We are saddened to announce that Keith Reid, the gifted lyricist of the iconic English rock band Procol Harum, has passed away at 76.
On Wednesday, the renowned group known for their 1967 hit A Whiter Shade Of Pale affirmed Keith’s death in a Facebook post.
Last Thursday, Keith, who was from Hertfordshire and had been receiving treatment for cancer, passed away unexpectedly in London. His group shared the news of his passing with great sorrow.
It is with the utmost sorrow that we announce the sudden passing of Keith Reid, a lyricist who passed away on March 23rd, 2023 in London. Sadly, he had been receiving cancer treatment for some time now and succumbed to his illness.
“Keith was the co-founder and lyricist for the band Procol Harum, notably penning their biggest hit A Whiter Shade of Pale, which contains some of the most enigmatic lyrics of all time.
“He always said that, at the end of his life, he would explain what it all meant: but sadly he didn’t get this opportunity.
“Keith was also involved in numerous other projects within entertainment and was a co-writer on what became known as the unofficial Australian anthem You’re the Voice, sung by John Farnham.
“His family would like to thank numerous well-wishers for their very kind messages. A private funeral will be held, and this page will be updated soon with details for those who would like to make a donation in his memory.
“Keith will be greatly missed.”
In 1967, the iconic band Procol Harum was brought to life in Southend-On-Sea, and within a few years, they had already achieved remarkable success with their single A Whiter Shade Of Pale selling over 10 million copies worldwide.
Though he was not a performing musician, Keith formed the band alongside singer Gary Brooker in its inception. Unfortunately, Gary passed away earlier this year in February of 2022.
The band initially united in 1967, disbanding a decade later before reuniting once again in 1991.
Proco Harum has produced twelve albums in their remarkable career, the most recent of which was Novum released in 2017.
Taking Keith and Gary as the masterminds behind its creation, A Whiter Shade of Pale was acknowledged for its timelessness when inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.
In 2009, the BBC honored it as the most-played song in public areas across the United Kingdom throughout its impressive 75-year history.
Procol Harum was inundated with heartfelt messages of sympathy from their admirers, one paying tribute to Keith: “Brilliant poet. His words will live on.”
Another person said: “Keith and Gary are jammin in rock’n’roll heaven today as we speak.”
Another wrote: “I am so sorry for the loss to his family and friends.”