "It's not Bach, it's me!" Tony waited a moment, said something like "Aha!" and started to play.

'The audience had a good laugh, like many times with Tony and his jokes. When you listen to the live recording of that concert [mp3 here], you can witness that Tony made a great, unique contribution on organ.

'So I would like to dedicate this tenth anniversary of 'Whaling Stories' to three wonderful people: to BJ Wilson; to Tony Ashton; and of course to Gary Brooker, our Commander!'

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