B. J. Wilson

B. J. Wilson

Barrie James Wilson (18 March, 1947--8 October, 1990); born in Edmonton, London, England; was the original drummer of Procol Harum. He did not play on their hit single "A Whiter Shade of Pale" (that was jazz session drummer Bill Eyden) [http://www.procolharum.com/procolbe.htm] , but he did play on their later hit single, the live version of "Conquistador". Wilson was the only stable member of the band besides Gary Brooker during their commercial and artistic peak from 1967 to 1977. He had a powerful, distinctive style - he sat very low behind his kit (often side-on at the side of the stage) and was once referred to as "The Octopus in a Bathtub".

After Procol Harum disbanded in 1977, Wilson played on Frankie Miller's "Double Trouble" album in 1978, and was a member of Joe Cocker's touring band between 1979 and 1984 [http://community-2.webtv.net/jem33c/JCBJCG/index.html] . Their concert in Calgary is featured on the DVD "Joe Cocker Live" (1981). He was also the drummer on Cocker's hit single "With a Little Help from My Friends", recorded in 1968.

In 1984 Wilson played briefly with Patrick Landreville, a former member of the 1960's cult band RHS which included bandmates Bob Siebenberg (Supertramp), Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy) and John Boutell (Beauregard Ajax).

In 1983 Wilson was brought in to play drums on AC/DC's "Flick Of The Switch" album, after their drummer Phil Rudd left the band close to the end of the recording for the album. No tracks recorded by Wilson were used on the finished album according to engineer Tony Platt.Fact|date=October 2007

B.J. Wilson was the drummer on the movie soundtrack of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", [http://www.cdconnection.com/details/_Soundtrack_-_Rocky_Horror_Picture_Sho_/183858&source=googbase] on which his former Procol Harum bandmate, guitarist Mick Grabham, also played. According to IMDb.com, Wilson's friend, prominent film composer, Richard Hartley, was the one who invited him to drum on that soundtrack, and Wilson brought Grabham in to play guitar.

Wilson's last recorded work was on the 1985 Gary Brooker solo album, "Echoes in the Night", along with his former Procol Harum bandmates Brooker, Keith Reid and Matthew Fisher, on tracks "Ghost Train," "The Long Goodbye" "Hear What You're Saying" and "Mr. Blue Day".

He died in Eugene, Oregon, following a long illness. He was married and had two daughters.


External links

* [http://www.procolharum.com/procolbj.htm B.J. Wilson's extensive fan page] at procolharum.com
* [http://community-2.webtv.net/Jem33nospamplez/druminfo/index.html Master Drummer B.J. Wilson] : one fan's tribute

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