been over 25 years since the Hot Rods first entered the circuit.
Here they are in the new millennium credited with sixteen forty-fives,
6 vinyl albums and to date, 14 CD's and no doubt more to come. Down
the way they have packed audiences into most of the major UK,US
and European venues. Many times they have made front page news in
the music press and have graced the music industry with anthems
such as "Teenage Depression", "Do Anything
You Wanna Do", and "Quit This Town", plus
doing credit to a number of classic covers such as Van Morrisons'
"Gloria", Bob Segars' "Get Out Of Denver"
and of course, Domingo Samudios' "Woolly Bully".
Rods thunder onward with a new found energy as the bandwhen
live on stage dish out their own style of high energy R & B,
each and every time leaving an ecstatic audience yelling for more.
with a new album that has just been released through Voiceprint
Records, the band have just recently recorded a live DVD from a
sell out show from at The Mean Fiddler in London, and are working
on their next studio album due to be released around the Autumn
2005 has also seen the band undertake a 12 date tour of the West
Coast of the USA, numerous dates in Italy and Germany, as well as
all the UK shows.
2006 looks to be even bigger and better for the Essex band with
tours of both sides of the USA booked along with extensive dates
throughout Europe, Japan ,the UK and Scandanavia, so dont miss the
chance to see one of the best live bands around
& The Hot Rods 2006 Tour and Festival Dates
Eddie & The Hot Rods - Band History
Eddie and the Hot Rods are a British
rock band now celebrating over 25 years in the music business.
Their style of playing is known as
"high energy rhythm and blues", with a set list mainly
of original classics and a couple of popular covers for good measure.
They have a following throughout Europe and the United Kingdom and
can still fill a venue after all these years.
Over the past 25 years, as with many
bands, the Hot Rods line up has seen changes. Band members leaving,
rejoining and so on..
The history of Eddie and the Hot
Rods seems to fall neatly into four periods, the 70's, the 80's,
the 90's and the new millennium. Over the years Eddie and the Hot
Rods have become an important member of the rich family tree of
"Southend Rock" which includes Procal Harem, The Kursaal
Flyers, Dr Feelgood and Steve Hooker to mention but a few.
The story of Eddie and the Hot Rods
started back in the early seventies in South East Essex, UK when
Barrie Masters (singer) and Steve Nicol (drummer) were working together
in a group best described as a "children's psychedelic glam
R & B outfit", playing school dances and bingo sessions.
Steve inherited his talents as a drummer from his father, who played
in a dance band. Barrie strengthened his lungs at football matches
and kept fit as a young champion boxer. Barrie and Steve attended
the same school in Rochford, Essex. One Sunday lunchtime in a pub
a guy called Peter Ward (also from Rochford) approached them and
asked them to join a group. Because Barrie knew the words to three
songs he was nominated as the singer. This early line up was known
as Buck Shee, and then simply "She".
An advertisement in the window of
Chris Steven's Music Centre in the Queens Road, Southend on Sea,
caught the attention of Dave Higgs (guitarist) who at the time was
road managing for Dr. Feelgood. He travelled from Canvey Island
to Rochford just outside Southend to an audition. The band recall
meeting Dave at Rochford Station on their mopeds and took him back
to a garage to see what he was made of. He succeeded.
At that time the group included another
singer, another guitarist and Bob Steele, known as the Hustler on
bass. With Dave's arrival however, the other singer and guitarist
were sacked. Harp Player Lew Lewis was introduced by Dave Higgs.
They had both played with a band called The Fix, which featured
Wilko Johnson, Lee Brilleaux and Sparko of the Feelgoods. The band
was now beginning to evolve, but was not yet complete. The Bass
player was to go next. His plans were to get married and complete
his apprenticeship and more auditions were set up. Paul Gray (later
to join The Damned, and UFO) was chosen, a little younger than the
rest of the band at just 16 at the time and coming in from Leigh
on Sea, Essex. By early 1975 the pruning and grafting had been completed
and the birth of Eddie and the Hot Rods was now imminent.
The band rehearsed two of three times
per week playing covers at first, but practising in a garage soon
came to an end when the neighbours got up a petition. Their equipment
was the bare essentials using an old tape recorder stood on end
for a P.A.. and a cheap microphone that caused feedback. They played
local gigs, mainly playing covers and having a good time. The few
gigs they played were in and around Essex.
Barrie recalls introducing a new
addition to the band. One Guy Faulks night, they saw some kids getting
a penny for the guy and decided to have a go. They made a 6'6"
guy, dressed it in a pinstripe suit, a trilby hat and shades. They
hung him up on a microphone stand at the back of the stage in the
dark with his hands in his pockets and a cigarette hanging from
his mouth. Throughout the set Barrie would talk to him and the crowd
would think that he was real. They named the dummy "Eddie"
and this is how the band became "Eddie and the Hot Rods".
Not through popular belief that they were named after their (later)
manger Ed Hollis. The final alteration during this period was the
departure of harp player Lew Lewis who left because playing became
too fast for him and he was ripping his lips to pieces.
The break came for Eddie and the
Hot Rods when they began playing venues on the London circuit. No
great impressions at first, but they were at least now progressing
outside of Essex. In 1975 Ed Hollis, a DJ from the Top Alex in Southend
was introduced, and later took on the responsibility of managing
the band. As the Autumn progressed, things got better for the Hot
Rods. A residency at "The Kensington" in London led to
a series of gigs at the Red Cow on the Hammersmith Road, and other
appearances at the Newlands Tavern, Dingwalls and the Nashville,
all major London venues. Although they suffered the usual cool reception
in those early days, they gradually began to get a reputation as
a piece of local hot action. Name drops in "teasers" followed
enthusiastic reviews and soon enlightened the record companies -
Anchor and United Artists among them were taking notice.
In these early days Eddie and the
Hot Rods were so many times wrongly dubbed as a part of the British
punk movement. This was never the case. Eddie and the Hot Rods were
never to be seen wearing safety pins or bondage trousers. They were
dubbed a punk band because of their hard hitting anti-establishment
lyrics and high energy output. They opened the doors to Punk Rock.
One night at the Nashville, whilst playing with the 101ers (The
Clash), Howard Thompson, who had just joined Island Records A&R
Dept, was among the audience. A little cautiously, because Island
had never dealt with anything like Eddie and the Hot Rods, Howard
approached his supervisors. Island gave the go-ahead and shortly
afterwards The Hot Rods were required to make phonographic recordings
- a move they have never regretted
1978 saw the release of their second
album. "Life on the Line" with the title track being released
as a single, and a follow up single, the now infamous anthem - "Do
Anything You Wanna Do". Hot on its heels came "Quit This
Town". Meanwhile, the band were playing a series of UK dates
in preparation for their first North American tour to open in Toronto
Oct 30th. Among the highlights were 6 shows in New York, four nights
in Los Angeles and the tour ending in Texas in December. They released
a one off single with American Rob Tyner, formally with Detroit's
MC5, "Till the Night is Gone"(Lets Rock) on November 11th.
Other recordings on Island were "At the Speed of Sound",
a four track EP recorded live at the Rainbow in London. A third
album "Thriller" which saw the release of two of its tracks
onto singles, "Media Messiahs", and "The Power and
Now into the 80's the Hot Rods finally
split from Island Records to receive a contract with EMI, but unfortunately
there were problems. They put out one single "At Night"
which they were not at all happy with, the "Wide Eyed Kids"
was released. The Hot Rods were not satisfied with the way they
were being handled. Meanwhile they were gigging, meriting a stage
invasion at the Marquee and leaving for a five week tour of America
where their EMI Album "Fish n' Chips" had been released.
A final single was released by EMI "Farther on Down the Road".
More gigging and still good reviews
were coming in until Graeme Douglas and Paul Gray put a spanner
in the works. In 1980 whilst on a UK tour Graeme Douglas decided
to pack his guitar after a showcase gig at London's Lyceum and at
the end of the tour Paul also waved goodbye and joined The Damned.
The band carried on with a new line up until March 81 when the band
When it seemed like the end, Paul
Gray returned, but things didn't seem to be the same. There were
various line-ups. They were still getting the gigs and tours but
not to the extreme of 77.
In the mid 80's the band went on
the road, with Russ Strutter and Warren Kennedy and cut a mini album
for Waterfront Records "One Story Town", a six track album
recorded live in France, and also a single "Fought For You".
1990 saw the release of the 1979
Freerange Studio - Covent Garden sessions onto vinyl and CD titled
"The Curse of the Hot Rods". Throughout the 90's came
the release of a total of 12 different Hot Rod CD's, with their
music also being featured on many compilation albums and covered
bands such as Die Toten Hosen.
During the mid 90's guitarist Gary
Loker entered the line-up and is worthy of the credit for bringing
back the high energy feel of the 70's.
An unfortunate incident in 1996 left
Drummer Steve Nicol with a serious arm injury forcing him to give
up Drumming. To the drum stool came his extremely able nephew Simon
Bowley. Gary and Simon had played and toured together in previous
bands for 11 years.
1997 and 1998, The Hot Rods toured extensively including shows in
Germany, Holland, France, Switzerland and Sweden also making an
appearance on the popular UK TV show "Never Mind the Buzzcocks".
In 1997 the Hot Rods gigged at the prestigious Amsterdam venue,
The Paradiso which was recorded and part of those recordings were
released in late 1998 on the CD "Live at the Paradiso".
1998 also saw the band supporting
Sir Bob Geldof at the Derbyshire Rock and Blues as well as playing
alongside such bands as The Levellers and members of Def Leppard,
The Sex Pistols and Ian Hunter (Mott the Hoople). Local gigs included
a show shared with (the late) Ian Dury and the Block heads, a 25th
anniversary performance at Southend on Sea's Cliff Pavilion, and
a sell out gig at the very popular Club Riga in Southend.
Late in 1999 a second blow was struck
when Paul Gray (Bass) was forced to leave the band due to tinnitus.
Paul Gray was soon replaced by Dipster, the new Bass guitarist.
A short break in 1999 lead the Hot
Rods onward into the new millennium, and now deciding to go back
to their roots playing the original songs which took them to the
top in the 70's.
The year 2000 has seen them tour
the UK in the very successful "Naughty Rhythms" tour.
This was a major tour of 76 concerts in 86 days incorporating Dr.
Feelgood, The Hamsters and John Otway compering.