Pete Brown
Pete Brown
Background information
Born 25 December 1940 (1940-12-25) (age 70)
Ashtead, Surrey, England
Instruments Percussion
Years active 1960s–present
Associated acts Cream
Pete Brown & Piblokto!
The Battered Ornaments

Peter Ronald Brown (25 December 1940 in Ashtead, Surrey) is an English performance poet and lyricist.

Best known for his collaborations with Jack Bruce,[1] Brown also worked with The Battered Ornaments, formed his own group Pete Brown & Piblokto!, and worked with Graham Bond and Phil Ryan. Brown also writes film scores and formed a film production company. Comedian and actor Marty Feldman was Brown's cousin.[citation needed]



Before his involvement with music, Brown was a poet, having his first poem published in the US magazine Evergreen Review when he was 14.[2] He then became part of the poetry scene in Liverpool during the 1960s and in 1964 was the first poet to perform at Morden Tower in Newcastle.

He formed The First Real Poetry Band with John McLaughlin (guitar), Binky McKenzie (bass), Laurie Allan (drums) and Pete Bailey (percussion)[3]


The First Real Poetry Band brought Brown to the attention of Cream. Originally, he was seen as a writing partner for drummer Ginger Baker, but the group quickly discovered that he worked better with bassist Jack Bruce. Of the situation, Bruce later remarked "Ginger and Pete were at my flat trying to work on a song but it wasn't happening. My wife Janet then got with Ginger and they wrote 'Sweet Wine' while I started working with Pete."[citation needed]

Together, Brown and Bruce wrote a significant number of Cream's songs,[1] including the hits "I Feel Free", "White Room" and (with Clapton) "Sunshine of Your Love".

After the breakup of Cream, Bruce and Brown continued to write songs together for Bruce's solo career. Brown wrote the lyrics for Bruce's albums Songs for a Tailor, Harmony Row and Out of the Storm.[1]

Pete Brown and his Battered Ornaments

Brown formed Pete Brown and His Battered Ornaments in 1968,[1] and in 1969 the band recorded two albums; A Meal You Can Shake Hands With In The Dark and Mantlepiece, with a line-up including Pete Bailey (percussion), Charlie Hart (keyboards), Dick Heckstall Smith (sax), George Kahn (sax), Roger Potter (bass), Chris Spedding (guitar) and Rob Tait (drums). Brown then suffered the ignominy of being thrown out of his own band, the day before they were due to support The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park.[2] His vocals were then removed from Mantlepiece and re-recorded by Chris Spedding, and the band was renamed The Battered Ornaments.[4]


After the Battered Ornaments, Brown formed Pete Brown & Piblokto!, which had several line ups and issued two albums and three singles before disbanding in 1971.

Brown & Graham Bond

After Piblokto!, Brown started to work with Graham Bond,[1] with input from Jack Bruce and Bond's wife, Diane Stewart. In 1972 they recorded one album, Two Heads Are Better Than One, a single, "Lost Tribe", and much of the soundtrack to the film Maltamour before Bond left to form Magus in 1973.

Brown then formed Brown and Friends, and Flying Tigers but neither group got beyond producing demos. He recorded an album of his early poems, The Not Forgotten Association, in 1973 before recording with members of Back to Front, including an album, Party in The Rain, which was recorded in 1976, but not released until 1982.

Brown & Ryan

On the rise of punk, he left the music scene in 1977 and wrote film scripts. He then wrote a film score for a BBC TV film, with Phil Ryan, who had been in a late Piblokto! line-up. They collaborated for 12 years, and Brown formed his own label Interoceter, which issued two Pete Brown/Phil Ryan albums: Ardours of the Lost Rake and Coals to Jerusalem. They began touring in 1993, and a compilation of the two albums was issued on CD as The Land That Cream Forgot (Vintage VIN 8031-2).[5] In the 1990s Brown also appeared with The Interoceters, performing his earlier material.

A new Brown/Ryan album Road of Cobras, including Maggie Bell, Arthur Brown, Mick Taylor and Jim Mullen, was released in 2010.

Film Company

In 2004 he formed Brown Waters,[6] an award-winning[citation needed] British film production company,[7] with Mark A.J.Waters and Miran Hawke.

References in popular culture

  • "Get", a song by Blurt about him and his model aeroplane collection.
  • "Student Susan", a track on Japanese guitarist Saiichi Sugiyama's album So Am I (2004), which Brown wrote with Sugiyama, is named after the former girlfriend of Stuart Sutcliffe of the Beatles whom Brown went out with in the Liverpool poetry scene in the early 1960s.



  • Few Poems (Migrant Press, Birmingham, 1966)
  • Let 'Em Roll, Kafka (Fulcrum, London, ISBN 0852460147, 1969)
  • The Old Pals' Act (Allison & Busby, London, ISBN 0850310164, 1972)
  • The Not Forgotten Association (album of Brown reading his early poems, 1973)

Pete Brown and his Battered Ornaments

  • "The Week Looked Good On Paper"/"Morning Call" (Parlophone 1969)
  • A Meal You Can Shake Hands With In The Dark (Harvest 1969)

Pete Brown & Piblokto!

  • "Living Life Backwards"/"High Flying Electric Bird" (Harvest, HAR 5008, 1969)
  • "Can't Get Off The Planet"/"Broken Magic" (Harvest, HAR 5023, 1970)
  • "Flying Hero Sandwich"/"My Last Band" (Harvest, HAR 5028, 1970)
  • Things May Come and Things May Go but the Art School Dance Goes on Forever (Harvest, SHVL 768, 1970)
  • Thousands On A Raft (Harvest, SHVL 782, 1970)
  • My Last Band (Harvest, SHSM 2017, 1977)
  • Things May Come and Things May Go but the Art School Dance Goes on Forever and Thousands On A Raft (CD, BGOCD522, 2001)

Pete Brown & Graham Bond

  • "Lost Tribe"/"Milk is Turning Sour in My Shoes Macumba" (1972)
  • Two Heads Are Better Than One (1972)

With Ian Lynn

  • Party in The Rain (1982)

Pete Brown & Phil Ryan

  • Ardours of the Lost Rake (2003)
  • Coals to Jerusalem (2003)
  • The Land That Cream Forgot (Vintage, VIN 8031-2, 1996)

Other Collaborations


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Larkin C 'Virgin Encyclopedia of Sixties Music' (Muze UK Ltd, 1997) ISBN 0-7535-0149-X p80
  2. ^ a b Joynson, Vernon (2006). The Tapestry of Delights Revisited (1st ed.). Telford: Borderline productions. pp. 126–127. ISBN 1-899855-15-7. 
  3. ^ Eder, Bruce. "The Battered Ornaments". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  4. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Biography of Pete Brown". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  5. ^ Sleeve notes to The Land That Cream Forgot
  6. ^ Brown Waters film production
  7. ^ Brown Waters production

External links

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