A legal dispute has erupted over PROCOL HARUM's A WHITER SHADE OF PALE - nearly 40 years after the classic track was written.

The band's keyboardist MATTHEW FISHER claims he co-wrote the 1967 song, which is credited to group members GARY BROOKER and KEITH REID, and wants a share of the copyright. Royalties would be expected to be around the $900,000 (GBP500,000) mark.

Fisher, 59, says, "It's taken me this long to find a firm of specialist lawyers good enough to take up my fight. But I have been advised not to say anything more."

But, writing on the Procol Harum website, Brooker refutes the claims: "A Whiter Shade Of Pale was written by Keith Reid and me before Matthew even joined the band.

"I am shocked and dismayed that after Matthew had worked with us quite happily over the course of 40 years without him once alleging that his role on A Whiter Shade Of Pale was anything other than as a musician, it is only now that he claims he recalls writing part of it."

Procol Harum split up in 1977, before reuniting briefly in the early 1990s.

26/06/2005 02:51