Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 24 June '44, Whitby, Yorks) UK singer. Philosophy student; played in small-time R&B groups, then formed Crazy World of Arthur Brown with Vincent Crane, organ; Drachen Theaker, drums (later replaced by Carl Palmer: Theaker later in US soft-rock Love; Palmer in Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Asia). Their only big hit 'Fire' '68 (no. 1 UK/no. 2 USA) took them from residency at London's UFO underground club to world-wide exposure of Brown's act: flowing robes, painted face, helmet (often ignited on stage) made an impact owing much to Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Toured USA after release of eponymous album '68, but split when Crane and Palmer left to form Atomic Rooster. Formed Kingdom Come '70 with Andy Dalby, guitar; Michael Harris, keyboards; Martin Steer, drums; Phil Shutt, bass; made LPs of rock theatre (Galactic Zoo Dossier '72, Kingdom Come and Journey '73); group split, Brown toured Middle East solo, returned to play priest in the Who's film Tommy ('Fire' had been released on Who's Track label); carried on with LPs Dance '74, Lost Ears '76, The Lost Ears '77 (as by Kingdom Come), Chisholm In My Bosom '78, Faster Than The Speed Of Sound '80; by then LPs issued only in Europe, incl. synthesizer music. Requiem '82, Strangelands and Rustic Hinge '88, Speak No Tech '93. Lived in Austin TX. A British eccentric, flashing intermittently on the periphery.