Vincent Crane

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Vincent Crane
Birth name Vincent Rodney Cheesman
Born (1943-05-21)21 May 1943
Reading, Berkshire, England
Died 14 February 1989(1989-02-14) (aged 45)
Westminster, London, England
Genres Progressive rock, Hard rock, Blues rock, Psychedelic rock, Funk, rock
Instruments Hammond organ, piano
Years active 1967–1989
Associated acts Atomic Rooster, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Dexys Midnight Runners

Vincent Crane (21 May 1943 – 14 February 1989) was a self-taught pianist, who studied theory and composition at Trinity College of Music, and graduated in 1964.[1] He was best known as the organist for The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Atomic Rooster.


Born Vincent Rodney Cheesman in Reading, Berkshire, he was influenced by Graham Bond,[1] and in 1967 teamed up with Arthur Brown in The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Their eponymous debut album, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown (1968) contained the song "Fire", a chart-topping hit single in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, with Crane's organ on the leads.

During the tour of the USA, the band began to splinter, when Crane and drummer Carl Palmer (later of Emerson, Lake & Palmer) left to form Atomic Rooster in late 1969.[2] Atomic Rooster enjoyed success in 1971 with two hit singles, "Tomorrow Night", and "Devil's Answer". Crane was the one constant member of the band through their almost constantly changing lineups, and wrote a slim majority of their material.

Crane was plagued by bipolar disorder, resulting in numerous outpatient and inpatient mental health treatment facilities and hospital admissions.[2]

He collaborated with other musicians on a number of albums, including Rory Gallagher (Rory Gallagher, 1971), Arthur Brown (Faster Than The Speed Of Light, 1979), Peter Green, Richard Wahnfried and Dexys Midnight Runners (Don't Stand Me Down, 1985). In 1983 he was part of the one-off blues outfit, Katmandu, with Ray Dorset and Green, who recorded the album A Case for the Blues.

Crane died of an overdose of painkillers after a lifetime of struggling with bipolar disorder, in 1989, at the age of 45.[3]


  1. ^ a b Crane, Jeannie (August 2009). "A History Of Atomic Rooster". Jean Cheesman. Archived from the original on 6 June 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  2. ^ a b Marshall, Polly. "The God Of Hellfire, the Crazy Life and Times of Arthur Brown". SAF Publishing. ISBN 0-946719-77-2. 
  3. ^ "Vincent Crane biography". Retrieved 2011-01-01. 

External links[edit]