Procol Harum organist wins ‘Whiter Shade Of Pale’ court case

Matthew Fisher wins his battle to be recognised as co-writer on the song

Procol Harum member Matthew Fisher has won a court case to be named the official co-writer of the band’s classic 1967 song ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’.

Fisher claims he wrote the song’s organ melody, and Law Lords today (July 30) ruled that he is entitled to his share of future royalties from the song.

In 2006, the High Court ruled that the organist was entitled to 40 per cent of royalties from the song. However, royalties were reverted to Procol Harum frontman Gary Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid in 2008, after the Court Of Appeal ruled that Fisher had waited too long – 38 years – to make his claim.


Speaking of the case, Lord Neuberger said Fisher had repeatedly asked Brooker and Reid if he could have a share in the rights to the record, only to be “rebuffed or ignored”.

According to lawyers, the case marks the first time the Law Lords have been asked to rule on a copyright dispute involving a song, reports the BBC.

Fisher now works as a computer programmer.