The Angler

Album: Lead Me to the Water (1982)
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Songfacts®:

  • Gary Brooker is known as a founding member of Procol Harum, singing and co-writing the classic song "A Whiter Shade Of Pale." When Procol disbanded in 1977, Brooker joined Eric Clapton's band and released three solo albums, including "Lead Me to the Water." When we spoke with Brooker in 2010, he explained that he needs to be near a piano to get his musical ideas, but this song is the one time an idea came to him out of nowhere. Said Brooker: " I went up to Oregon, I was a fly fisherman, you see, and went fishing for steelhead. And it actually took me two weeks to finally land one, and it was a beauty. And I managed to put it back, as well, so it lived to swim again, and I just photographed it and weighed it and things. Took some good pictures and somebody up there made me a model of it in the end. But I then went back euphorically to these friends' house I was staying with, and nobody was in. It was like 4 in the afternoon. So I went and bought a six-pack of malt liquor, which is like strong beer, really. And I thought, well, when they come we can have a beer. But they took so long I sat there and I had a couple of these malt liquors, and I started to think about the two weeks that I just spent all over Oregon and Washington in search of this elusive steelhead, and the adventures I'd had on the way. And they took a real long time to come home, these people, and I was sitting there for about 2 or 3 hours. I finished the six-pack and finished the song." (See our interview with Gary Brooker.)

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