Procol Harum

the Pale

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Matthew Fisher

Praised by Benmont Tench

Joan May writes:

I heard that BJ Wilson was almost hired as the drummer for Tom Petty's 1979 Damn the Torpedoes album – the one with all the hits (but see here). And I've just found another Tom Petty / Procol Harum connection:

From Keyboard Magazine, May, 1995: interview with Benmont Tench – organist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers:

On organists:

'I listened to Jimmy Smith a little when I was a kid. I admire the guy enormously, but I don't want to sound like him. Fortunately, as we all know, it's impossible for anybody but Jimmy Smith to really sound like Jimmy Smith. I never liked the showboat guys who called attention to themselves, who turned the Leslie on and waved their hands up in the air. I liked [Procol Harum's] Matthew Fisher, Booker T. and Al Kooper. I loved Mal Evans holding one note down on You Won't See Me from Rubber Soul. The fanciest organ player I listen to is probably Garth Hudson. Besides, I'm fairly incompetent. I can't play that fast. And if I could, Tom would just say, "Shut up."'

On alternatives to the Hammond:

'Did you see Jimmy Smith's interview in Downbeat? He said something to the effect of, "When I hear a synthesizer it makes me want to throw up." I think he was talking largely in reference to the fake Hammonds. Some people make them sound good. I can't. When I tried playing one, I thought it sounded like I had an organ patch up on a DX7, which drives me crazy. I probably hear them on some records and think it's a Hammond. But when I play one, it doesn't feel like a people instrument to me. The drawbars don't feel right. Where's the damn wheel for changing the chorus stuff? Nothing's where it should be. And the touch of the keyboard is all wrong. I really kind of hate it. For God's sake, make a real Hammond! Make it with the original parts. You can't improve it."

and later ...

' ... the only sampler I like is Whitman's [laughs] ....'

Matthew Fisher's BtP page A page of Hammond organ links

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