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R.I.P. Gary Brooker

Gary Brooker born 29 May 1945, died 19 February 2022. He was a British musician known as the front man in Procol Harum.

Brooker became known through his productions in Procol Harum, where the collaboration with Keith Reid was particularly successful. In 1967, the hit was A Whiter Shade Of Pale. After the band disbanded in 1977, Brooker embarked on a solo career and has been a guest musician with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Tim Renwick, Frankie Miller, Mickey Jupp, The Hollies, Alan Parsons Project, Allan Clarke, Kate Bush, Bill Wyman and Eric Clapton.

Brooker was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire on June 14, 2003, in recognition of his charitable work.

Born in Hackney Hospital, East London, on 29 May 1945, Brooker grew up in Hackney before the family moved out to Middlesex (Bush Hill Park and then to nearby Edmonton)His father Harry Brooker was a professional musician, playing pedal steel guitar with Felix Mendelssohn’s Hawaiian Serenaders, and as a child Brooker learned to play piano, cornet and trombone.

In 1954 the family moved to the seaside resort of Southend-on-Sea, Essex, where Brooker attended Westcliff High School for Boys.[6] His father died of a heart attack when Gary was 11 years old, forcing his mother to work in order to make ends meet, while Brooker himself took on a paper-round. When he left school, he went on to Southend Municipal College to study zoology and botany but dropped out to become a professional musician.

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.

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About Ulf Backstrøm (7442 Articles)
Mitt hovedfokus er musikk som er basert på progressiv tenking. Jeg er på ingen måte ensporet innen musikksmak, i likhet med intensjonen bak prog. Sjangerbegrepet er egentlig temmelig uinteressant annet enn til å gi en pekepinn om hva slags musikk det er snakk om i en anmeldelse. Jeg søker god musikk for å utfordre meg som lytter. God musikk til å trigge mine musikalske smaksløker, og til å sette i gang mine refleksjoner. Da er sjansen stor for at jeg utvikler meg og lærer, noe som bør være drivstoff for et hvert menneske. Fordi det å lære og utvikle seg er noe som tilfører livet en nødvendig porsjon "krydder". Slikt krydderet finner man blant annet i musikk. Ikke overraskende mener jeg at progressiv musikk har den fineste "smaken". På den annen side kan musikk med eller uten progressive elementer være godt nok til hverdags. Til fest derimot holder bare rendyrket prog! Må jo også få med at jeg rimelig kritisk, og jeg mener at det lages mye prog som er i beste fall uinteressant, og faktisk mye som er pinlig dårlig. Heldigvis oppveies dette av ekstremt dyktige aktører som for eksempel: Flower Kings, Mostly Autumn og White Willow, for å nevne noen tilfeldig valgte.
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