Barrie James Wilson

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Barrie James "BJ" Wilson (born March 18, 1947 in Edmonton , London , † October 8, 1990 in Eugene , Oregon ) was a British rock musician . He became known as the drummer for Procol Harum , where he played from 1967 until the band split up in 1977.


Wilson's career began in 1963 with the Paramounts , of which he was a member until 1966. During recording sessions, Wilson met Jimmy Page , who was looking for a suitable drummer for his future band Led Zeppelin . Page was so impressed with Wilson that he wanted to hire him. Wilson, however, gave preference to Procol Harum, who had emerged from the Paramounts, and played ten albums with them from the summer of 1967 to May 1977. Somewhat atypical for a rock drummer, he prefers the traditional grip .

In addition to the drums, he also mastered the mandolin ; In 1972/1973 he played it in several Procol Harum appearances in Germany.

Wilson was also frequently booked as a studio musician. He can be heard on albums by Jody Grind, Leon Russell , Lou Reed , Frankie Miller , John Hiatt , Bob Siebenberg and Joe Cocker , to whose global success With a Little Help from My Friends in 1968 he contributed the powerful prelude. After Procol Harum broke up, he joined the Frankie Miller band and later Joe Cocker's band. Gary Brooker brought him into his band for a performance at Eberhard Schoener's first “Rock Meets Classic” night on November 12, 1980 in Munich . In 1985 Brooker engaged him to record his album Echoes in the Night .

Wilson had moved to the United States in 1979 , where he died in October 1990. He was buried in Corvallis, Oregon . Gary Brooker has performed Wilson's favorite song, A Salty Dog, in memory of him since his death . Procol Harum dedicated the album The Prodigal Stranger to him. Joe Cocker communicated in the song Another Mind Gone . Leo Kottke remembered him with the song BJ on his album My Father's Face .