Phil Brown

Born in San Francisco, in the fifties, Phil Brown begins to travel very
young. Growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico he discovers his first instrument: a violin given to him by his grandma. Then he buys a guitar for 50 cents from a neighbour and plays “live in concert” at school, for the first time.

Marty Robbins, George Jones and soon after, the “British Invasion” are his most important influences at that time. Rythm and blues and the Beatles will be the beginning of a new musical approach. Comes 1965 and here are The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Byrds, Canned Heat, Little Stevie Wonder, Elvis and Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, Buddy Miles, Mike Bloomfield and then, the discovery of a whole bunch of classical musicians : Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, Bach and last but not least the Jazzmen : Louis Prima, Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole.

A hurricane is on the way. The Cream and Hendrix are on the radio. Phil Brown cuts a first CD of covers : Hendrix, Kinks and Cream songs. He returns to New Mexico when The Jeff Beck Album “Truth” is just released and the awesome “Electric Ladyland” album changes his world for ever!

Chicago, Saint Louis, Cleveland, Kansas City, New Orleans, San Diego, L.A., Denver. Phil plays in small clubs for no money. The blues becomes a way of life.

Heading out to L.A. Phil gets a new job as a driver for Studio Instrument Rentals during the day and as a roadie at night (working as part of the stage
crew) at the infamous “Whiskey a Go-Go” on the Sunset Strip. He meets the
big names of the day such as Humble Pie, Joe Cocker, Three Dog Night, Alice Cooper, Steppenwolf and more. L.A, the Magic City and the chance to play
with Bob Mosely of Moby Grape at the Record Plant, with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young in the next room recording their next album.

In 1981, a tour with Little Feat right after the death of Lowell George, playing 1/2 his own tunes and 1/2 Feat songs. Lots of dope and booze, (Phil has been sober for over 17 years now). Then, coming back to Los Angeles, “The City of Angels”, a writing/composing job with Warner Bros. Music for 3 years and then with A&M Records’ Publishing structure for 2 more years.

Lots of famous female singers cut his songs, from Cher to Pat Benatar; there is Bonnie Tyler’s “Matter of the Heart”, a duet with Kim Carnes, Lisa Hartman … then Ace Frehley from Kiss, Tower of Power, Kix, Steve Perry (Journey), Lou Graham (Foreigner), a song on the soundtrack for the movie “The Wild Life” featuring Sean Penn in his first film role and tons of other amazing projects and then, the big gap… NOTHING!

Well, almost nothing …in the loneliness of a home studio, a first, almost wholly written and composed CD cut under his own name, with the guts, the experience and the knowledge of a lifetime as a traveller, with its ups and downs.

The story of life as a musician in L.A.


Cruel Inventions

Label: Dixiefrog - DFGCD8549
Distribution in France: Night & Day
Release date: March 21, 2003

This is the amazing story of a brilliant songwriter who was a king one day, and the next day, a beggar.

Known as one of the best guitarists/ singer-songwriters based in the ‘City of Angels’, Phil Brown has written for and/or played with Pat Benatar, Cher, Tower of Power, Bonnie Tyler, Kim Carnes, Kix, Lou Graham (Foreigner) and Steve Perry (Journey).

With his magic touch, some of the songs we wrote for a number of well known artists went gold and platinum many times over. But L.A. which made him famous for a while, also took all the glory back, relentlessly.

After twenty years of writing songs for other artists and bands and recording and touring with them, Phil now releases, with “CRUEL INVENTIONS”, his first shot under his own name – after a lifetime as a musician. He gives a new and very special taste to Mingus or Hendrix songs, and the way he makes his guitar sing reminds us of the late Jimi. Full of emotion, he plays like it is going to be his last day on earth, every time around.

Phil Brown - Cruel Inventions