Keith Reid, whose words were spoken along with Procol Harum’s music, has passed away. He was 76.
In a Facebook statement on Wednesday, the English rock band revealed the “unparalleled” lyricist’s passing, honoring him as the man who “wrote the words to nearly all Procol Harum songs” and whose “lyrics were one of a kind and helped to shape the music made by the band.”
Album cover icon and 73-year-old Woodstock attendee Bobbi Ercoline has passed away. “His lyrics brought delight to Procol fans with their strange imagery and sophisticated layering, and they were a potent contribution to the Procol Harum canon. The members of his family and close friends are in our prayers “further clarifies the statement.
The British rock band Procol Harum posed for a studio photograph on March 31st, 1969. Keith Reid (the band’s lyricist) and B.J. Wilson (the drummer) stand front and center. Gary Brooker (lead vocals), Matthew Fisher (organ), Robin Trower (guitar), and David Knights (bass) are pictured in the group’s back line-up, from left to right.
The band said in a statement to Sunset Blvd. Records in Los Angeles that Reid had been undergoing cancer treatment “for the previous few of years” before his “sudden death” last Thursday in a hospital in London.
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Reid co-founded the rock band with singer Gary Brooker, who also passed away from cancer at age 76 on February 19, 2022.
After recruiting Alan Cartwright on bass, Mick Grabham on guitar, B.J. Wilson on drums, and Chris Copping on organ, the band went on to record 13 studio albums before calling it quits in 1977.
Their most famous song, “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” was released in 1967, but they reassembled in 1991 and have been recording and touring all the way up to 2019.
The song, which Reid and Brooker collaborated on, was the most frequently heard in public places across the United Kingdom during the course of the previous 75 years, according to the BBC in 2009.
Stereogum extended the songwriter’s legacy by noting his establishment of a management firm in the 1980s. In 2018, he released his debut self-titled album, In My Mind.
Procol Harum’s songwriter, Keith Reid, has died at the age of 76 following a long battle with cancer. Almost all of Procol Harum’s lyrics, including their signature song “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” were written by Reid. The band’s music would not have been the same without his original and eloquent lyrical contributions.
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