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Voice that shone through

Paicey remembers Gary Brooker, who passed away on February 19, 2022, at the age of 76.

Procol Harum performing A Whiter Shade of Pale with the Danish National Concert Orchestra and choir at Ledreborg Castle, Denmark, in August 2006:

15 Comments to “Voice that shone through”:

  1. 1
    Doug says:

    Whiter Shade Of Pale – one of the best songs ever written. Thanks so much for the music. RIP.

  2. 2
    Ivica says:

    “A Whiter Shade of Pale”….My first dance with a woman. RIP Gary Brooker

  3. 3
    MacGregor says:

    Procol Harum were an interesting band, very good musicians indeed & ahead of many groups at that early ‘progressive’ rock period in the late 60’s. Excepting a few songs here & there, I didn’t get into them & of course they are well known for the proverbial hit WSOP with it’s Bach influenced theme. Conquistador was a good song also. I should go back & have another listen to some of their earlier music, there may be a few other gems there. I also wonder whether Supertramp were influenced by them, with that piano & keyboard setup with some occasional lead guitar & dramatic music & melodies. I hear similarities in those two bands.
    Vale Gary Brooker.

  4. 4
    sidroman says:

    Saw Procol Harum way back in 1993 open for Jethro Tull, at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia. Other than a Whiter Shade of Pale, didn’t care for them too much. I don’t think I even have a single album by them.

  5. 5
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Some musicians just dream of having a world wide hit single to make them immortal and WSOP just sits at the top of the greatest of them all.
    Yes it’s a song that could be played in 100 years from now and still sends shivers down your spine.
    RIP Mr Brooker no one will escape the end but you left us in style having raised so much for charity. I like to believe in heaven as you will make it even more heavenly.
    Peace and love 👍

  6. 6
    Pieter van der Velde Wzn says:

    The last EP by Procol Harum contains the songs “Missing Persons (Alive forever” & “War is not healthy”. How appropriate! R.I.P. Gary.

  7. 7
    mike whiteley says:

    That rendition of Whiter Shade Of Pale just brought me to tears on this early Sunday morning. RIP,Mr. Brooker.

  8. 8
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    I was blessed to see them for the first, and unfortunately last time, at The City Winery in NYC just a few years before the Wuhan nightmare sprung. Fantastic gig. WSOP and Conquistador have been American radio staples since they were recorded and straight on through today. That is, only on a few select stations in the sorry state of American FM radio. :


  9. 9
    Aubic says:

    @#3 : Hi, of course, PH has other gens to provide. Not a few but a lot ! Please, listent for example Grand Hôtel : it is sumptuous, gorgeous, fluid and lyric but, if you don’t like it, you can also find, on the same LP, a song like “A souvenir of London”, very cynical and humorous about the venereal diseases and a guy who tries to hide that fromvhis wife. I dont speak about “Song of a dreamer” from “Broken Barricades”… PH is a world in its own right !

  10. 10
    Mark says:

    @3 MacGregor – suggest listening to “Grand Hotel” and “Procols Ninth” as well as his solo albums “No fear of flying” and “Lead me to water”. He was a great singer in a similar style to Rick Davies (Supertramp) and our own Brian Cadd. It’s beginning to get crowded in heaven.

  11. 11
    MacGregor says:

    Mark @ 10 – thanks for the recommendations. I have been listening to 2 albums from the beginning of their career & enjoy some songs off the Shine Brightly album, A Salty Dog has a few also. Being a Robin Trower aficionado & also a follower of that era of rock music, surprisingly I haven’t really heard a lot of their albums. Cheers.

  12. 12
    MacGregor says:

    Aubic @ 9 – thank you & I will have a listen to those songs. Always good to get a few suggestions from others who know the bands music more than I do. Cheers.

  13. 13
    Dr. Bob says:

    I will always remember Procal Harum as that one 60s band who had a great hard rock/blues guitarist without knowing until he formed his own power trio.

  14. 14
    Mark says:

    MacGregor @ 10 – I saw Robin Trower at the Horden (Sydney) in 77. Still got the program and a number of photos that I took with my 400mm zoom lens SLR camera – you could do that back then.
    I forgot to mention that in my opinion Gary Brooker stole the show when he toured as part of the Ultimate Rock Symphony (in 2000 I think) doing A Salty Dog and WSOP.
    Another guy that had a similar voice was Tony Ashton – give Malice in Wonderland another spin.

  15. 15
    MacGregor says:

    Mark @ 14 – Trower in Australia, that would be rare I would think. I remember a friend from the 80’s telling me he went to the Horden gig in Sydney & I am sure he has a recording of it as he used to tape every gig he went to back in those days. I was introduced to Trower in the late 70’s & I don’t recall him ever touring in my time of listening to him. James Dewar’s vocal, classic blues rock, love it. I have been watching Procol Harum live on the tube, early 70’s post Trower but a fine guitarist with them performing wonderful songs. Brooker has the chops on the piano & yes his vocal is very good indeed. It may be a different Hammond player also, it could be the Grand Hotel era. Superb drummer is BJ Wilson, great musicians in that band. Cheers.

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