Pete Brown

Pete Brown was born in Surrey on Christmas Day, 1940 to a Jewish family who had fled London to escape the Blitz. With a keen interest in the war, what was happening and its aftermath, Pete moved back to London in 1951. Here he attended a Jewish Grammar School but was expelled when enforced religion took its toll.

Pete began writing poetry in 1955, initially inspired by Dylan Thomas, Gerard Manley Hopkins and later the US Beats. For many years he moved between menial jobs until he got his first break and his work began to get published, primarily in America.

Pete met poet, Mike Horovitz at the Beaulieu Jazz Festival in 1960 and joined his travelling arts group, New Departures. They wrote many jazz poems together and formed a jazz poetry group with some of the best ‘Brit jazzers’. They secured a residency in 1963 at the famed London Marquee club and went on to appear at the iconic Albert Hall, reading poetry, in 1965.

In 1966, Pete was asked to write lyrics for new super group, Cream by drummer Ginger Baker. It was this year that also saw the publication of his first book of poetry entitled, Few.

Among Pete’s song-writing credits include the lyrics for hits such as I Feel Free, Sunshine of Your Love, and White Room as many well as many more with with bass player/singer Jack Bruce. It was then that he really began making a living as a lyricist. Following the split of Cream, he carried on writing with Jack for the next 46 years and the pair began one of the longest song writing partnerships in history.

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