A Rockapaedia Obituary

Barry James (B.J.) Wilson

Bands: The Paramounts, Procol Harum

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   B.J.Wilson died aged forty-three on 8th October 1990 photo of BJ Wilson of pneumonia while in Eugene, Oregon, USA. He was survived by his wife, Susan and two daughters, Sarah and Nicola.
    B.J.Wilson was born in Edmonton, London,U.K. and grew up in Ponders End, London. In 1962 he joined a group, The Paramounts, from Southend on Sea, Essex who scored a hit with the song "Poison Ivy" in 1964. After follow up singles failed to chart, the Paramounts disbanded in 1966 and B.J.Wilson worked in doing session drumming, playing with stars including Cat Stevens and Lulu.
    While B.J. was busy with session drumming, his former bandmate Gary Brooker had assembled Procol Harum which B.J. eventually joined in the summer of 1967, along with fellow ex-Paramount Robin Trower. By the time of Procol Harum's debut album "Procol Harum", B.J. had established himself as their full-time drummer .
    Although B.J. lacked the name recognition as other great drummers of his generation, he was voted Best Drummer in the popular Playboy Music Polls of the early 1970s. B.J.Wilson turned down an offer by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to be the original drummer of Led Zeppelin so John Bonham got that position instead.
    After Procol Harum disbanded in 1977, B.J.Wilson played on Frankie Miller's Double Trouble album in 1978image of BJ Wilson, and was a member of Joe Cocker's touring band between 1979 and 1984 and is featured on several live Joe Cocker DVD's. BJ had been the drummer on Joe Cocker's number one hit single, "With a Little Help from My Friends", recorded in 1968.
    B.J.Wilson was the drummer on the film soundtrack of The Rocky Horror Picture Show from 1975 on which his former Procol Harum bandmate, guitarist Mick Grabham, also played. According to IMDb, B.J.Wilson's friend, prominent film composer, Richard Hartley, was the one who invited him to drum on that soundtrack, and B.J.Wilson brought Grabham in to play guitar. BJ also played on two tracks ("Lady Day" & "The Kids") on Lou Reed's 1973 album "Berlin".
B.J.Wilson's last recorded work was on the 1985 Gary Brooker solo album, Echoes in the Night, along with his former Procol Harum bandmates Keith Reid and Matthew Fisher, on tracks "Ghost Train", "The Long Goodbye" "Hear What You're Saying" and "Mr. Blue Day".

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Song: "Cerdes (Outside the Gates Of)" by Procol Harum