The Crazy World of Arthur Brown — “Give Him a Flower”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — April 2, 2023


783) The Crazy World of Arthur Brown — “Give Him a Flower

The Crazy World’s ’67 B-side proves that even the god of hellfire can be won over by flower power and give a flower to the eight stone bully who kicks sand in his face, pours suntan lotion into his lemonade and takes his girl.

David Wells calls “Give Him a Flower” a “fabulous flower power send-up” (Record Collector 100 Greatest Psychedelic Records: High Times and Strange Tales from Rock’s Most Mind-Blowing Era) and notes that the New Music Express’ Charles Shaar Murray described the song as “possibly the only recorded example of British psychedelic stand-up comedy” Hey, what about Peter Cook’s and Dudley Moore’s “The L.S. Bumble Bee” (see #60)?

Brown himself recalls that “Flower” “became the anthem for the hippies — they would all sing the chorus”, and that “the studio version was scaled down from the live show, where ‘it would go on for like twelve, twenty minutes — there would be all these jokes, little skits.’” (liner notes to the Real Life Permanent Dream CD comp)

Arthur Brown, Vernon Joynson writes, “was undoubtedly one of the memorable figures of British psychedelia. . . . [The Crazy World] had become a very popular attraction around London’s underground clubs, like the UFO . . . . They had a flamboyant stage act which often involved Brown appearing in a flaming helmet with bizarre facial make-up. Indeed, their act was so expensive to stage that Brown eventually [went] broke.” (The Tapestry of Delights Revisited)

Mark Deming gives some World history:

Arthur Brown burst out of obscurity in 1968 with “Fire,” an energetic and forceful fusion of blues, jazz, psychedelia, and embryonic hard rock . . . invoking the dangers of the dark side. . . . [I]t was the defining song of his career, but Brown’s oeuvre was impressively diverse. . . . The common thread that ties [it] together is his big, booming voice, over-the-top vocal theatrics, and a willful eccentricity that boosts the power of his music. . . . He was a member of the Ramong Sound [later to become the Foundations of “Build Me Up Buttercup” fame] . . . . [E]ager to launch a project that would match his outsized stage persona, he left the band to form the Crazy World of Arthur Brown . . . . Kit Lambert and Peter Townshend were part of the production team for their self-titled debut album. . . . [and] captured a grandiose sound full of drama and menace . . . . “Fire” . . . became a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic. The[ir] live show, which featured Brown wearing a helmet that spit fire and occasionally taking the stage naked, help spread the word about the group, and Brown became one of the most talked-about characters in British rock. In the wake of the success of their debut, [they] cut a second album, Strangelands. It was originally slated for release in 1969, but executives at Atlantic and Track felt it was too experimental for mainstream listeners, and it was shelved. (It received a belated release in 1988.)

Here are some live snippets of “Flower” and”Fire” at UFO:

I have added a Facebook page for Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock! If you like what you read and hear and feel so inclined, please visit and “like” my Facebook page by clicking here.

Pay to Play! The Off the Charts Spotify Playlist! + Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock Merchandise

Please consider helping to support my website/blog by contributing $6 a month for access to the Off the Charts Spotify Playlist. Using a term familiar to denizens of Capitol Hill, you pay to play! (“relating to or denoting an unethical or illicit arrangement in which payment is made by those who want certain privileges or advantages in such arenas as business, politics, sports, and entertainment” —

The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

All new subscribers will receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock magnet. New subscribers who sign up for a year will also receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock t-shirt or baseball cap. See pictures on the Pay to Play page.

When subscribing, please send me an e-mail ( or a comment on this site letting me know an e-mail address/phone number/Facebook address, etc. to which I can send instructions on accessing the playlist and a physical address to which I can sent a magnet/t-shirt/baseball cap. If choosing a t-shirt, please let me know the gender and size you prefer.

Just click on the first blue block for a month to month subscription or the second blue block for a yearly subscription.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: