(i.m Peter Ronald Brown, 25/12/1940-19/5/2023)

His words will resound for as long as there are films

And Rock music, for just as Scorsese savours 

Sunshine Of Your Love in his films, so do the fans



Of Clapton, Baker, Bruce, Procol Harum, and his own 

Unique oeuvre rejoice in the voicings that spumed 

Words of fire from within Pete’s poem kiln. 


Pete Brown was the original English Beatnik, and more, 

A North London Bluesman. Psychedelicist, Progster, 

And one part West Coast by the sea. He was like all 


Of those bright jewish boys, who spilled out of London, 

From Pinter and Wesker, to Berkoff and Kops, 

Each dreamt free, and each of them shaped their own


Special corner.  Pete with his jew-fro in 1969 

Could dare rooms. He told me that he learnt to sing 

Later on, and crooned, after his Broken Ornaments 


Shattered, before raising Piblokto! to a cultish peak 

Where songs loom over all other art through what 

They engender in others, and Pete’s energy and invention 


Sustained and remained despite cancer’s pain. 

It was only a few weeks ago he talked of the plans 

He had on a phonecall, our friendship having flowered 


After meeting on a Hastings bound train. Born in Surrey,

Soho was his stamping ground in the 60s. And before

That, in the 50s, in polo-neck and waistcoat,


He was part of the new poetry and with Michael

Horovitz, New Departures, defining British voices

To capture and let each line float. He sent me plays


Of his from that time; free associations on Alice,

With each moment more playful and in some ways

More charged than even Lewis Caroll’s chorale 


Of disguised desire; Pete’s work was more carnal 

And more open, always to art’s cards. But imagine 

A man who elevated the poem and who then did 


The same for the lyric practically the next year. 

Starting and stirring for Cream the linguistic mix 

In their menu, moving from bright blues to near metal


The White Room becoming a place to defeat each dark fear

With majestic music and words bound to both the heart 

And the bedpost, and to the streets beyond, as evolution 


In verses and lines became aim, and Pete always scored. 

Those Thousands On a Raft sailed beside him as each word 

Released oceans from which even those on dry land 


Could still gain. But unlike Reid, or Sinfield, Pete became 

A performer; a vanguardian using the avant-garde, 

Rock and blues to conjure fresh colours from Brown, 


Whether with Graham Bond, or Phil Ryan, whose death 

Left Pete decimated and yet in counting the ways, 

He stayed true. For as each partner passed, from Jack Bruce 


To Ginger, this brightly bound Beatnik knocked on the door

Of intent; whether that was in Hollywood, or in an A&R

Office. Pete gave his time sweetly; short and adorable,


Shuffling, he was song’s soldier patrolling the poem 

Parade to invent new ways to be, and fresh ground

To conquer. He was always on tour; Europe had him,


At nearly 80 years old on the stage. I saw him in ‘18 

At the Cream 50th Anniversary concert, as Malcom Bruce, 

Kofi Baker and Will Johns played their Uncle and Dads, 


While Pete in his prime sang, singed and blazed beside them, 

Restoring at once that explosion. To quote the Cream song:

‘Í’m so Glad,’ Pete was the designated mourner also, 


For that whole generation. A BBC Four commentator

On all manner of albums and styles. A documentarian, too

And Scrosese subject, a Go-to for the info on the high


Beyond those eight miles. He found lasting love 

With his wife Sheridan and seemed to have the largest 

Garden in England. His home in Hastings was both 


Country seat and Sea view. Where we once talked 

All night about films and politics, music, Leonora 

Carrington and Viv Stanshall who he also knew 


And helped: Noble Jew. Who while being born on 

Christmas day was as in Jonathan Miller’s old joke, 

‘Not really a jew, just jewish.’ Pete was for Palestine,


Peace and freedom, and for each life and line 

His thoughts flew. So, read his books, hear the songs 

And listen well to those lyrics. ‘Íts getting near dawn,’ 


Pete. We miss you. The colours are running.  

Its stunning, this sudden loss. Friends, fans, kids 

And family kiss you, and we will always keep asking, 



Where are you, Brownyboots? 




              we’re blue.  



                                                                   David Erdos 24/5/23

Photo credit –

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