Southend Pubs Inspired Music Legend, Gary Brooker, Historian Reveals

A music legend who has passed away at age 76 was inspired by top Southend venues and attractions on his climb to fame, a historian for the city-tobe reveals.

Southend historian, Marion Pearce, has said that Gary Brooker, former frontman of Procol Harum, was inspired by select live music venues like the former Esplanade pub and the Cricketers.The singer-songwriter, brought up in Southend, attended Westcliff High School for Boys, and had been getting cancer treatments before dying peacefully in his home on Saturday, February 19th.

Procol Harum were best known for their 1967 debut hit “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”, which went on to sit at the top of the singles charts for six whole weeks. “Living in Southend and being surrounded by the live music scene at the Esplanade pub and the Cricketers, would have helped him develop as an artist,” said Ms. Pearce.

She continued: “The fact we are a coastal town and the seaside would have also inspired him as he began to go to great places. I think he would have seen the live music scene and it would have helped him develop those amazing talents and abilities. He also got married to the song he was famed for, A Whiter Shade Of Pale, in St David’s Church in Eastwood in 1968.”

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