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Andy Bown

Multi-instrumentalist Andy Bown has displayed tremendous versatility as a sessionman as well as strength and loyalty as a bandmember in several much-loved British combos. Yet on an existential level, his greatest importance might turn out to be as a sort of Achilles' heel for warriors whose battleground is the confusing mass of data concerning recording sessions and performing ensembles. Nobody would blame Bown, who no doubt came by his surname quite honestly. The real culprits are a series of British bassists named Andy Brown, one of whom played for a bandleader named Alan Bown, whose presence in the story is an additional irritant. Discographies that list Andy Bown as playing with Alan Bown are not correct; that was Andy Brown. But scan the discography of Andy Bown and there will always be a few titles that remain in debate. The Tim Hardin album Nine, for example, is one in which Andy Brown is credited with playing bass on some copies, against the wishes of scholars who believe it is really Andy Bown. Hardin's recording label, which sometimes required proofreaders to don blindfolds, has also given the credit to Bown on some editions, arousing a faction that believes it is really Andy Brown, although nobody can agree which one.

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