|Birth name||Vincent Rodney Cheesman|
21 May 1943|
Reading, Berkshire, England
|Died||14 February 1989
Westminster, London, England
|Genres||Progressive rock, Hard rock, Blues rock, Psychedelic rock, Funk, rock|
|Instruments||Hammond organ, piano|
|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. 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 taught himself boogie woogie piano as a teenager before attending Trinity College of Music between 1961 and 1964. Influenced by Graham Bond, he took up Hammond organ 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 and brass arrangement to the fore.
During their first tour of the USA in 1968, Crane suffered a nervous breakdown and returned to the UK where he spent 3 or 4 months in the mental hospital at Banstead. Crane rejoined the band but on a subsequent tour of the USA, the band disintegrated in June 1969 when Arthur Brown temporarily disappeared to a commune and Crane and drummer Carl Palmer (later of Emerson, Lake & Palmer) left to form Atomic Rooster, playing their first concert at the Lyceum in London on 29 August headlining over Deep Purple. 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.
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, Len Surtees, and Peter Green, who recorded the album A Case for the Blues.
- Crane, Jeannie (August 2009). "A History Of Atomic Rooster". Jean Cheesman. Archived from the original on 6 June 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "colin-harper.com: Vincent Crane". colin-harper.com.
- Marshall, Polly. "The God Of Hellfire, the Crazy Life and Times of Arthur Brown". SAF Publishing. ISBN 0-946719-77-2.
- "Vincent Crane biography". www.angelfire.com. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- Atomic Rooster and Vincent Crane site, maintained by his widow Jeannie Crane and dedicated to his memory
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