Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale




Procol Harum frontman Gary Brooker, who led the band throughout their 55-year history and co-wrote and sang their 1967 classic “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” died at his home from cancer on Saturday, Feb. 19. He was 76.

Brooker founded The Paramounts in 1962 with his guitarist friend Robin Trower. The band gained respect within the burgeoning 1960s British R&B scene, which yielded The Beatles, The Animals, The Spencer Davis Group, The Rolling Stones, and many others. The Rolling Stones, in particular, were Paramounts' fans, giving them guest billing on several memorable shows in the early 1960s.





In 1966, Brooker founded Procol Harum with his friend Keith Reid. "A Whiter Shade of Pale" is the worldwide hit for which Procol Harum is best known, but Brooker's melancholic vocals and emotive, eclectic piano playing were a key part of Procol's musical mix for the entire course of the band's career.


In the early years Brooker, Hammond organist Matthew Fisher and Trower were the guiding musical forces behind the band, but after disparities in style became too much and Fisher and Trower left, Brooker was the clear leader until the band broke up in 1977. Brooker started a solo career and released the album No More Fear of Flying in 1979.




Lyrics

We skipped the light fandango Turned cartwheels 'cross the floor I was feeling kind a seasick But the crowd called out for more The room was humming harder As the ceiling flew away When we called out for another drink The waiter brought a tray

And so it was that later As the miller told his tale That her face, at first just ghostly, Turned a whiter shade of pale

She said, I'm home on shore leave, Though in truth we were at sea So I took her by the looking glass And forced her to agree Saying, you must be the mermaid Who took Neptune for a ride. But she smiled at me so sadly That my anger straightway died

And so it was that later As the miller told his tale That her face, at first just ghostly, Turned a whiter shade of pale

She said, there is no reason And the truth is plain to see But I wandered through my playing cards And would not let her be One of sixteen vestal virgins Who were leaving for the coast And although my eyes were open They might just as well've been closed

And so it was that later As the miller told his tale That her face, at first just ghostly, Turned a whiter shade of pale

And so it was that later As the miller told his tale That her face, at first just ghostly, Turned a whiter shade of pale



Artist: Procol Harum Album: Procol Harum Released: 1967 Songwriter(s): Gary Brooker; Keith Reid; Matthew Fisher Recorded: April 1967



R.I.P. Gary Brooker