Psychedelic Psounds: Interviews from A to Z with 60s Psychedelic and Garage Bands

By Allan Vorda | Go to book overview

ARTHUR BROWN: DYNAMIC EXPLOSIONS IN MY BRAIN

Arthur Brown was born on June 24, 1943 in Whitby, Yorkshire and later studied philosophy at Reading University. He had been involved with several musical endeavors before forming The Crazy World of Arthur Brown in 1967 which consisted of the following members: Arthur Brown (vocals); Vincent Crane (keyboards); and Drachen Theaker (drums).

The band was at the forefront of "theatre-rock" and came to the attention of the Who's Peter Townsend who saw them perform at the UFO Club in London. Townsend convinced Kit Lambert, producer of the Who, to sign them for their new label called Track Records.

The Crazy Worm of Arthur Brown was the group's only album and featured the hit single "Fire" which reached #2 in October 1968. The first side of the album was a creative masterpiece which evokes images of a hallucinatory trip into hell. Unfortunately, their third U.S. tour, which was generally well-received, was a disaster due to financial mismanagement. The group also became unmanageable due to "the ingestion of large amounts of mind-altering substances." Upon returning to England the band tried to record a second album but they were unable to finish it. Carl Palmer joined the group before leaving with Vincent Craneto form Atomic Rooster and eventually moving on to stardom in Emerson Lake and Palmer. Drachen Theaker later played drums for Love on their Four Sail album.

Arthur Brown made three subsequent albums with his group Kingdom Come and guested as vocalist on several albums including the Alan Parsons Project and for the German electronic maestro Klaus Schulze. He also guested on Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters by Robert Calvert of Hawkwind and The Intergalactic Touring Band with Larry Fast (before he joined Peter Gabriel). Brown later moved to Austin, Texas where he has worked as a painter (with Jimmy Carl Black, ex-drummer for the Mothers) while still continuing to record.

The following interview was conducted with Arthur Brown on 10/9/1982 during the Houston Record Fair and on 11/8/1993.

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