Denny Gerrard, Chuck Beal, Skip Prokop and Adam Mitchell of The Paupers. (Monterey Herald archives)
Denny Gerrard, Chuck Beal, Skip Prokop and Adam Mitchell of The Paupers. (Monterey Herald archives)

RIP: "Skip" Prokop

Ronald Harry “Skip” Prokop, the Hamilton, ON-born drummer with The Paupers and Lighthouse, died from heart complications at his home with his family on Wednesday (Aug. 30), at age 73.

His storied career included a long list of musicians he came to work with that included Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin, Harvey Brooks, Mama Cass, Adam Mitchell, Denny Gerrard, Paul Hoffert, Bob McBride, Ralph Cole, Howard Shore, and Dick Armin.

At various times, he was managed by broadcaster and Roman Records’ owner Duff Roman, True North Records founder and long-time Bruce Cockburn manager Bernie Finkelstein, and Albert Grossman who was handling Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary and other folk stars of the era.

During his time with Lighthouse, the band produced five successive gold or platinum albums that garnered the band seven Juno awards, including Best Rock Group (1970, 71, 72) and Record of the Year (One Fine Morning). The band's best-known hit songs included "One Fine Morning," "Pretty Lady," "Sunny Days" and "Hats off to the Stranger."

He also hosted a Christian-themed radio show, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, on CFNY as well as selling air-time for the FM, then based in Brampton, ON.

Behind the skins, he performed at some of the hottest spots in rock. Among them the Café Au Go Go, Whisky-A-Go-Go, Fillmores East and West, the Isle of Wight music festival, Carnegie Hall, NYC’s The Electric Circus, the Monterey Pop Festival, Toronto’s Rockpile, Maple Leaf Gardens and a bushel of hip Yorkville-era clubs including the Night Owl and Café el Patio.

Funeral arrangements to follow.

Supplementary Reading:

A fascinating and informative account of Skip's involvement with The Paupers is available to be read here.

Keith Sharp has a concise and excellent overview of the man's career, with videos, on the Music Express website here.

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