In Memoriam: Alan Cartwright

Alan Cartwright

Former Procol Harum bassist Alan Cartwright has passed away. Although a cause of death was not given, he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer last year. He was 75 years old. The news was shared by vocalist/pianist Gary Brooker.

“It is with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Alan Cartwright, bassist with Procol Harum from 1971–1976,” he wrote. “I met Alan in 1966 through Barrie Wilson and Kenny White, as the four of us had grown up in the same area of Edmonton/Enfield, and I believe Alan always remained in that area North of London. Looking back, he was always a very solid, musical, and reliable bass player, and a good bloke who gave of his best both in the studio and on the extensive tours Procol did when he was with us.”

Before joining Procol Harum in 1971, Cartwright played with the Freddie Mack Show, which included Harum member B.J. Wilson. He was featured on four albums with the band – Live: In Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Grand Hotel, Exotic Birds and Fruit, and Procol’s Ninth. It was the Live album that marked the band’s highest charting release, reaching #5 on the Billboard 200.

After his departure from the band, Cartwright retired from music. “We lost touch around ‘Something Magic’ and then Procol disbanded and the ashes went into the ground,” Brooker explains. “It wasn’t until 1997, when Shine On put together the Thirtieth Anniversary gig in Redhill, that we made contact again and he appeared in the multi-Harum reunion. It was such a pleasure to see him, but sad that he wasn’t playing bass much anymore – the break-up of PH in 1977 seemed to send so many of us off into uncharted waters.”

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Alan Cartwright.

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