Lonesome Dave Peverett, Tone Stevens, and Roger Earl were all
in the most stable and popular of the lineups of Savoy Brown, along with
band’s main man and guitarist Kim Simmonds. But after five albums and
countless nights on the road, Lonesome Dave Peverett thought it was time to
strike out on his own.
Bidding a hasty cheerio to Kim Simmonds and leaving him to
look for new musicians to carry on the Savoy Brown flag, Dave took Roger and
Tone with him and went off to conquer the world. Leaving the security of the
Savoy Brown name, they moved to America and welcomed American Rod Price into
their ranks to share lead guitar duties with Dave. Rod specialized in slide
guitar work and this gave the band a pretty unique duel guitar attack, which was
matched up with Dave’s forceful vocals; and with the established rhythm
section of Tone and Roger the floor was set for the band to take to the road
with their version of blues and boogie.
In 1977 when ‘Live’ came out, it turned Foghat into one
of America’s top drawing live acts. To the rest of the world they didn’t
mean a thing. They would be lucky to fill the Marquee Club, which holds about
200 people, in their home country in England, and then it would be mainly
American tourists. Whereas in America they could pull in audiences of up to
200,000 screaming fans, and ‘Live’ itself went platinum. Strange old world.
On ‘Live’ you get six great big slabs of Foghat’s
boogie/rock. Right from the over the top introduction, where the announcer
screams himself hoarse in six words such is his excitement, it’s party time
all the way. As you can tell by the titles, the songs do not have much prophetic
reasoning behind them. All the lyrics are about living, loving, drinking, and
surviving on the road. At three minutes and thirty seconds of the second number
in ‘Home In My Hand’, the band gives the song a false ending, only to come
crashing straight back in with another verse louder than previously played, and
breaking into an a capella verse before finally finishing the song, showing off
the dynamics learnt by the band during their continuous touring.
Add to this Dave Peverett’s between song stage banter, and
some explosive slide guitar from Rod Price, particularly during the two versions
of the hit singles ‘I Just Wanna Make Love To You’ and ‘Slow Ride’,
which are both extended to eight minutes. See what I mean about the songs now? I
wonder what those two are about?
You have got truly entertaining, nearly forty minutes, great
Rock ‘n’ Roll. Now this is where Mott gets rowdy. Thirty eight minutes,
thirty eight seconds is not long enough for today’s CDs. I am sure that when
these concerts were recorded that Foghat were on stage for more than forty
minutes. So there must be some more recorded songs that could be slotted back
in, now that we have the longer DVD format. Forty minutes may have been O.K. in
the days of vinyl because of time constraints, but a DVD can take up to seventy
two minutes without any loss of sound quality.
Then when you add to that the slipshod recording from the
original, you can see why so many people get disillusioned by the music
business. It says on the packaging ‘’Digital Re-mastering by Bill Inglot and
Ken Perry at K-Disc.” Well, obviously at K-Disc re-mastering consists of
putting the vinyl L.P. on, press play on record to DVD, do not check the levels
(dramatic loss of bottom end from the vinyl edition), have a beer, and wait till
it’s finished. What a waste. Still, someday somebody will probably do it
Later, Foghat would get the Spinal Taps and almost have a
revolving door policy, with bass players in particular lasting alarmingly short
times between coming and going. (I counted at least nine on their rock family
tree including at sometime both the talents of Robbie Alter and Kenny Aaronson.)
In 1986 there were two Foghats, one under the leadership of
drummer Roger Earl, and one with Lonesome Dave Peverett, with none of the other
founding members in either band. Even Spinal Tap did not have those problems.
But in 1989 wise heads prevailed and Roger and Dave patched up their
differences, while Tone and Ron were recalled to the ranks. For ten further
years the original members of Foghat ate up that ‘Road Fever’, after which
Rod Price called a halt to his Foghat days and went solo.
In 1991 Lonesome Dave was cruelly taken from us by cancer of
the kidneys. Still today Roger Earl and Tone Stevens keep the Foghat flag
flying, playing live the length and breadth of the United States of America
together with new vocalist Charlie Huhn - dedicating every night to Lonesome
‘Live’ is a fine album from the seventies, which is just
begging for a proper upgrade. If you want to have a listen anyway, remember to
turn the bass up.