» Bootleg Bin: Procol Harum — April 1969: Los Angeles and San Francisco CA
Bootleg Bin: Procol Harum — April 1969: Los Angeles and San Francisco CA
The most soulful of the so-called “progressive” groups, Procol Harum is best known for the mega-hit “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” Yet fans know that the group produced many songs that equaled (or arguably surpassed) the quality of that song. Most of the few live Procol Harum bootlegs are either of abysmal audio quality, or FM broadcasts (great quality) of their later years, which aren’t as compelling as the early stuff.
Now comes this disc, a compendium of two shows from their Spring 1969 USA tour. Five tracks from LA’s Troubadour plus eight tracks from the Fillmore West (San Francisco) that same month. Soundboards both. Now one can hear “Conquistador” in its original form, and the majestic instrumental “Repent Walpurgis” in all its glory. This lineup of the group featured the contrasting keyboard sounds of leader Gary Brooker (piano) with the classical touches of Matthew Fisher (gospel-inflected organ), topped off with the fretwork of Robin Trower (heard here in his pre-Hendrix-fixation stage).
Sources report that this disc is NOT a copy of the relatively well-traveled Easter Island bootleg disc, but rather sourced from the master tapes. Apparently somebody knows somebody.
Difficulty to Locate: 8 out of 10
General Listenability: 9 out of 10
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With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.