Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum pictures: 12

Contributed to BtP by Larry Pennisi

This clipping from New York's Academy of Music is from 1972. It beckons all to attend the show featuring Procol Harum with special guest King Crimson. Future Procol drummer Ian Wallace was with the band that night.

Crimson featured cuts from their newest album Islands. YES was the opening act that night. An awesome triple bill that I was fortunate enough to see 2 nights in a row.

As memory serves, even Bill Bruford of Yes seemed to pale in the presence of BJ. Ian Wallace, strangely, seemed more in tune with the off-timings of Crimso Communication than with 1990's-brand Procol Harum. All in all, 2 splendid nights! Now in pale pink for your viewing pleasure ...


from NME ... 5 March 1977: an advert for Something Magic ... it said that 'Procol Harum's new album brings you face to face with a stranger: Yourself.'

Well, perhaps the strangest thing about the whole affair was the Ron and Howie Albert débacle. With Procol's creative powers being tested, it was retrospectively a 'Godawful mess' that the boys found themselves in with the Alberts.

The reference to covering dogshit with chocolate and still having well ... dogshit, is not quite the sentiment a band would want their producers to have upon beginning a new creative effort.

Far from the Tragic album many seem to think it is, it has its moments. While nothing can begin to approach the mindbending creativity of the first album, it still is after all Procol Harum ... one way or another ...


 The first copy of Shine On, while a bit battered from overuse, is one of the rarer items in the vault. Donated, if you will, by long-time friend and organ mentor Jeff Mlinchek, the item was once caught in a flood. I spent painstaking hours rewriting the blurred or tattered parts since by that time, they were already firmly ensconced in my memory.

Not at all dissimilar from Chris Copping firmly ensconcing himself at a seat at the bar ... 'God, I don't know where he puts it!' opined singer and pianist Gary Brooker!


6 October 1989: Robin Trower as seen in a special Procol issue featuring Robin and PH in separate articles. The picture says it all really ... wot ya think eh?


From Goldmine: The Portuguese 45 sleeve for Toujours L'Amour. The 'B' side was listed as being A Rum Tale.


This is from the same 1989 Goldmine magazine as the Robin Trower picture above. The issue contained a fairly comprehensive Procol retrospective with a nice listing of albums, bootlegs and some rarities.

Well, they are no longer rare ... then again, some of them never were.


The final Procol photo from that Goldmine of 1989. It features the 1971 – 1972 version of the band with Dave Ball and the alopeciaed BJ.


A 1973 Rolling Stone advertisement for Journey's End. I must admit to spending endless hours in tears or on the verge of them, listening to these haunting songs of love gone bad and personal slights. I really related to the work at the time. Though somewhat more mature, I still feel the angst and pain in all its crystal clarity to this day.

I do recall, hovever, Matthew saying that he was so young at the time and that these songs were written by another person ... or words to that effect. I had almost given this copy up for lost when ... lo and behold ... it was the first item I pulled from the vault ... below the main page, I carefully attached a memo from somewhere or other that simply said ... 'Fisher's Magic' ... and it was good ...


Index for Larry Pennisi's pictures

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