There are many singing drummers, and few of them even become frontmen – usually in time, after spending years behind the kit whence they supply backing vocals and an occasional leading voice – but Bobby Harrison, who peacefully died in his sleep on January 7th aged 82, seemed to be an exception to this rule. The Englishman’s first claim to fame came as member of an early PROCOL HARUM line-up, although, despite rumors, he didn’t play on “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” and had left before the band’s debut album was recorded, to become a full-time belter.
Bobby’s first ensemble became FREEDOM, a psychedelic outfit that released a few, increasingly heavy longplays and submitted a soundtrack to Tinto Brass and Dino de Laurentiis’ minor cinematic classic “Attraction” – which would emerge as "Black On White" or “Nerosubianco” – before Harrison, having contributed to former colleague Matthew Fisher‘s “Journey’s End” in 1973, quit to join Micky Moody in SNAFU. This blues group issued the rather brilliant self-titled platter and less interesting "Situation Normal" but fizzled out after one more record, leaving the warbler free to lay down 1977’s “Nobody’s Business” under his own name – a follow-up to “Funkist” which briefly saw the light of day in 1972.
After that, Bobby’s voice was heard only from the stage, as he carried on playing, while preserving his legacy in the autobiography titled “Journey to Freedom” and on CD anthology. Harrison retained an imposing live presence almost until the end. An utter gentlemen, he will be sorely missed.