Marilyn Manson, KISS, Alice Cooper, even Bowie…all of these artists owe a debt of gratitude to the outlandish psych-rock showman Arthur Brown.
The God of Hell Fire himself and his band, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown have announced their first tour since 1969, with stops in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York on the agenda. Ohio’s Electric Citizen will open most shows on the brief tour. Other dates will feature San Francisco’s Acid King, New York City’s White Hills, Arkansas’ Pallbearer, Portland’s Danava and Madison, WS doom metallers Jex Thoth.
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown’s self-titled debut album, produced by The Who’s manager, Kit Lambert, was released in 1968 and quickly became a hit behind the frenetic single “Fire,” which sold over one million copies and was certified gold by the RIAA. The opening line, “I am the god of hell fire…” has been heavily sampled through the years, most notably on The Prodigy’s single “Fire” in 1992.
Alongside Brown, the original band included Vincent Crane on Hammond organ and piano, Drachen Theaker on drums and Nick Greenwood on bass. Theaker’s fear of flying led to his leaving the band to be replaced by Carl Palmer, who went on to later fame as a member of prog-rock supergroup Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
Brown’s current lineup has been together since 2000 and includes an array of musicians, performance artists and dancers. The tour, titled Zim Zam Zim, after the band’s 2014 album, hits New York’s Le Poisson Rouge Feb. 23. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased through the venue’s website.
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown 2017 Tour Dates:
Feb. 15 – Los Angeles – Regent Theater w/ White Hills
Feb. 16 – Las Vegas – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino w/ White Hills
Feb. 17 – San Francisco – Slims w/ Acid King
Feb. 18 – Portland, OR – Star Theater w/ Danava
Feb. 21 – Chicago – Reggies
Feb. 23 – New York – Le Poisson Rouge
Feb. 24 – Austin – Barracuda w/ Pallbearer
Feb. 25 – Austin – Barracuda w/ Acid King & Jex Thoth
Take a glimpse into some late ’60s psychedelia with the video for “Fire” from England’s Top of the Pops below: