Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Never too late to meet Pete Brown, a totally hip poet and lyricist I greatly admired in the 1970s...



Lost in the stations that sleep in the cold
Nights were so bold – old times
Ring up the chimes I used to hear
No point in saving what's left of the love
For clouds up above
I see the faces that dance in the glass
Lights chase them past each other
Walking with people that fell from the sky
Better to try
Under the candles that cry in their cage
Tears were all the rage – strange times
Broke up the rhymes I used to know
No point in keeping the last of the wine
For years in decline
I see the faces that dance in the flames
Playing their games with each other
Talking to people who came from the stars
Driving their cars



Pete Brown in the 1970s

Peter Ronald Brown (born 25 December 1940 in Ashtead, Surrey) is an English performance poet and lyricist. Best known for his collaborations with Jack Bruce and Cream, 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.

Before his involvement with music, Brown was a poet, having his first poem published in the US magazine Evergreen Review when he was 14. 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).

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."

Together, Brown and Bruce wrote a significant number of Cream's songs, 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.

Pete Brown in 2005
Brown formed Pete Brown and His Battered Ornaments in 1968, 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. His vocals were then removed from Mantlepiece and re-recorded by Chris Spedding, and the band was renamed The Battered Ornaments.

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.

[Source: Wikipedia]



What I liked about Pete Brown's lyrics was their trademark ambiguity that hinted at all kinds of mysterious, initiatory knowledge. I figure Pete just had this knack of churning out singable words - and he was lucky to team up with Cream, riding on the group's phenomenal commercial success to become one of the very few exceptions to the rule, a well-to-do poet!



In the white room with black curtains near the station.
Black-roof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings.
Silver horses run down moonbeams in your dark eyes.
Dawn-light smiles on you leaving, my contentment.
I'll wait in this place where the sun never shines;
Wait in this place where the shadows run from themselves.
You said no strings could secure you at the station.
Platform ticket, restless diesels, goodbye windows.
I walked into such a sad time at the station.
As I walked out, felt my own need just beginning.
I'll wait in the queue when the trains come back;
Lie with you where the shadows run from themselves.
At the party she was kindness in the hard crowd.
Consolation for the old wound now forgotten.
Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes.
She's just dressing, goodbye windows, tired starlings.
I'll sleep in this place with the lonely crowd;
Lie in the dark where the shadows run from themselves.


[First posted 20 November 2011]

Sunday, June 19, 2016

BLUES FOR ALLAH ~ The Grateful Dead (complete album)

Blues for Allah is the eighth studio album by The Grateful Dead.
It was recorded between February 27 and May 7, 1975,
and originally released on September 1, 1975.


Published on 11 Oct 2013

Side one "Help on the Way" (Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter) -- 0:00 / "Slipknot!" (Garcia, Keith Godchaux, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir) "Franklin's Tower" (Garcia, Hunter, and Kreutzmann) -- 7:21 "King Solomon's Marbles" (Lesh)"Stronger Than Dirt or Milkin' the Turkey" (Mickey Hart, Kreutzmann, and Lesh) -- 11:55 "The Music Never Stopped" (John Perry Barlow and Weir) -- 17:11

Side two "Crazy Fingers" (Garcia and Hunter) -- 21:47 "Sage & Spirit" (instrumental) (Weir) -- 28:29 "Blues for Allah" (Garcia and Hunter) -- 31:40 "Sand Castles and Glass Camels" (Garcia, Donna Godchaux, Keith Godchaux,Hart, Kreutzmann, Lesh, and Weir) "Unusual Occurrences in the Desert" (Garcia and Hunter) "Groove #1" (Instrumental Studio Outtake) 44:20 "Groove #2" (Instrumental Studio Outtake) 50:07 "Hollywood Cantana" (Studio Outtake) 57:41

Grateful Dead Jerry Garcia -- guitar, vocals, production Donna Jean Godchaux -- vocals, production Keith Godchaux -- keyboards, vocals, production Mickey Hart -- drums, production Phil Lesh -- bass guitar, production Bill Kreutzmann -- drums, production Bob Weir -- guitar, vocals, production

Additional musicians Steven Schuster -- flute, reeds


[First posted 19 May 2014]