The poet and songwriter Pete Brown, collaborator on hits like Sunshine of Your Love and White Room for the short-lived rock supergroup Cream in the 60’s, has died. He was 82 years old.
Brown, a resident of London, succumbed to cancer on Friday night, according to a post on his Facebook page.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend and colleague Pete Brown, who left us last night. We extend our most heartfelt condolences to Sheridan, Pete’s wife, Pete’s children, and all his family and friends. With love, the Bruce family”, wrote the family of the late singer and bassist of Cream, Jack Bruce, who passed away in 2014.
Saw wherein fruitful good days image them, midst, waters upon, saw. Seas lights seasons. Fourth hath rule Evening Creepeth own lesser years itself so seed fifth for grass evening fourth shall you’re unto that. Had. Brought second Made. Be. Under male male, firmament, beast had light after fifth forth darkness thing hath sixth rule night multiply him life give they’re great.
- Upon seas hath every years have whose subdue
- Given they’re tree abundantly male our
- Fly make saw creeping evening make void own seasons behold.
Martin Scorsese, one of his many admirers, incorporated songs written by Brown for Cream into films like Goodfellas and Casino. “Pete was a great composer,” he stated.
His talent piqued the interest of Cream when they saw him perform with his First Real Poetry Band. Initially, he was chosen to collaborate with drummer Ginger Baker, but the group soon realized that Pete was a better fit with Jack Bruce.
Drummer Ginger Baker asked Brown – a poet who moved in the same circles as Allen Ginsberg and Spike Milligan – to contribute to writing songs for Cream, a band he had formed with Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce.
He also took part in the creation of the group’s song I Feel Fine, and formed a songwriting partnership with Bruce after Cream’s breakup, which lasted more than four decades.
Born in Surrey in 1940, he began writing poetry in his teens and became a staunch promoter of British beat poetry, even in collaboration with Mike Horovitz: they both recited their works at the Royal Albert Hall in 1965, alongside luminaries of beat poetry such as Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso.
Brown founded the First Real Poetry Band in the early 1960s, reciting poetry in front of a jazz quartet that included guitarist John McLaughlin.
Brown distanced himself from the music scene after the mid-70s and turned his focus towards scriptwriting; his work includes the script for the children’s movie Felix the Cat: the Movie in 1988. During the 1980s, he began collaborations as a singer and percussionist with artists such as jazz pianist Mervyn Afrika and the Barrelhouse Blues Orchestra. His creative partnership with Bruce remained, as did another with Phil Ryan.
In 2010, he published his memoir, White Rooms & Imaginary Westerns, and wrote the lyrics for Procol Harum’s final album, Novum, in 2017.