Forum Home Forum Home > Progressive Music Lounges > Prog Blogs
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - 40 year heroes
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Topic Closed40 year heroes

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
dabaynton View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie
Avatar

Joined: May 07 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 66
Direct Link To This Post Topic: 40 year heroes
    Posted: June 10 2007 at 15:49
40 Years! Doesn't Time Fly?

“It was 40 years ago today”:

June 8th 1967. The Summer of Love has just begun. I am 5 years old, and listening to the radio - Alan Freeman’s ‘Pick Of The Pops’ rundown of the UK Top 20 singles. For the past 3 weeks, I had been a VERY annoying brat. More so than usual, I hasten to add. The reason? Since it’s release on the 12th June that year, I had become gradually more infatuated by a certain song, a song which later became synonymous with ’Flower-power’ ’Psychedelia’ and mysticism far more than anything previously written. A song that out-sold everything in that glorious Summer of child-like optimism, ‘dropping out’ and ‘All You Need Is Love‘. A song that caused countless artists to change their musical direction forever, spawning my musical first-love, Progressive Rock.

“Will you stop whistling, for goodness’sake?” “PLEASE, PLEASE sing something different!” and “How on earth does he know the words to that?” were frequently said by my parents, as they neared the end of their tether. Their misery was compounded when in the August of that year, we drove the then 6-hour (*) journey in Dad’s old Singer Gazelle, to North Wales for our holiday, with me still singing the chorus, and whistling the instrumental bits incessantly in the back seat. If it wasn’t for suitcases, I’d have been in the boot!

As ‘Fluff’ Freeman counted down the Top Ten, I started smiling. It had got there. Number 1 at last, in the days when it actually was an achievement to be Number 1!

“A WHITER SHADE OF PALE” - Procol Harum’s (with a little help from J.S.Bach) masterpiece, had stunned the world with it’s flowing, organ-based sound, and it’s tantalisingly meaningless lyrics to such an extent that no single could compete with it for the six weeks that it held the top spot for. It remained in the charts for a further five months after that, and is regarded by many as the first ‘Classic’ pop song ever since.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaxtMqKuTAk

Procol Harum were the first band that I idolised. While most of my peers were boogying to Glam-rock in the 1970s, I was building up a collection of Procol Harum Albums. Strangely, I didn’t buy one until 1975’s release ‘Procol’s Ninth’, but the earlier ones followed soon after. Some diligently saved pocket money was responsible for this. I was also collecting King Crimson, Gentle Giant and Caravan - bands that, to me, came about as a direct result of Procol's shift in musical composition.

The Punk explosion of 1977 unfortunately saw Procol Harum and many other Progressive rock bands ‘killed off’ and branded as obsolete by the music press. They retained this state of hiatus until 1991, when they re-formed, partly from popular demand, and partly in tribute to drummer Barrie (B.J.) Wilson, who died that year, having spent 3 years in a coma following an horrendous car crash. The Album was dedicated to his memory.

Years of touring followed, and eventually, in 2003, their most recent Album was released.

I have previously blogged about the two-year legal battle over royalties for “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”, and the unfortunate acrimonious parting of the ways between Gary Brooker and Matthew Fisher, after a lifelong friendship. Procol Harum are still about. They are in the middle of a 40th Anniversary tour, with a new line-up.

It is a source of deep regret for me that I have never seen them perform live. I actually had a ticket for their gig in Cardiff Student’s Union in 1977, but to my disappointment, I missed it through illness. One day……..one day……..

Discography (Albums);

1.Procol Harum (re-named ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’) 1967 Go%20to%20fullsize%20image

2.Shine On Brightly 1968 Go%20to%20fullsize%20image (my personal favourite)

3.A Salty Dog 1969Go%20to%20fullsize%20image

4.Home 1970Go%20to%20fullsize%20image

5.Broken Barricades 1971Go%20to%20fullsize%20image

6.Live 1972Go%20to%20fullsize%20image

7.Grand Hotel 1973Go%20to%20fullsize%20image

8.Exotic Birds And Fruit 1974Go%20to%20fullsize%20image

9.Procol’s Ninth 1975Go%20to%20fullsize%20image

10.Something Magic 1977Go%20to%20fullsize%20image

11.The Prodigal Stranger 1991Go%20to%20fullsize%20image

12.The Well’s On Fire 2003Go%20to%20fullsize%20image

Line-ups;

Gary Brooker (piano, vocals)- 1 - 12

Robin Trower (guitars, vocals)- 1 - 5, 11

Matthew Fisher (Hammond organ, vocals)- 1 - 3, 11, 12

B.J.Wilson (drums)- 1 - 10

David Knights (bass)- 1 - 3

Chris Copping (bass, Hammond organ)- 4 - 10

Alan Cartwright (bass)- 6 - 9

Dave Ball (guitar)- 6

Mick Grabham (guitar)- 7 - 10

Pete Solley (keyboards)- 10

Dave Bronze (bass)- 11

Mark Brzeicki (drums)- 11, 12

Matt Pegg (bass)- 12

Geoff Whitehorn (guitar)- 12

Keith Reid (lyricist)- 1-12

Procol Harum's career is well documented, so all I have done is write my personal perspective on my first heroes. Thank you Gary Brooker, Keith Reid, Matthew Fisher & co. (not forgetting J.S.Bach!) for 40 years of great music and memories.

-------------------------------------------------

(*) It is now a mere 4 hour journey, thanks to the A470 trunk road, which starts at Cardiff Bay, and ends at The Great Orme, Llandudno (or is it the other way around?). How I miss those winding roads, through market towns and countryside, up steep mountains, and down even steeper valleys, where you got a glimpse of REALLY WILD Wales.

(Transcribed from my Yahoo360 blog - just thought  this anniversary may be of interest to some on here)


Edited by Tony R - June 10 2007 at 16:00
Shines On Brightly, Quite Insane.......
Back to Top
dabaynton View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie
Avatar

Joined: May 07 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 66
Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 10 2007 at 15:52
bloody pictures didn't come out!!! Dammit!
Shines On Brightly, Quite Insane.......
Back to Top
Tony R View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

Joined: July 16 2004
Location: UK
Status: Offline
Points: 1001972
Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 10 2007 at 16:00
Tried to put the pictures in manually myself, but it doesnt work for some reason.
Back to Top
el böthy View Drop Down
Prog Reviewer
Prog Reviewer
Avatar

Joined: April 27 2005
Location: Argentina
Status: Offline
Points: 6336
Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2007 at 17:09
so... you like Procol Harum, eh?
"You want me to play what, Robert?"
Back to Top
dabaynton View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie
Avatar

Joined: May 07 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 66
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 01 2007 at 16:03
I thought everyone did! Wink
Shines On Brightly, Quite Insane.......
Back to Top
Easy Livin View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

Joined: February 21 2004
Location: Scotland
Status: Offline
Points: 15565
Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2007 at 05:37
See the thread in the "How do I" section for how to include pictures.Wink
Back to Top
ClassicRocker View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: March 02 2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 894
Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 28 2007 at 12:26
I guess this is kind of a late-in-the-game post, dabaynton, but the youtube video you linked to was taken down.

Anyways, nice blog!
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.01
Copyright ©2001-2014 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 1.063 seconds.