Sunday, 29 June 2008



Arthur Brown was born in Whitby in 1944. His dad was a pub pianist who undoubtedly tickled the ivories in many a Whitby hostelry. A sort of 1940s Mark Liddell, if you will. The family moved to Cardiff when he was 11, but he was born within earshot of St Mary's church bells, and that's what counts.

Indeed Arthur was a religious man, a devout christian. In 1968 his debut LP with his band, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, was hailed as a landmark. The lineup was Sean Nicholas on bass, Vincent Crane on keyboards and Drachen Theaker on drums, later to be replaced by Carl Palmer. Unusually there was no guitarist.

The highlight of this album was a five track mini opera about the conflict between the comfort of sin and the fear of Hell! Of course everyone remembers Arthur from his appearences on Top Of The Pops singing the chart topping Fire! because he wore a burning hat and proclaimed himself 'The God Of Hellfire' in no uncertain terms. Click on the video near the bottom of this article to see Arthur baking his psychedelic brain for your entertainment. You don't get that on Britain's Got Talent!

So Arthur almost certainly wouldn't be allowed into Rosie's on two counts. He clearly contravenes the stringent hat policy of North Yorkshire Police, and Fire Safety Regulations would also be breached by his incendiary titfer.

Sadly, after the success of his first album, things went a bit Pete Tong. He was sued for nicking the tune for Fire! off somebody else. Then, to cap it all with a fiery trilby, halfway through the first US tour Crane and Palmer left to form Atomic Rooster. Later Carl Palmer went on to be the Palmer component of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, the bastard!

He carried on for a bit with little success, until Alice Cooper nicked his act hook, line and sinker. Arthur hung up his inflammable headwear and eventually became a carpenter. Jesus would've been proud


WhitbyNowSec said...

I watched him do that live at Whitby Dracfest! it was fabulous.
and anyway he wouldn't be allowed in Rosies on 2 counts, you are not allowed to smoke either!

groke said...

I found myself standing next to Mr Brown in the tent at Dracfest. Christian Death were playing at the time, I think.

He was minus his burning hat.

The Invisible Mice said...

Arthur Brown stole my friends alarm clock when lodging with him during Dracfest! This led to the best excuse for late arrival ever recorded...

stomper said...

do you know that evil new manager has sacked Mr Robinson! I mean good grief!