Sunday, August 26, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown

Artist:The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Album:The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown

Fire was a top five hit in 1968. But the real story of The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown was Brown's weird costume and stage antics. He was known for his flaming helmet. This would be very influential on acts like Alice Cooper, Kiss but especially the British progressive rock group Hawkwind. The other guy behind this band was keyboard player Vincent Crane who would go on to greater fame as the leader of Atomic Rooster. Arthur Brown studied philosophy at the University Of Reading. But he was more interested in music and worked with several bands in the mid 60s including The Foundations. But he had more experimental ideas and formed The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown with Crane, bassist Nick Greenwood and drummer Drachen Theaker. Brown had studied acting in Paris so he wanted to be different then other bands. So at the 1967 Windsor Festival, he placed a colander on his head doused in methanol. He caught fire but it was extinguished. After that, Brown always wore a flaming helmet and weird makeup. He also stripped naked during a show in Italy. He was arrested and tossed out of Italy. The band signed with Track Records which was owned by The Who's manager Kit Lambert. Pete Townsend produced the album The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown. Fire reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the British charts. They went on tour but Theaker was afraid of flying and was replaced by Carl Palmer. By 1969, Palmer and Crane left to form Atomic Rooster. The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown is available on CD. Brown's 70s band Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come was unsuccessful. He also worked with The Alan Parsons Project and toured with Tangerine Dream keyboard player Klaus Schulze. Brown moved to Austin, TX in the 80s and earned a master's degree in counseling. He owned a contracting business with former Mothers Of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl Black and they also recorded an album. In the 90s, he had a business called Healing Songs Therapy which mixed music and counseling. Then he moved back to England and recorded with Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson. He toured with singer songwriter Tim Rose and Robert Plant. Brown still performs and even set fire to his hair again in 2007. Arthur Brown may have only had one big hit. But his influence is much greater than that one hit. Here's The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown performing Fire on Top Of The Pops 1968.

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