Organist wins Procol Harum battle

Over songwriting of ‘A White Shade Of Pale’

Founding member of Procol Harum Matthew Fisher has won a High Court battle over who wrote ’A Whiter Shade Of Pale’.

Fisher who played organ on the song and argued that he wrote the distinctive melody line, which Mr Justice Blackburne agreed with, ruling he was entitled to 40 per cent of the copyright.

For over 40 years, the song was credited to lead singer Gary Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid.


Blackburne said: “I find that the organ solo is a distinctive and significant contribution to the overall composition and, quite obviously, the product of skill and labour on the part of the person who created it.”

Fisher said that he wanted half the royalties, but the court decided that singer Brooker’s input was more substantial.

It also rejected the organist’s claim for up to £1 million in back royalties .

Brooker, who still fronts the 60s band, defended his claim to be the sole writer of the song.

He now faces paying a large part of the legal costs, estimated at around £500,000, reports BBC NEWS.