Richard Shaw Brown

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Rick Brown
Rick Brown in Bangkok - 2006
Background information
Birth name Richard Shaw Brown
Also known as Hrisikesh
Born (1947-04-26) April 26, 1947 (age 69)
Origin Florida, United States
Genres Acid rock
Progressive rock
Blues rock
Psychedelic rock
Art rock
Hard rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Harmonica
Years active 1964–1967 / 1982–1985
Labels Fontana Records
Cherry Red Records
Rough Trade Records
Ugly Things Records
Associated acts The Misunderstood

Richard Shaw "Rick" Brown (born in 1947) was the lead singer, harmonica player, and co-songwriter of Psychedelic group The Misunderstood.[1] The Misunderstood were a rock band originating from Riverside, California in the mid-1960s. The band moved to London early in their career, and although they recorded only a handful of songs before being forced to disband, they are considered highly influential in the then-emerging genre.[2]

Richard Brown is currently working as a gemologist and Jewelry designer in Bangkok, Thailand, for Astral Gemstone Talismans, a brand known for creating fine gems-jewelry based on the Navaratna belief in Jyotish[3][4][5][6][7]


The Classic Misunderstood in London - 1966. Rick Brown on left.

"The Misunderstood were one of the most innovative and enigmatic bands of the Sixties and one of the psychedelic era's best loved groups."[8] Brown's most well-known songs, I Can Take You To The Sun and Children of the Sun, are considered psychedelic music classics.[9] While working successfully with the band in London, the group broke up when Brown was drafted by the US Army to go to Vietnam, but being opposed to the war, he escaped from boot camp and left the country for India, where he was a fugitive for 12 years.[10] Creem magazine, in a September 2004 review, write, "The saga of The Misunderstood is one of the most unbelievable, heartbreaking, and unlikely stories in the entire history of rock."[11]

Sample of "Anti-war Psychedelic Song by The Misunderstood".

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In 1967 Brown was initiated as Hrisikesh Das by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada[12] He also lived as a monk and received instructions in Krishna bhakti from Swami Bon Maharaj in Vrindavana, U.P., India for six and a half years.[13] Brown departed from Swami Bon and returned to his original Guru, Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in late 1973. During his time in Asia, Brown learned to speak Bengali, Hindi and Thai, and read Sanskrit and Hindi.[14]

Welfare activities in Asia[edit]

During his stay in India with Swami Bon Maharaj Brown was engaged in the establishment of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Academy, a primary school, in Nandagram, U.P.,[15] as well as expanding the Institute of Oriental Philosophy in Vrindavan, U.P.[16] Before returning to America Brown was also instrumental in establishing Sri Hari-siddhi Primary School in Dhulikhel, Nepal[17] In 1999 Brown was a co-founder and is currently Acting Secretary of the Institute of Planetary Gemology in Bangkok, Thailand[18] a school that teaches the Navaratna system of Asian birthstones.[19]

Influence in India[edit]

Through Swami Bon's educational service Brown moved in the highest circles of Indian society, even being received twice by India's President V.V. Giri at Rastrapati Bhavan in 1972;[20] and he successfully organized two high society functions in Bombay and Delhi during 1971-1972 which were supported by India's elite.[21]


In 1979, after 12 years in exile, Brown returned to America where he was granted amnesty as a conscientious objector and discharged from the Army.[22][23]

Post-Misunderstood music[edit]

In 1982, the two core members, the singer and the steel guitarist, reunited as "Influence" and recorded two self-penned tracks, "No Survivors" and "Queen of Madness", for UK's Rough Trade Records in 1983. They disbanded in 1985 when Campbell moved to New Zealand and Brown moved to Thailand.[24][25]

Cherry Red Records (UK) released three albums of Misunderstood music; Before the Dream Faded (CDM RED 32) in 1992, The Legendary Goldstar Album (CDM RED 142) in 1997, and a full album of The Misunderstood's later material under the name of The Misunderstood: Broken Road (CDM RED 147) in 1998.[26]

Recently, in 2004, Ugly Things Records (USA) issued another full album of previously unreleased tracks named The Lost Acetates 1965-1966, that received international media coverage.[27][28]

A motion picture screenplay (The Misunderstood: WGA 977444) about the band and Rick Brown's adventures was written by rock historian, Mike Stax (Editor of Ugly Things music magazine) in 2002,[29] and is under revision.[30]

A novel: Like, Misunderstood - based on the script was published in October 2007.[31][32]

Musical recognition[edit]

Recent activities[edit]

The Queen Sirikit Navaratna accepted by Her Majesty, the Queen of Thailand in 1993

In 1983 Brown graduated as "Gemologist" from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Brown's book Ancient Astrological Gemstones & Talismans [40] received the "1996 Benjamin Franklin Award"[41] from the Publishers Marketing Association (PMA). He is currently working as a gemologist and jewelry designer in Bangkok, Thailand for the popular brand, Astral Gemstone Talismans.[42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59][60]

Published books[edit]

  1. Richard Brown (1975) Sri Chinta Mani, Astro Jewels Co.: Bangkok, Thailand.
  2. Richard S. Brown (1982) Handbook of Planetary Gemology, AGS Inc.: Laguna Beach, California.
  3. Richard S. Brown (1988) Handbook of Planetary Gemology II, Mckinney Intl.: Hong Kong.
  4. Richard S. Brown (1995) Ancient Astrological Gemstones and Talismans, AGT LTD. ISBN 974-89022-4-2.
  5. Richard S. Brown (2000) Astral Gemstone Talismans Designs 2000, AGT LTD. ISBN 974-87630-5-6.
  6. Richard S. Brown (2002) Astral Gemstone Talismans 2002, AGT LTD. ISBN 974-88562-9-1.
  7. Richard S. Brown (2003) VOOM Collection, Hrisikesh Ltd. ISBN 974-07-1633-4.
  8. Richard S. Brown (2004) Six Collection, Hrisikesh Ltd. ISBN 974-91395-7-7.
  9. Richard S. Brown (2005). Sri Chintamani Collection. Hrisikesh Ltd. ISBN 974-07-1643-1
  10. Richard S. Brown (2006). Akash Collection. Hrisikesh Ltd. ISBN 974-93383-9-1
  11. Richard S. Brown (2007). Mangala Navaratna Collection. Hrisikesh Ltd. ISBN 974-07-1853-1.
  12. Rick Brown & Mike Stax (2007). Like, Misunderstood. UT Publishing, USA. ISBN 0-9778166-1-3.
  13. Richard S. Brown (2007). Ancient Astrological Gemstones & Talismans - 2nd Edition. Hrisikesh LTD. ISBN 978-974-8102-29-0

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Unterburger, Richie (May 1998). Unknown Legends of Rock n Roll. Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-0-87930-534-5. 
  2. ^ "Review by Terrascope Online – Jan. 2008". Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  3. ^ Ranard, Andrew (October 31, 1994). "Gemologist Focuses On the Spiritual". International Herald Tribune. p. 20. 
  4. ^ Roxas, Percy (August 1, 2008). "'To be Thailand's Own'". Look East Magazine. pp. 20–21. 
  5. ^ Ure, Bronwyn (November 2008). "'Romancing the Stone'". Living In Thailand Magazine. pp. 44–45. 
  6. ^ OUTLOOK (1992). Jewelry Based on the Stars. Bangkok Post. 
  7. ^ OUTLOOK (1992). Astral Fashion with Gemstone Talismans. Bangkok Post. 
  8. ^ "Review by Terrascope Online – Jan. 2008". Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  9. ^ "100 Greatest Psychedelic Records". Record Collector. 2005. 
  10. ^ "MISUNDERSTOOD Website". Retrieved 2007-01-19. 
  11. ^ Duff, Bruce. Creem Magazine: Issue September 2004. 
  12. ^ "Disciples:H". 
  13. ^ Lalitananda Vana (1971). Sri Bepin Sakhi Vilas. OCLC 31935694. 
  14. ^ Ranard, Andrew (October 31, 1994). "Gemologist Focuses On the Spiritual". International Herald Tribune. p. 20. 
  15. ^ ""True Story Of Krishna's School In Nandagrama" - Vaishnava News Network (VNN) - Feb 4, 1999 Website". Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  16. ^ Stax, Mike. Ugly Things (Music) Magazine Issue 22 - 2004. p. 46. 
  17. ^ "Info on schools established by Richard S. Brown". Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  18. ^ ""Vedic Gemology Gets Organized" - Vaishnava News Network (VNN) - Feb 19, 2000 Website". Retrieved 2007-03-13. 
  19. ^ "Weblink". Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  20. ^ Stax, Mike. Ugly Things (Music) Magazine Issue 22 - 2004. p. 58. 
  21. ^ "Weblink". Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  22. ^ Daniel P. Reid (1988). Rishi. 
  23. ^ Mike Stax (2002). Screenplay: The Misunderstood WGA 977444. 
  24. ^ Ugly Things (Music) Magazine No. 22 by Mike Stax. 2004. 
  25. ^ "Influence at Rate Your Music". Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  26. ^ "Ref.". Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  27. ^ Entertainment-Reuters (Yahoo News) (June 18, 2004). "New Label Sheds Light on the Misunderstood". Billboard. 
  28. ^ Rolling Stone Magazine Issue (September 2, 2004). "The Misunderstood The Lost Acetates 1965–1966 by David Fricke". 
  29. ^ Mike Stax (2002). Screenplay: The Misunderstood WGA 977444. 
  30. ^ Ure, Bronwyn (November 2008). "'Romancing the Stone'". Living In Thailand Magazine. pp. 44–45. 
  31. ^ "Like, Misunderstood web page". Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  32. ^ Stax, Mike (October 2007). Like, Misunderstood. UT Publications. ISBN 0-9778166-1-3. 
  33. ^ Peelennium list on Wikipedia
  34. ^ "Record Collector Magazine's 100 Greatest Psychedelic Records: Web link". Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  35. ^ Unterberger, Richie (May 1998). Unknown Legends of Rock n Roll. Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-0-87930-534-5. 
  36. ^ Record Collector Magazine; et al. (2004). "100 Greatest Psychedelic Records". Record Collector Magazine. 
  37. ^ "John Peel Quote". Top Gear (BBC Radio). November 8, 1968. 
  38. ^ Mojo Magazine (April 2009). "I Can See For Miles: A-Z". 
  39. ^ Cult Heroes No. 18: The Misunderstood
  40. ^ Richard Brown (1995). Ancient Astrological Gemstones & Talismans. A.G.T. Co. ISBN 974-89022-4-2. 
  41. ^ "Benjamin Franklin Awards". Publishers Marketing Association website. Retrieved 2007-01-27. 
  42. ^ Ranard, Andrew (October 31, 1994). "Gemologist Focuses On the Spiritual". International Herald Tribune. p. 20. 
  43. ^ "The 9 Royal Gems". Bangkok Post Newspaper. December 1, 2006. 
  44. ^ "Thai Dealers Designs are Out of This World". Jewellery News Asia (Hong Kong). September 1990. 
  45. ^ "Profile: Richard S. Brown - Gem Expert Charts Path to the Stars". Bangkok Post (Business News). May 19, 1997. 
  46. ^ "Executive Life Style-The Accidental Gemologist". Singapore Business Times. October 30, 1993. 
  47. ^ National Jeweler magazine (1990). Gems Jewelry Looks to the Stars. National Jeweler USA. 
  48. ^ Colored Stone Magazine (1996). Gemstone Guru. Colored Stone USA. 
  49. ^ Hong Kong Standard (1988). Exploding Rock Mythology. Hong Kong Standard. 
  50. ^ Jewelers’ Circular-Keystone (1991). What's New In Jewelry. JCK USA. 
  51. ^ "Article by Thai Airways Kinaree Magazine". 
  52. ^ "Magazine and Newspaper Articles about and also by Brown". Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  53. ^ Asia Magazine (1991). Astral Fashion with Gemstone Talismans. Hong Kong. 
  54. ^ Asia Magazine (1992). Cosmic Gemstones. Hong Kong. 
  55. ^ Asia Magazine (1993). Faces of Asia: Richard S. Brown. Hong Kong. 
  56. ^ Outlook (1992). Top Designer Gives Planetary Gemology Talk. The Bangkok Post Newspaper (Thailand). 
  57. ^ Bangkok Gems & Jewellery Magazine (1993). A New Addition to the Crown Jewels of Thailand. BGJ Bangkok. 
  58. ^ Amatyakul, Sinsap (June 1995). "The New Science of Planetary Gemology". Outlook in Bangkok Post Newspaper. 
  59. ^ Look East (English) Magazine (Thailand) (May 1995). From Monkhood to Astral Gemology. 
  60. ^ Jewel Siam Magazine (September 1991). Personalized Planetary Jewelry. Bangkok, Thailand. p. 98. 

External links[edit]