Michael Brown, the keyboard player and songwriter whose brief tenure with The Left Banke produced the band’s classic hits Walk Away Renee (the product of an infatuation with the girlfriend of bassist Tom Finn) and Pretty Ballerina (again inspired by Renee Fladen), passed away at the age of 65 in March 2015.
Tensions within the band resulted in Brown’s departure prior to 1968’s The Left Banke Too, although the album did include two songs co-written by him, Desiree and In The Morning Light.
Brown – who was just 16 when he co-wrote the group’s biggest hit – continued to perform and record in the years immediately following his departure from The Left Banke, working with the band Montage and joining up with bassist and singer Ian Lloyd to form Stories, scoring a #1 hit with a 1974 cover of Hot Chocolate‘s Brother Louie. The late ’70s brought a single self-titled effort from Brown’s next band, The Beckies.
At the time of his death, Brown had been writing new songs for a planned Left Banke reunion.