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See Billy Joel Pay Tribute to Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker With ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’ Cover

Piano Man delivers moving rendition of oft-covered 1967 classic at Las Vegas show Saturday following Brooker’s death earlier this week

Daniel Kreps Feb 28, 2022

Billy Joel paid tribute to Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker, who died Feb. 19 at the age of 76, with a rendition of the band’s classic “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” a song that Joel has frequently praised (and covered) throughout his career.

Taking the stage Saturday night at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, Joel delivered a moving rendition of “Shade of Pale” following a performance of his own “Only the Good Die Young”; earlier in the week, Joel paid tribute to Brooker on social media.

Joel had previously performed the 1967 single live on a handful of occasions, including a snippet during a Cincinnati concert in 2021 and a solo take during a Town Hall Q&A and concert with Howard Stern in 2014:

Brooker, Procol Harum’s frontman for 55 years, died Feb. 19 at his home following a bout with cancer. “[Brooker] lit up any room he entered, and his kindness to a multilingual family of fans was legendary,” the band said in a statement Tuesday. “He was notable for his individuality, integrity, and occasionally stubborn eccentricity. His mordant wit, and appetite for the ridiculous, made him a priceless raconteur (and his surreal inter-song banter made a fascinating contrast with the gravitas of Procol Harum’s performances).”

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From Rolling Stone US.

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