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Backstage Pass: Talking lyrics with Procol Harum's Keith Reid

Surreal, dreamy, opaque — all are words that could describe the evocative lyrics of Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade Of Pale.” Emerging from the mists of England’s late-’60s progressive-rock bog, “Whiter Shade Of Pale” — with a little help from the offshore pirate radio station Radio London — unexpectedly shot straight up to #1 in the U.K. and stayed on top of the charts for six weeks. Stateside, it climbed to #5 and sold more than a million copies. The man responsible for the impressionistic imagery of the song’s lyrics is Keith Reid.