From Stratford to Stratosphere.
Jeff was born on July 14th 1960 in Stratford, East London. He grew up listening to bands like Deep Purple, Slade, Free and Bad Company. Jeff had decided he wanted to become a bass guitarist at the young age of fourteen and dreamed of becoming a rock star! In his late teens, Jeff was a regular at some of London's most famous rock venues including, The Marquee, The Ruskin Arms and The Bridgehouse.
At 18, Jeff was roadie for East London Blues rock heroes, Vince Green and the Vipers. One night having set the stage for a show, the band's bass player, Gary 'Gaz' Fletcher didn't show up for the gig, Jeff was told to run home and get his bass by guitarist Andy 'Snake hips' Johnson and he filled in. Jeff held Gaz in great esteem and still recognizes him as one of the greatest bass players he's ever known in spite of his unorthodox playing style with a right-handed bass played on the left, upside down! Two weeks after this, Gaz left to join The Blues band and a very enthusiastic Jeff became the band's permanent bassist. Changing their name to Fast Exit, they toured all the usual haunts, the shows were gaining momentum and their fan base was increasing. This prompted a lot of interest from a record company and the band were persuaded to change their name back to Sam Apple Pie which was the name they first went under in the early 70s. It was during a concert at one of these prestigious venues that Jeff was introduced to Stevie Smith and Mick Clarke of hard hitting, blues rock band, SALT.
After a short hiatus, SALT had recently reformed and they asked Jeff to join them on bass. The band had two regular residencies pulling in good crowds, one at the Star and Garter in Croydon, the other at the King's Head in Fulham. Unfortunately the band never took off again in the way that it had, and eventually they all drifted in to new ventures. in 2011, SALT released a CD of all their re-mastered original seventies recordings called The Cobra's melodies. Jeff features as bass guitarist on four tracks on the album, The house of the rising sun, Duck, run or fight, Everybody's friend and Money's getting cheaper.
You can find out more about SALT by clicking on this link www.marshalamp.com/salt
Nuts and Bolts.
Around 1981, Jeff joined Biker Band, Dumpy's Rusty Nuts. They were billed as Dumpy's Rusty Bolts in the early days for fear that Nuts was a bit rude! Radio One were giving the band's first single, Just for kicks a lot of airplay but the band's name was getting mocked by over zealous DJs so they decided to temporarily change it from Nuts to Bolts to make it more radio friendly. Jeff started to get a real taste for life on the road with a rock band as Dumpy's toured around the UK playing the biker festivals and famous rock clubs including The Marquee, which saw them hold the all time record for the most appearances at this legendary venue. The band were also enjoying a massive UK tour with The Blues Band where Jeff once again met up with Gary 'Gaz' Fletcher who was now well established as The Blues Band's Bassist.
Spreading like Wildfire.
In 1982 Jeff joined an all star line up to form NWOBHM band, Wildfire. The band featured Jeff on bass, on vocals, Paul Mario Day best known as the first vocalist with metal legends, Iron Maiden who Jeff maintains still ranks up there with Dianno and Dickinson, lead guitarist, Jeff Summers and drummer, Bruce Bisland who were in Weapon together and guitarist, Martin Bushell. Wildfire recorded two influential albums on Heavy Metal record label, Mausoleum. The first was called, Brute Force And Ignorance and released in 1983 followed by, Summer Lightning which was released in 1984. They supported their recording efforts with intensive touring including support slots with Hawkwind and Girlschool on their UK tours and they cut their teeth on the European touring scene especially in Belgium, the home of Mausoleum
Records. They supported Metal legends, Ostrogoth, Lion's Pride and Killer (who incidently have recently released a new studio album, enlisting Jeff on backing vocals!) They made many radio and TV appearances including the now defunct hard rock show ECT. They were on the same bill as Phil Lynott and Gary Moore, that night was Phil's last ever TV appearance. The band released two singles, Nothing lasts forever and Jerusalem. Sadly the NWOBHM scene was fizzling out and the band ended in 1985 with Paul Mario Day leaving to join Sweet.
Re-branding with Barden.
Ex-Wildfire stalwarts, Brown, Summers, Bisland and Bushell determined to keep the rock rolling joined a new band in 1985 called Statetrooper, with the addition of keyboard player, Steve Glover they were recruited by ex Michael Schenker group vocalist, the powerhouse; Gary Barden. Statetrooper had all the makings of a great, chart friendly rock band. They kicked off their recording career with a 12" EP called, She's got the look which has become a very sought after collectable. They released theIr self-titled album in 1987 and were building a dedicated following on the rock scene which in turn won them a support slot for Blue Oyster Cult, stealing the show at many of the biggest concert venues across the UK. Sadly rock music was losing it's appeal as pop was rising with the teenage Look-in generation and a disillusioned Barden decided to call time on the band. They would later reform in 2002 with Thin Lizzy guitarist, Brian Robertson replacing Martin Bushell on guitar. A renewed interest in the band prompted the re-release of the self titled debut album and the recording of a brand new studio album in 2003 called 'The Calling'. Jeff played all bass parts and sang backing vocals although he was only credited in the sleeve notes as a 'special guest'.
The Sweet smell of success.
It's now late 1987 and the big break Jeff was waiting for was just about to land in his lap! Glam Rock legends Andy Scott and Mick Tucker of Sweet were looking for a bass guitarist and they quickly snapped up Jeff!
With the new rockier line-up of Scott, Tucker, Vocalist Mal McNulty and Jeff, Sweet were enjoying a new success after a re-released disco version of their 70's hits was racing up the charts. The newly formed Sweet were far from disco though and they hit the road, touring tirelessly across the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand their popularity growing and growing amongst the rock fraternity.
In 1992, Sweet made a long-awaited return to the studio and recorded, The A Album (also known as The Answer) It was a slight departure from their Glam Rock roots with it's hard rock edge and Mal's metal-esque vocals. It was very well received and due to it's limited pressing, became an instant collectable. It was later re-released by Angel-Air and with bonus songs, it boasted an impressive 15 tracks! This brought joy to those that couldn't get their hands on the original.
Sweet were still very much in demand on the live circuit and had ventured over to the US who were really into the classic sounding British rock. In 1996, Mal left Sweet and was replaced by Chad Brown (no relation!) Chad served on vocals for 2 years but sadly due to problems with his voice, he had to leave in the middle of a long tour! The band needed to replace him quickly and there was only one, natural choice.... It was time for Jeff Brown to step up to the Front man's position! Jeff already contributed to the bulk of the infamous Sweet harmonies and as an acomplished vocalist in his own right with a powerful delivery and outstanding range, he catapulted the band into a whole new level of acclaim!
Due to his failing health, Mick Tucker sadly had to leave Sweet in 1991 and in 2002 he sadly lost his fight with Leukaemia. His drum stool was extremely hard to fill and they found his replacement in the form of German, Bodo Schopff from MSG. His tenure was a short one though and he was replaced with one of Jeff's old cohorts, Bruce Bisland.
The lure of the studio was calling once again, the line-up now consisting of Scott, Brown, Bisland and with new addition, Steve Grant on keyboards headed to Andy's studio at home in Wiltshire to record the 2002 Album, Sweetlife. This epic 11 track album was packed with songs that really took you back to the harmony rich, hook-laden, rockier Sweet days which occurred after the Chinn/Chapman Bubblegum era. Only one song was released as a single, The catchy athem; Do it all over again. Following the success of this album, the band also released a studio shot 'live' DVD featuring most of the tracks from Sweetlife and a few of the classics sung by Jeff. There was also an additional treat of original footage from the 70's Sweet as a tribute to Brian Connelly and Mick Tucker. Never one to miss an opportunity, the band also made a compilation greatest hits album with all the hits re-recorded with Jeff on vocal except for 3 of the tracks, the Staus Quo-esque, Am I ever gonna see your face again which was sung by Mal McNulty, Four Tops cover, Reach out, I'll be there which was sung by Paul Mario Day and Love is like oxygen which was sung by Chad Brown. This fantastic collection of hits is aptly called Chronology.
Sadly in 2003 Jeff decided it was time to leave the band and he is sorely missed by Sweet fans around the globe, many of whom still proclaim that Jeff was the best Sweet vocalist after Brian Connelly.
Other Historic Contributions.
Jeff has been a formidable figure in the rock world for over three decades. His versatile
bass playing, impressive vocal range and likeable demeanour has ensured that he has always been on the wanted list by a variety of renowned musicians.
In 1986, Jeff played with tongue-in-cheek band, Paddy Goes to Holyhead. The band also featured a collection of Sweet members throughout their years including, Andy Scott, Mick Tucker, Bruce Bisland, Mal McNulty and Phil Lanzon. They released 2 singles, both Tom Jones covers with a rocked up twist; The green green grass of home in 1987 and a 3 track CD, Delilah in 1988 they also released a rather presumptuous Greatest hits album in 1997. Paddy recently had a 30 year reunion gig in South London where Jeff jumped up on bass for a few numbers.
When Paddy goes to Holyhead disbanded, Founding member Danny Hynes carried on with a new line-up and the remaining members went on to form hard rock covers band, The Wandering Crutchlees, enlisting Praying Mantis guitarist and vocalist, Tino Troy. They played all the local and national rock clubs with their unique blend of rock!
Deep Purple legend, Ian Gillan and former Whitesnake guitarist, Bernie Marsden released a single called, South Africa in 1988 on Virgin Records to coincide with the Nelson Mandela 70th birthday concert at Wembley Stadium. Jeff was drafted in to provide backing vocals and the occasional "Ooh"! Being a life-long Deep Purple fan, Jeff says that this was one of the best experiences of his life and when he later met Gillan on a tour with Sweet, the star instantly recognised Jeff and the pair enjoyed a drink or two whilst catching up on all the news!
History in the making....
Since 2005, Jeff has been playing bass and singing with sixties beat group, The Tremeloes. The band are constantly touring and are firm favourites globally at golden oldies nights, solid sixties events and on the UK holiday camp circuit. With a back catalogue of well known and treasured songs such as, Silence is Golden, Candy Man, Do you love me, Angel of the morning and many, many more, The Tremeloes always
attract a huge crowd wherever they go. Clad in Leather and belting out those trademark high notes, Jeff has been welcomed and accepted by faithful Tremeloes fans of old and has helped to build a strong following of younger fans, keeping the music alive for generations to come.
Following the news at the end of 2016 that Dave Munden had decided to tour with Brian Poole and Chip Hawkes, Jeff and fellow Tremeloes band mates, Joe Gillingham, Philip Wright and Syd Twynham have decided to carry on touring together under the new name of THE TREMS. See the official website www.thetrems.co.uk to find out more.
Around the same time as joining the Tremeloes, keen to keep his hand in with the rock music scene, Jeff formed a Glam Rock Supergroup. The premise of the group was to construct a band of Original Glam Rock superstars and long-serving members from well known Glam Rock bands and deliver a show of Seventies classics with all the gusto and dedication that was present when the songs were originally released. Aptly named, The Original Jukebox Heroes are a live action, select-a-disc spectacular that will catapult you back to the days of Glitter, Glam and Platform boots! Jeff is joined on stage by brothers in arms, Phil Hendriks from Les McKeown's Bay city rollers, Steve Whalley who bravely filled Noddy Holder's shoes in Slade when he left the band, Pete Phipps, The original, drumming Powerhouse from The Glitterband, Phil Wright who is a founding member of Paper Lace and plays drums and sings lead vocals. Last but by no means least, on keyboards is Dave Major who has played with T-Rex since Mickey Finn re-formed the band as a tribute to Marc Bolan. The Original Jukebox Heroes have been very succesful in Russia and Europe who hold a great love for nostalgia, they regularly appear at outdoor festivals in Belgium to a packed capacity and are always in demand by the Belgian glam rockers!! More recently, the band have decided to give the UK a taste of what they've got and 2015 has seen them secure a string of theatre dates up and down the country. They also stole the show in April at Vauxhall Holiday Park's Seventies Gold Weekender, second from last on the bill, holiday makers have been shouting in their droves about how The Original Jukebox Heroes were the best band of the whole weekend ( with a good 15 or more bands preceeding them, that's quite an accolade! ) Keep your eyes on local press or visit www.originaljukeboxheroes.com. to find out where they're playing.
The Cat that got the cream... =^._.^=
Jeff joined Cats in Space in 2015, The cats are a Power pop rock band with a pompous, sound and retro edge. The band have released one studio album to date entitiled Too many Gods and have played prestigious venues including, The 02 as guests on the Indigo stage at the Stonefree festival and most recently, they played the world-renowned Hammersmith apollo providing support to British rock band, Thunder. Cats in Space have released their second LP, Scarecrow in August 2017 and embarked on a tour to promote is in September. In late November, The Cats supported Deep Purple on the UK leg of their tour followed by two weeks supporting Status Quo! The band's third album, Day trip to Narnia was released in March 2020.