Pete Brown; Beat Poet, Author, Musician, Film Maker and Songwriter died last night at the age of 82 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Brown started his artistic career as a Beat Poet in the late 1950s. By the mid 1960s he had sold out The Royal Albert Hall with both his British and American contemporaries including Alan Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Michael Horowitz at the poetry happening Wholly Communion. Several collections of his poetry have been published, from Few in 1966 to his most recent collection in 2016, Mundane Tuesday and Freudian Saturday. His contribution to Pop-Culture transcended the boundaries of poetry with songs he co-wrote with the band Cream, including lyrics for White Room, Sunshine of your Love and I Feel Free.
While he continued to work with Jack Bruce for another 45 years after the breakup of Cream in 1968, with songs including Folk Song and Theme for an Imaginary Western, he also pursued a music career in his own right as a singer/songwriter, becoming a cult figure with bands including Piblokto, The Battered Ornaments, Bond and Brown (with Graham Bond and Dick Heckstall-Smith), The Interoceters and Psoulchedelia. He had a longstanding creative partnership with his great friend Phil Ryan, the composer and keyboard player who started his musical career with the Man band.
In the 2000s Pete formed a film company with Mark AJ Waters (Brown Waters Pictures) having previously been encouraged by Martin Scorsese to write screenplays. In recent years he featured in two documentary films; White Rooms And Imaginary Westerns, a loose adaptation of his autobiography, and The Cream Acoustic Sessions, a documentary on the re-working of many of the Cream songs. He collaborated on the latter with both Ginger Baker and Malcolm Bruce, son of Jack Bruce, as well as many guest stars including Joe Bonamassa and Bobby Rush. An accompanying album, Heavenly Cream is due for release later this year.
Pete was known to repeat the mantra “I come from a long line of worriers, not warriors”. One of his other favourite expressions, passed down from Spike Hawkins Graham Bond, was ‘that’s life – up one minute, down the next twenty-four years.’ Despite his tendency towards Jewish pessimism, he lived the life of a warrior poet. He was proudly anti-establishment, and dedicated his life to his creative endeavours, in an uncompromising way. He continued working until the end, collaborating with Joe Bonamassa on the album Royal Tea, and most recently with John Donaldson on the final mixes of their new album Shadow Club. The album features guest performances from Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Bernie Marsden and is produced by long-time collaborator Rob Cass.
Pete was an animal lover. He was known as Papa Pete to Henry dog, the Hungarian wire-haired Viszla, and to his ever-increasing family of cats, to whom he was devoted. He was also a loyal and generous friend, and a huge supporter of other musicians, at every stage of their careers. He is survived by his beautiful wife and life partner Sheridan, his daughter, the singer and writer Jessica Walker, and his musician and restauranteur son Tad.
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shared from: https://www.facebook.com/officialpetebrown
Claire Lonsdale… I’m extremely sad about this. lovely guy. RIP Pete
Angela Frances Gardner… One of the albums I owned in the late 60s was Goodbye by Cream, I lost it somewhere along the line and replaced it with a CD. Loved this music. Great memories
Andy Hemsley… Really sad news
Steve Amos… Sad news, but what an extraordinary life.
Bernard Goffredo… sad news
Neil Roberts… Such sad news. My band Freak Flag backed Pete in December on two of his most iconic songs – Sunshine Of Your Love and White Room – at Hastings’ Electric Cinema. A wonderful evening. We’d done a few events with him in the past and, as always, he was charming, amusing – and incredibly modest regarding his achievements, both musical and poetic. It is often said you should never meet your heroes because of the inevitable disappointment. Pete was definitely the exception to that rule.
Colin Gibson… Terribly terribly sad to hear this
Alan Esdaile… So sad to hear this. One of the nice guys and always had some amazing stories to tell. My thoughts are with his family and friends.
Tony Davis… Sad news RIP Pete
Eric Harmer… A great man and a good friend
David Jenkins… So very sad RIP.
Iain Cobby… Silver horses ran down moonbeams in your dark eyes. Such poetry. RIP and shine on you crazy diamond
Drew Mclauchlan… He was a lovely man who put up with my incoherent ramblings about Cream, White Room and assorted 60s nonsense x
Terry Pack… RIP, Pete.
Mike Waghorne… I read yesterday on a post by the Welsh band MAN that he had passed, his old mate Phil Ryan had also !
Ann Kramer… I saw him at the Albert Hall poetry thing
Friday 23rd June 2023 12.15 PM
Come and help celebrate his life with his family and friends at:
Hastings cemetery and crematorium
The Ridge, Hastings TN34 2AE
Donations for the charity HELP MUSICIANS are accepted :