Wednesday, July 14, 2010

prayers of a one man band

Bobby Brown:
The Enlightening Beam of Axonda, Destiny Records, 1972
Live, Destiny Records, 1978
Prayers of a One Man Band, Destiny Records, 1982

For the past fifteen years, Bobby has stuck with his vision of a "one man show", always creating new instruments and new styles of singing and playing as he went along. Bobby's voice is perhaps his most remarkable instrument. Covering a six octave range (possibly the widest range ever recorded) it is capable of creating almost any texture he desires. But his "one man band" orchestra is not to be overlooked. Originally composed of about fifty instruments it contained 311 strings and took three hours to set up and tune. Instruments varied from a tiny electrified spring to a monstrous fifteen foot electrified drone. Some were of original invention, while others were electrified versions of instruments found around the world. With this set, he recorded his first album THE ENLIGHTENING BEAM OF AXONDA. An extension of his doctoral thesis begun at UCLA, it contains a story about possible new discoveries in physics that could lead to technological advances that would in turn lead to a very unique and very optimistic view of the future. -from Live liner notes

3 records by California's Bobby Brown, released on his own Destiny Records label. Despite the low fidelity, Live is my favourite of the 3. It was recorded in his van ("before a small audience - his dog") after he disliked the results of a recording he made while opening for Fleetwood Mac (?!). The Italian label Akarma reissued The Enlightening Beam of Axonda on CD but I don't know whether it was done with his participation.
Is he still around? I hope his rig still exists somewhere.

also here and here (despite what's written, these records are not terribly rare or valuable)


Jim Linderman said...

Very nice, thank you.

Alex Deley said...

Is there any way you could post rips of these albums? I've been looking everywhere for then.



Tony Larson said...

Holy crap! I used to see this guy play live when I was a little kid. He'd set up around San Diego, I remember Balboa Park being a place he would frequent. As a musician I've wondered about him over the years. I also remember being amazed as a kid, how this guy could make this mysterious music on these mysterious instruments. Thanks!

syd said...

I used to see him at the OC Fairgrounds at the swap meet on the weekends in the 70s. I was totally in love. Whatever happened to him?