Tuesday, February 22, 2022

A Little Night Music

Rest in peace, Gary Brooker: founder, piano player, and lead singer for Procol Harum.

“A Whiter Shade of Pale” takes me back to Room 212 in Arden Hall at St. George’s School, Newport, Rhode Island, the summer of 1967, where I was serving an eight-week sentence of summer school before joining the freshman class in September (vide “Dark Twist”). The sound of that song coming out of the tinny speaker of my clock radio tuned to WBZ from Boston… and I can feel the dank humid summer, smell the odors of old varnish and whatever emanated from the bathroom, and the misery of homesickness and trying to learn the quadratic equation (which I still don’t know why I needed to learn in the first place). It is a memory that I don’t cherish, but at least the music was good.

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