Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum's first year in the NME

The Harum Shuffle; personnel changes: 22 July 1967

These excerpts from New Musical Express, kindly selected for 'Beyond the Pale' by Yan Friis, show the first hints of dissent among the new chart-toppers, and a willingness by the press to back Bill Eyden's claims for royalties from the group that Keith Reid 'owns'.

Top 3 on the NME charts:

1 (1) All You Need Is Love, The Beatles
2 (2) Alternate Title, The Monkees
3 (6) It Must Be Him, Vikki Carr

5 (3) A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Procol Harum

And A Whiter Shade Of Pale climbs to No 8 on the Billboard charts.

Paul McCartney interviewed by Andy Gray. They talk about stars that were present at the recording of All You Need Is Love, and the names mentioned are Graham Nash, Gary Leeds (of Walker Brothers), Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

News pages:

Procol October tour and dispute

Procol Harum is to undertake an extensive British concert tour in October – probably during the second half of the month. It will be preceded by a one-week début promotional visit to America. After two months of summer inactivity, the group will resume work in September. Virtually the whole of that month will be devoted to radio and TV exploitation of its new single.

The two musicians who parted company from Procol Harum last week – lead guitarist Ray Royer and drummer Bobby Harrison – claim they were summarily sacked by 'persons whose right to take any such action is strongly contested'. They are seeking reinstatement and state that with its two new members the group is not entitled to appear under the name of Procol Harum.

A spokesman for the group told the NME: 'The facts are simply that Royer and Harrison are no longer members of Procol Harum – they have been replaced. The redesigned group has now completed its new single, and the recording of its first LP is well advanced. To say we can’t use the name Procol Harum is ridiculous. Keith Reid, who owns the group, invented the name and registered it.' 

Procol’s decision not to make any British personal appearances until the autumn was reported last week. However, Keith Reid stated this week: 'Our fans may rest assured that we shall work extensively throughout the autumn.'

Tipped for the charts by Derek Johnson:

Tom Jones, I’ll Never Fall In Love Again
Mamas & Papas, Creeque Alley
Vince Hill, When The World Is Ready

Tailpieces by the Alley Cat:

… Drummer Bill Eyden deserves royalties from Procol Harum’s hit … How about Procol Harum retitled version of Frankie Vaughan’s Garden Of Eyden?! … How about Procol Herman?!…

Read more from the first year of Procol press

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