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B.J. Wilson


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I'd like to direct everyone's attention to my alltime favorite drummer, the late B.J. Wilson who was instrumental in defining Procol Harum's unique sound from 1967-1977, and who also greatly enhanced some of Joe Cocker's best work.


The 2 big hits B.J. played on were:

"Conquistador, Live with Edmonton Symphony" by Procol Harum, recorded 1971, released 1972




"With A Little Help From My Friends" by Joe Cocker, the hit single and album track 1968


His album work with Procol can best be heard on Home, Grand Hotel and Exotic Birds&Fruit, but I'm hoping some of their classic Live shows will someday be released with state of the art sound, because the releases thus far don't do him justice.  


By turning up the volume and boosting the bass, however, you can get a good idea of his greatness from the currently available releases.


He was in Joe Cocker's touring band from 1979-1983 or early 84, but didn't record on any of his studio albums at that time; there is one concert recording from this period called "Live in New York."


He's also the drummer on the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" movie soundtrack.


B.J. deserves more recognition in the drum world (currently he is virtually unknown), and I believe his influence could benefit the field of drumming immensely.


I've included the URL of my page about B.J.'s drum technique, with a link to my 1996 letter to Vintage Guitar Magazine in tribute to him, and in response to a column advocating replacing drummers with machines in live performance.


Perhaps all this could generate discussion about {{drum machines}}, traditional vs. matched grip, etc.. but mainly I'd like more people to hear and appreciate B.J. Wilson.




Joan May





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Hey, Joan:

I was somewhat familiar with B. J.'s work, but I did not know that he played the Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack!! That would elevate him to the cult following status! (for those of use that went to high school in the late 70's, early 80's and spent Friday nights throwing toast at the screen!)

I look forward to checking out the web-site you mention.

Thanks for the post.


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