Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Matthew Fisher - Suzanne
I recognized the name of Matthew Fisher's Jersey Girl wife in my e mail box, subject: "Matthew Fisher, Union N.J. & Other Stuff." I'd seen photos of their modest wedding party on a Procol Harum website. It was a couple of days after I began uploading some favorite songs from Matthew's first solo LP, released in 1973, & I hoped she wasn't writing on his behalf to tell me to remove them. She wasn't. She was wondering if I planned on uploading the whole thing, & mentioned that she's from Union NJ, & had read my blog post on a bear wandering a few blocks from her mom's house.
Matthew Fisher is best-known for the famous organ counterpoint melody he contributed to "A Whiter Shade of Pale." A couple of years ago the British House of Lords finally awarded Matthew co-writer credit on all future royalties from the song. Too bad he's not collecting on back royalties - Gary Brooker & Keith Reid would go broke writing those checks. It's irrelevant if or how much Matthew copped the riff from Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach gets no co-writer credit on "A Lover's Concerto." (It's now believed Bach cribbed that melody from composer named Christian Petzold.) Matthew's production & contributions to Procol Harum's third album, A Salty Dog, helped make that LP a Sixties masterpiece. He quit the band soon after, acrimoniously, & although the lyrics on Journey's End are generally downbeat (he seemed to be suffering multiple heartbreaks), the music & arrangements demonstrate what the band lost. (They made up enough years later to record & tour together again.)