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Gary Brooker (vocals, piano)

He is the unforgettable voice from this band. Everyone who has heard 'A whiter shade of pale' (who hasn't?) will agree. He started his career in Paramounts (1961-1966), forming Procol Harum in April 67. He was in the band until their breakup in May 1977. He has been recording his own solo albums, as well as playing live with some all-star lineups (Ringo Starr, Bill Wyman, etc.). In September 1979, he joined Eric Clapton band (with Albert Lee, Dave Markee, Chris Stainton, Henry Spinetti - one album, Another ticket, 1981). Of course, he's present in every incarnation of Procol Harum. He also plays in Tim Renwick solo album.

I won't try to make any detailed tale about his times in Procol Harum (you can read everything about the band in 'Beyond the pale', the magnificent site; see link below). So, I'll just mention some of his solo ventures. Gary usually plays with many friends, so he appears in several 'all-star' lineups. Some of them are listed here:

In July 1989, there's a very interesting concert in Surrey, England, with this impressive lineup:

Gary Brooker (vocals, keyboards)
Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals)
Andy Fairweather-Low (guitar, vocals)
Mike Rutherford (guitar)
Dave Bronze (bass)
Mel Collins (sax)
Frank Mead (sax)
Steve Winwood (keyboards, vocals)
Phil Collins (drums, vocals)
Henry Spinetti (drums)
Danny Hammond (percussion)
Vicki Brown (backing vocals)
Sam Brown (backing vocals)
Margo Buchanon (backing vocals)
Carol Kenyon (backing vocals)
They sang and played some classics from the bands of some of the members (Procol Harum, Traffic, Sam Brown, etc.).

In September 1991, Procol Harum comes to tour life again, in order to promote their recent The prodigal stranger.

In December 1991, after Tim Renwick leaves the band, Geoff Whitehorn joins them: They played a long tour in 1992, but Matthew Fisher didn't stay for long this time, leaving in April 1992, and he's substituted by Don Snow in May. Also that same month, they went to play again with Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (the same orchestra they used for recording their live album from 1971, with Dave Ball on guitar).

In 1993, Brzezicki and Snow leave the band:

But in July 1993, Matthew Fisher returns, and they start a new tour until September, supporting Jethro Tull: In July 1995, they have a new tour, with a new drummer, powerful Graham Broad: They played some gigs around February 1996 with an orchestra, and new member Henry Spinetti: In 1996, it was released The long goodbye - symphonic music of Procol Harum. It was released mostly with their lineup from 1992 (Brooker on all tracks, plus Geoff Whitehorn (guitar on 2 tracks), Dave Bronze (bass), Matthew Fisher (organ on 1 track), Mark Brzezicki (drums)). Recorded with contributions from former band member Robin Trower (guitar on 1 track), plus Tom Jones (vocals), Jerry Hadley (vocals), Andy Fairweather-Low (guitar on 1 track), James Galway (flute), plus the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Dodd and Darryl Way (from Curved Air fame). Produced by Gary Brooker.

In September 1996, the Gary Brooker Ensemble played a gig in a church, that was to be released as an acoustic live album. The lineup was:

Gary Brooker (vocals, piano)
Robbie McIntosh (guitar, vocals)
Dave Bronze (bass)
Michael Bywater (keyboards)
Mark Brzezicki (percussion)
and the album is Within our house (1996).

As every year, Gary Brooker assembles a band (Gary Brooker and Friends) to play some charity gigs in December 1998. Impressive lineup:

The British Rock Symphony was a project blending rock and classical music. It has been released a CD in 1999 (does anybody know if Gary appears there, please?) It was followed by a British tour in July 1999. It was supposed to play in Spain, but finally, some dates were re-scheduled, so I finally don't know if they played here (the projected city was Santiago de Compostela, in July). This was the live lineup: Some solo albums: Albums with Procol Harum: Albums with Eric Clapton as a member of his band: A few credits: For more info on Gary Brooker and Procol Harum, please visit my pages on Mick Grabham or Geoff Whitehorn and, very soon, about Dave Ball. And, please, check the amazing 'Beyond the pale' website, the Bible on Procol Harum (see link below). There, you'll find every thing related with the band.

Related links:

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Page created by Miguel Terol on: 17/August/1999. Last modified on: 07/September/2001. 1