Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum's first year in the NME

PH's gloss wearing off: 15 July 1967

These excerpts from New Musical Express, kindly selected for 'Beyond the Pale' by Yan Friis, bear witness to the way thta mangerial and personnel difficulties continued to beset the group just wthen they might have been making their mark with concert appearances and prompter follw-up releases. The PH gloss appears to be wearing off for the NME as AWSoP eventually starts to slip down their chart.

NME 15 July, 1967

Front page, full page advertisement for The Troggs' Hi Hi Hazel on Page One.

Top 3 on the NME charts:

1 (-) All You Need Is Love, The Beatles
2 (3) Alternate Title, The Monkees
3 (1) A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Procol Harum

A Whiter Shade Of Pale climbs to No. 10 on Billboard.

News pages: No Procol Till Autumn

Europe trip; label switch rumour

Procol Harum has cancelled all its existing concert and ballroom dates and will undertake no more personal appearances in this country before the autumn. The group is, however, set for a lightning tour next month of six Continental countries in as many days, for TV appearances. Two of the group's original members have left the Harum and have been replaced by newcomers. A new manager has been appointed. The group's A Whiter Shade Of Pale hit has now exceeded 21/2 million in worldwide sales - and the follow-up single has already been recorded.

The two new instrumentalists to join are lead guitarist Robin Trower (21) and drummer Barry Wilson (20), who replace Ray Royer and Bobby Harrison.

Keith Reid, who formed the Harum with Gary Brooker, has appointed Tony Secunda - who also manages the Move - as his co-manager. Jonathan Weston, whom Secunda replaces, has announced he will handle the affairs of the two departing members Royer and Harrison.

Procol resumed work this week with recording sessions, during which it completed its next single and first LP. Half the album had already been recorded by the original group, but these tracks have been scrapped. They were re-recorded this week with the two new members taking part.

Neither the single nor the LP will be released before September. It is widely speculated the delay may mean a change in the group's record outlet.

Although Harum have cancelled all British dates, it is expected to undertake extensive personal appearances from early autumn onwards. The group's hit single is currently at No 10 in the US chart, but it has no immediate plans to visit America.

Procol probably will not now go to the States until its second disc is issued there.

Bill's 15-Guinea Fee For Procol Hit Session

Pictured above is Bill Eyden, the session drummer who is heard on Procol Harum's recording of A Whiter Shade Of Pale. He stood in for Bobby Harrison - who was away ill - at the session which produced the group's hit single, and received a 15-guineas standard payment for his work. A spokesman for the Harum told the NME: 'This is the standard Union rate and, let's face it, if the record hadn't clicked, he would have earned more than the rest of us'. Meanwhile Bobby Harrison, although not on the disc and no longer with the Harum, hopes to receive 10,000 as his share of the group's royalties.

Tipped for the charts by Derek Johnson:

Troggs, Hi Hi Hazel
Herman's Hermits, Museum
Jim Reeves, Trying To Forget

Tailpieces by the Alley Cat:

A confident forecast from your Alley Cat: world sales will exceed five million for Procol Harum's current hit ... chart-top looks like menagerie with Beatles, Monkees, Procol Harum (a pedigree cat) and Turtles!... Procol Harum's former manager Jonathan Weston conferring with Beatles' US agent Norman Weiss in New York... 

Read more from the first year of Procol press

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