Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum pictures: 10

Contributed to BtP by Larry Pennisi


From a 1970 import on EMI-Stateside called, what else ... The Best of Procol Harum. It seems like a concert shot, but baffles and other props in blurred focus clearly indicate that it was taken in a recording studio. I feel that Gary was never appreciated as a writer or singer by the same audience that blindly lapped up even Elton John's worst pop trifles. Billy Joel has 'Procol' written all over some of his music, yet the only influence he cites in that piano/singer vein is Ray Charles. I scour Billy Joel articles and interviews for a long-awaited nod of appreciation to Procol. So far ... nothing (but see here).


Keith on the horn. 'A lyric is good when it's truthful when it's a truthful song. If it's the truth, then it's truthful as opposed to 'My cock is like a unicorn' kind of thing, which is, you know ... rubbish ... I have a realistic outlook on life. Art should be truthful. It should be the truth. All good art should be truthful ... that's what people recognise in it, that's why people relate to it, because it means something to them, because they recognise something of themselves in it. It's true, it's not something outside ... my outlook is real, it's only realistic. It's only truthful. There's no bleak attitude, no death attitude ...'
And that's the truth. Hmm...



This great concert shot of Robin Trower was taken from Scott Sutherland's page. The picture is from the late 1970s, taken in Poughkeepsie, New York. I live only an hour away from that town. For sheer emotional intensity, Robin is one of the all-time gut-wrenchers. Add to that a formidable technique and interpretative skills.

I think we all wish that he had had a more involved role on Prodigal Stranger.


Bobby Harrison, David Kights and Gary in his famous 'Chinese Clobber', from the cover of Spanish import LP Historia de la Musica Rock on Polydor records. It features tracks from the first and third albums only.

Brooker / Reid / Fisher are credited with Repent Walpurgis on this LP! I never noticed that till today. Not nice, Polydor!



What a long piano, eh wot? This is Gary from an absolutely stunning multi-paged Italian import on Superstar records. Laminated and gatefolded, it is the most elaborate Procol package I have seen to date. Abundanza!


Matthew and Ray Royer, original and dubious Procol guitarist: from the Historia import album. Now that we have the unreleased pre-Procol One outtake, it is clear that Brooker and co. made the right decision in sacking him. Their playing is nothing short of garage-band like in conception and execution. BJ and Trower were the best thing that could have happened to that first album after its writing and Matthew joining. Had they stayed, our beloved first album might have been ruined. It was a close call.



This is PH on the beach, and always on the brink, during what must have been the Salty Dog period. The haircuts look right and where else would any astute paparazzi pose the once and future famous lads? Again ... from the multi-paged Italian import on Superstar records.


Index for Larry Pennisi's pictures

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