Matthew Fisher.jpgMatthew Charles Fisher (born 7 March 1946, AddiscombeCroydon, England) is an English musician, songwriter and producer. He is best known for playing the Hammond organ on the 1967 single, «A Whiter Shade of Pale» by Procol Harum, for which he subsequently won a songwriting credit.

Fisher was born and grew up in Addiscombe, a suburb of Croydon, then in Surrey. He started playing in bands in his teens, initially playing bass guitar, but around 1964, after hearing The Animals and Georgie Fame, he decided that he would prefer to be an organist instead. After briefly considering a career as a music teacher, enrolling in the Guildhall School of Music for a year, he dropped out, obtained two Vox Continental organs, and used them on tour with The Gamblers, backing band to Billy Fury. After The Gamblers, he played with various local groups before joining Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers in 1966.[2]

While on tour with the Jaywalkers, he met Ian McLagan, organist with the Small Faces, and became fascinated with the sound of the Hammond M102 organ andLeslie speaker that McLagan used. After borrowing money from his grandmother, he bought the same model of Hammond and started advertising for gigs in the Melody Maker. He quickly discovered that owning a Hammond made him in great demand as a musician, saying «Having a Hammond was like having a licence to print money», and by the end of the year found regular work with Screaming Lord Sutch‘s backing group The Savages, playing alongside Ritchie Blackmore. Consequently, Gary Brooker and Keith Reid were keen to recruit him for their new group, Procol Harum, and decided to visit him at his Croydon home to discuss the formation of the band.

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