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Rock legend Gary suffers ‘very serious’ head injury
LEGENDARY Southend singer Gary Brooker has been forced to cancel a number of concerts after falling and fracturing his skull.
The Procol Harum lead singer fell while alone in his hotel room, in Cape Town, South Africa, where he was touring.
The 67-year-old was injured on his birthday, on May 29, and has been in hospital since.
He was being kept under sedation in the high-intensity care unit of the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, the band’s website said.
Mr Brooker, from Southend, and the rest of Procol Harum were touring with the Moody Blues and 10cc for the nostalgic British Invasion Tour.
His injury led to the withdrawal of Procol Harum from the concerts and the rest of the band returned home.
According to promoter, Big Concerts, the injury Mr Brooker sustained is very serious.
Big Concerts’ chief executive, Attie van Wyk, said: “Our thoughts are with Gary and the band during this difficult time.
“We are confident he is receiving the very best medical attention and we wish him a speedy recovery.”
This is thought to be the first time since 1974 Procol Harum have had to cancel a concert.
Mr Brooker, who grew up in Eastwood and went to Westcliff High School for Boys, was still living in Eastwood when Procol Harum was formed in 1966.
Their 1967 number one single, A Whiter Shade of Pale, remains their most well-known hit.
It is one of fewer than 30 all-time singles to have sold 10 million or more copies worldwide.
Phonographic Performance said, back in 2004, the song was the most broadcast during the past 70 years in Britain.
The band is due to head to North America for a tour in July.
Brooker first found fame with Southend band the Paramounts, which he founded in 1962 with his guitarist friend Robin Trower.
The band gained respect within the burgeoning 1960s British R&B scene, which yielded the Beatles, the Animals, the Spencer Davis Group and the Rolling Stones They used to play at the former club Shades, on Southend seafront.
Brooker took a more psycadelic direction with Procul Harum, which broke up in 1977, but reformed for the tour.