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Procol Harum: The Ghosts Of A Whiter Shade of Pale

Procol Harum: The Ghosts Of A Whiter Shade of Pale [Kindle Edition]

Henry Scott-Irvine
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Formed in the 1960s, progressive rock band Procol Harum are best known for their multimillion-selling single ""A Whiter Shade of Pale"" which is the most played record by a British artist of the last 70 years.

This book features exclusive interviews with band members as well as with Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, film director Alan Parker, former managers, DJs and many others.

It tells the story of their formation in Essex in the 60s, their split on the 10th anniversary in 1977 and their reformation in 1991.

This enthralling account details one of the costliest court cases in British music history whereby a judge awarded a 40% share in the copyright of ""A Whiter Shade of Pale"" to a former organist of the band.

The band's history is brought right up to date with details of recent album releases and tours over the last decade.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Henry Scott-Irvine first saw Procol Harum in 1973 and has known the band since 1979. He co-ordinated 'Procol Harum Live In Concert with The LSO' at London's Barbican Theatre in 1996, and co-hosted the band's 30th Anniversary concert at The Redhill Theatre in 1997. He has been writing, researching, and developing TV programming for over 25 years. This is his first book.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 2681 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 340 Seiten
  • Verlag: Omnibus Press (20. November 2012)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #271.779 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Sehr zu empfehlen! 8. Dezember 2013
Von Marion
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Das Buch entspricht in allen Belangen meinen Erwartungen. Ich bin sehr zufrieden mit dem Service als auch mit dem Inhalt des Buches. Vielen Dank!
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.6 von 5 Sternen  12 Rezensionen
15 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Comprehensive History of one of Rock's Most Important and Least-recognized Bands 4. März 2013
Von Bert Saraco - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
Forever changing the face of pop music when they burst onto the scene in 1967 with the mega-hit, A Whiter Shade of Pale, Procol Harum remains one of the more important - if least-recognized - forces in the evolution of rock and roll. The profound effect of their aforementioned iconic world-wide hit song not only served to propel the band into the public's consciousness but also became the albatross that would overshadow the rest of the band's fine work and lead to a bitter court case some 38 years later.

Author Henry Scott-Irvine's comprehensive history and homage to Procol Harum captures the flavor of the mid-sixties, tracing the beginnings of Procol Harum as far back as Gary Brooker's first group, The Paramounts - a local R&B cover band. Eventually landing a recording contract and gaining high praise from The Rolling Stones and other up-and-coming rock bands, The Paramounts nevertheless ended and Brooker focused on song writing. Brooker eventually partnered with lyricist Keith Reid - a pairing that would lead to the creation of Procol Harum as a vehicle for the unique songs that were emerging from their combined efforts. The Brooker/Reid formula still works to this day, as the book's author points out - but it's a story full of personnel changes, money problems, questionable management and seemingly frequent bad luck. Scott-Irvine also takes us behind the scenes as Procol Harum pioneers orchestral rock and hints at the the roots of progressive rock by introducing a 17 minute opus on their second album. By the book's end we're brought right up to the current incarnation of the band, a capable and congenial musical unit touring the world, dispelling ghosts as they go.

The book is highly readable, full of facts and well-illustrated with rare photos (in black & white and color) that cover the entire length of Procol Harum's career, right up to the present. Scott-Irvine assembles quotes and reminiscences culled from exclusive interviews with band members spanning Procol Harum's 40 year-plus career, including comments from Brooker, Reid and Matthew Fisher. Fisher, of course, was the man behind the Bach-inspired Hammond organ on A Whiter Shade of Pale and the initiator of the lawsuit disputing the authorship of that famous organ line and whether or not financial compensation was owed for more than three decades of royalties. This dilemma remains a point of contention that still stirs discussion throughout the band's sizable fan-base (partially represented by the impressive website, Beyond The Pale, found at [...] ) and is treated fairly here, complete with the inclusion of court documents in the appendix section of the book. Like Monsieur R. Monde, spectral subject of the Procol Harum song of the same name, the ghost of A Whiter Shade of Pale persists to this day.

A key factor in the story of Procol Harum has much to do with the popular culture of the era into which the band was born. At a time when pop groups were supposed to be cheery mop-top lads that huddled together and produced bouncy hit singles, Procol Harum was a group that wouldn't compromise musical integrity, featured obscure, poetic lyrics over love songs, rejected the idea of corporate 'cuteness' and would end up replacing members fairly frequently before groups like Steely Dan did the same as a matter of course.

Procol Harum - The Ghosts of A Whiter Shade of Pale is a fine book for anyone interested in the music of the classic rock era, with 'cameo appearances' by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and other up-and-coming rockers of the day, quotes from the likes of Jimmy Page and a foreword by no less than Martin Scorsese! The legacy of stunning music by Procol Harum lives on to this day. Thankfully, we can read the book and also go see these masters of classic rock in concert, doing what they've always done best, and A Whiter Shade of Pale is only one small part of the package, as the author clearly shows. Recommended reading for fans, rock historians, and anyone interested in an inside look at how the music business isn't always as simple as it seems on the outside.

Bert Saraco
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A MUST FOR YOUR BOOKSHELF! 5. März 2013
Von John W. D. Bobin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
I just cannot understand the one strangely poor review by Richard Allan Strelitz which is absolutely at odds with the very good reception this wonderful biography has received in the UK and in the other reviews. It has also been much appreciated by reviewers and has been lauded elsewhere on the Internet. This excellent book covers Gary Brooker's early R'n'B group, The Paramounts, all line ups of Procol Harum, Gary's solo ventures and his side excursions with other well-known musicians such as Eric Clapton and Bill Wyman. Procol Harum's ground-breaking concerts and recordings with Classical Orchestras and Choirs are also described in meticulous detail in this well researched offering.

Henry Scott-Irvine must be congratulated on delivering the best musical biography which I have ever read. He doesn't shy away from covering the bitter court case concerning the composing rights to A Whiter Shade of Pale. However for anyone who thinks that A Whiter Shade of Pale was the be all and end all of Procol Harum, think again. There are too many musical gems to name them all. They include A Salty Dog, As Strong as Samson, Pandora's Box and The Blink of an Eye. With interesting insights from Martin Scorsese, Sir Alan Parker, Jimmy Page and Sebastian Faulks this is a must for your bookshelf. Rush out and buy this book right now. You will not regret it.

As for the review by Mr. Strelitz I remain dumbfounded. I can only assume that he either got out of bed on the wrong side that morning or he has not seen the same book that the other very appreciative readers have enjoyed.

Mr Scott-Irvine's book really is informative and is an extremely good offering from a man who has had a close relationship with Procol Harum for many years.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Procol Harum finally get the outstanding biography they deserve! 5. März 2013
Von William Hein - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
I've been a fan of Procol Harum since I first heard "Whiter Shade of Pale" on AM radio over 45 years ago and have followed their career closely ever since. I thought I knew a lot about this classic (literally) rock group. Until I read this well-researched book, that was.

Scott-Irvine tells the band's history from their R&B cover band days as The Paramounts - with some fascinating context on the arrival of the Rock 'n' Roll disease in England via the Kursaal Amusement Park in Southend-on-Sea (Liverpool, of course, was the other English entry point for American R&R) - through lineup changes, break ups, ups, downs, hits, misses, recording sessions, tours, trials (again, literally not just metaphorically) and triumphs.

Reading the book inspired me to put the fine Procol Harum CD remasters that came out in the UK a few years ago back into iPod rotation. What a stellar body of work. I sometimes wonder why Procol wasn't bigger than they were. Virtuoso musicianship (Matthew Fisher, Robin Trower, Mick Grabham and BJ Wilson take a bow), Gary Brooker's fantastic voice, great songs.

(The 'lost' third verse of "Whiter Shade of Pale" is in the book and I'll still don't really know what that song is about!)

Highly recommended to hard core fans and the just curious.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent read fro Fans both old and new 4. März 2013
Von Jon Kirkman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
If there is one song that everyone will know by Procol Harum then it is A Whiter Shade of Pale. Of course there is so much more to the band than A Whiter Shade of Pale but the title certainly grabs your attention by virtue of it's familiarity.
Let's get this straight from the start though; this is NOT a book for Procol Anoraks. No, it is a book that is incredibly easy and enjoyable to read whether you are a rabid Procol fan , and there are many out there, or just a casual observer. The text throughout is incredibly well researched and brings to light interesting facts such as Procol Harum were due to play at Woodstock; something I never knew I imagine that if they had as Robin Trower comments, the bands lives would have been a lot different.But the minutia aside it is a book that easily draws you in as the story itself is an interesting one.

Henry Scott-Irvine has turned in a book that manages to straddle that difficult line in that it will please those "Diehards" who have been fans since the sixties and you are in good company as the film director Martin Scorsese is one such fan. Or you can come to the book merely knowing A Whiter Shade of Pale and the book is still an interesting and enjoyable read. One thing this book will do is drive you back to the music and music that covers a great deal of time and also ground bearing in mind that the strands of Procol Harum touch other bands and artists including, Robin Trower, Led Zeppelin(Page wanted Barrie Wilson to drum for Zeppelin) and Eric Clapton.

I was so impressed I bought a copy for a friend for his birthday and he was suitably impressed. I think this book is definitely one of the great Rock Biographies but then Procol harum are one of the Great Rock Bands. This book most definitely does the band proud.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Long overdue story of forgotten classic icon. 28. Juli 2013
Von ralfonso - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Procal Harrum was one of the more adventurous British bands of the late 60's-70's.An
early version of the band recorded the most played song in radio for the past 70 years
that being,"A Whiter Shade of Pale".The author does a good job following the early
beginnings of the band up to it's current lineup.One can't say enough about Gary Brooker the lead singer ,pianist and composer of 90% of the songs.He is one of the
great singers of this era.Keith Reid was the lyricist and his images are sometimes
literal but often times trancendent and evocative.Procol was one of the first bands
to record a 17 minute opus titled In Held Twas in I showing it's classical leanings.One
must also mention the contributions of organist Matthew Fisher who was there from
the beginning and finally was recognized for a writing credit for Whiter shade after
40 plus years.One chapter devoted to the court proceedings during 2005-2009 .

The author had access to all the major players and songs are discussed with Brooker
Fisher and Robin Trower.There is no tales of drugs and orgies with the exception
of Brooker's bitterness of Fisher getting a 25% composers credit for Pale.He said
he didn't do it for the money but for the historical recognition.

There is a nice discography featuring all the recordings of each band member.
I saw Procol 4 times (with Trower,Grabham, and Whitehorn as guitarists) and
once with Ringo Starr's band with Jack Bruce and Peter Frampton and Gary Brooker
was never less than outstanding.
Garry Brooker and Keith Reid are the two constants in this saga which hopefully
will continue.
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