Pete Brown, co-writer of Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” and “White Room,” dies at 82

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Songwriter and poet Pete Brown, best known for co-writing “Sunshine of Your Love” and “White Room” for Cream in the 1960s, died of cancer on Friday, May 19 at the age of 82.

A post on Brown’s Facebook page read, “Pete was known to repeat the mantra ‘I come from a long line of worriers, not warriors.’ One of his other favorite expressions passed down from [British poet] Spike Hawkins was, ‘That’s life — up one minute, down the next twenty-five years."”  

In continued, “Despite his tendency towards Jewish pessimism, he lived the life of a warrior poet. He was proudly anti-establishment, and dedicated his life to his creative endeavors, in an uncompromising way.”

Inspired by U.S. beat poets, Brown began writing poetry in 1955. He was approached by Cream drummer Ginger Baker to write lyrics for the supergroup, which also featured guitarist Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce.

Brown also helped write the group’s song “I Feel Free,” and continued to write songs with Bruce more than four decades after Cream broke up.

He continued working until the end, collaborating with Joe Bonamassa on the album Royal Tea and, most recently, on the final mixes of a new album, Shadow Club, featuring guest performances from Clapton and Bonamassa.

Brown was featured in two documentary films: White Rooms and Imaginary Westerns, a loose adaptation of his autobiography, and The Cream Acoustic Sessions, a documentary on the re-working of many Cream songs. An accompanying album, Heavenly Cream, is due for release later this year.

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