Procol Harum

the Pale

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I was born in the wrong century

Matilda Linder Sweden

One week in England ... when I first heard of it; I had no idea this week would be remembered forever!

It was my cool aunt Christina who called me in the phone and asked me if I wanted to join her. She said her #1 reason for going abroad one summer's week was a celebration concert with a group called Procol Harum (note: when she mentioned that name it didn't ring any bell at all now afterwards, I'm a little ashamed to admit I didn't know then what I know now!) and I replied: 'Procca ... what? ... I don't understand ... ?!'

My aunt being one step ahead as always just asked me to listen and then she played something through the telephone ... 'Maybe you'll understand now'? she said.

Wow ... yes! As soon as I heard the sound of the Hammond, I was 'lost'! I recognised it ... but I didn't know the name of the group. She let me hear some more songs ... and more ... I couldn't get enough. It was like a new world was born!

The next day I went to the school library and borrowed some CDs with PH. I played them over and over, and eventually bought my own.

Some weeks before we were leaving, I was so excited ... I almost freaked out: Imagine I, Matilda, have the privilege of going to 'such an event' ... I had to tell myself several times I wasn't dreaming!

When I finally sat in the theatre in the midst of all those wonderful persons, the band members came on stage, and beside me I saw my 'ol' aunt' in a different light, so to speak ... she was one of the most dedicated 'fans' I've ever seen. (yes, auntie Chris; I dare to say it; I've never seen you like that!) ...

And when the most wonderful music began to sound: then I realized: I was born in the wrong 'century' ! :-) I had missed sooo much in my (then) 17-years-young life! I was almost envy on all the lovely people around me ...

Then I thought: It's not too late ... because that's how it is with some music: it lives year after year after year. And I think ... no, I know; Procol Harum's music will never be forgotten!
Just take A Whiter Shade of Pale, as one example: I'm sure 75% of my generation is familiar with that song just as I did when I heard it on the phone but I had the privilege of discovering more than AWSoP, and because of that; I'm for ever grateful! Having this wonderful experience in a cool place like Redhill! Thanks! Being in England for the first time, I certainly came to the right place! :) Picture by 'Aunt Chris' Matilda Linder, Jens, Steven Wallace (with daughter), Amanda Hysted

One part of my heart will always remain in Redhill and with the Englishmen, and I know I share this with many, many more. Because what can be better than fans coming together from all over the world, celebrating something very close to their hearts? There were many proofs of this; i.e. the couple from Australia (!) who came with their baby daughter!

Right now: the only thing I can do this typical Swedish summer's day (it's raining), is to turn on a CD with Procol Harum and remember that fantastic week, a year ago, when I with my own eyes actually saw the outstanding Matthew Fisher at the organ, and actually saw the fabulous Gary Brooker, sing and play ... together with all the others! Thank you, Procol Harum!

Friday at Lakers Toby Hotel From left: Tormod Ringvioll, Norway; Mirek Plodzik, Poland; Evan Wagshul, USA; Pat Keating, USA; Matilda Linder, Sweden.

More Redhill anniversary pieces

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