IN CONCERT (King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents)
In September of 1979, Canned Heat was invited to the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival at Brookhaven, Long Island, New York, where this live recording was made.
In the true Canned Heat tradition, it was a great party. The line-up then was a very strong musical force with three original members Bob Hite, Fito de la Parra and Larry Taylor plus two outstanding musicians Mike “Hollywood Fats” Mann on lead guitar and blind piano player Jay Spell, who also sings “On the Road Again” and “Going Up the Country” on this recording.
Disco music was at its height and Canned Heat was having a rough time maintaining popularity in spite of the good music we were making. Not withstanding this trend, a lot of hard core boogie and blues fans got together and enjoyed themselves boogieing with the Heat.
During these times the Dan Akroyd and John Belushi movie “The Blues Brothers” had just been released, making the blues scene suddenly fashionable. The Bear and Hollywood Fats – both tremendous eaters- while downing their second hamburger, stoned in a greasy joint, started calling themselves “The Burger Brothers”.
On this historical show Bob “The Bear” shines not only as a great blues singer, but also as a performer creating an environment for fun and a “Get Down And Boogie” attitude with his comments along with the other guys in the band making a party out of the show.
This is the only live recording in existence to feature Canned Heat with “Hollywood Fats” and Bob Hite together. “The Bear” was to die a broken and disappointed man heavily involved in drugs and alcohol only two years after this performance. Shortly after, “Hollywood Fats” suffered the same fate. The loss of these two great talents will be deeply missed by all of us.
Under my leadership, Canned heat continues to record and perform worldwide to this day. For fans and musicologists interested in the history of the band, I am currently working on the book “Living the Blues”, the story of Canned Heat, which will be hopefully published in 1995. Enjoy this live performance of Canned Heat, and as “The Bear” always said: “Don’t forget to boogie.”
Fito de la Parra (Producer/survivor in charge)