Ex-Procol Harum bassist Alan Cartwright passes away at age 75

Former Procol Harum bassist Alan Cartwright died on Thursday, March 4, at the age of 75, Prog magazine reports.

Cartwright was a member of the U.K. prog-rock band from 1971 until 1976, contributing four of the group’s albums during that time — 1972’s Live: In Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, 1973’s Grand Hotel, 1974’s Exotic Birds and Fruit and 1975’s Procol’s Ninth.

The Live album was Procol Harum’s highest-charting release, peaking at #5 on the Billboard 200, and features a hit version of the band’s 1967 tune “Conquistador” that reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Procol Harum frontman Gary Brooker posted a tribute to Cartwright on the band’s official website, expressing “great sadness” at his passing.

“Looking back, he was always a very solid, musical, and reliable bass player,” Brooker writes, “and a good bloke who gave of his best both in the studio and on the extensive tours Procol did when he was with us.”

Gary notes that he lost touch with Alan around the time that Procol Harum broke up in 1977, and didn’t see him again until 1997, when members and alums of the group played a 30th anniversary show.

Brooker ends his homage by saying, “I often think of those very rich years when Alan, [guitarist] Mick Grabham, [drummer] BJ [Wilson] and [organ player Chris] Copping were my constant companions, sharing music, humour, endless voyages, and cocktails — only five years but, to me, the most memorable Procol Harum era of all time thanks to the wonderful positive presence of Cartwright.”

No cause of death was mentioned in the Prog article, although the magazine notes that Cartwright had been diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2020.

By Matt Friedlander
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