Pete Brown: The ‘Not Forgotten’ Association

1973 curio matching well-connected Cream lyricist with musical accomplices.

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Pete Brown’s pedigree was substantial by the time this solo album was recorded, while he was contracted to proto-prog label Deram as an A&R man.

A veteran of the 6566 Royal Albert Hall poetry events, his Cream relationship continued in his writing with Jack Bruce and, when his live partnership with Graham Bond dissolved, Brown drew on an extensive published repertoire to give The Not Forgotten Associative a compelling narrative arc.

His dramatic and often unaccompanied delivery benefits from the five years touring that preceded. The words trace counterculture evolution, from a late 50s epiphany in a public convenience on Few, through consumerist and Americana parody (Way Out West).

Best of all are the expansive, free-form epics utilising colourful telepathic accompanists, including a tuba-playing Viv Stanshall on jovial indulgence Dreaming The Hours Away. Key influences – including Slim Gaillard, jazz pianist Bill Evans and executed Spanish poet Lorca – also provide cues for full flowering flights of exploration and imagination.

Alone for the closing Long Live, Brown elides the personal with the universal in a magnificent requiem for a party house which doubles as a thorny wreath laid onto the grave of the 60s dream.

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Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.