Legendary blues band, established in 1966, apparently still existing. Mainly known for their ubiquitous song "On The Road Again". Very distinct musical style, and a singer with a very, very distinct voice. You've got to hear it before you can believe it.

In these days, most people first encounter this name when they see it painted on ammo boxes or such on the gunboat that plays a major role in Apocalypse Now.

Goin' Up Country
(For a Blues Musical Style and Deadly Lifestyle)
Sterno Inferno

Los Angeles

Uncanned Cool

Folk music in the early sixties included a love of the blues, and John Fahey knew two different fellow Los Angeles collectors and players of roots music, big (300 pounds worth) blues bassy belter Bob "The Bear" Hite and falsetto singing, slide guitarist, 22 year old Boston born hyper harpist Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson and and put them on the same page. Hite was a California native born in Torrance, 1945 whose amorous addiction for old blues music lead him to collect vintage 78's, of which many were tragically lost in a small earthquake. These two, after flirting with jug band music, went electric, adding Stuart Brotman taking up the bottom, and Frank Cook slapping some "skins." A little later future Spirit bass player, Mark Andes replaced Brotman, while a Mothers of Invention talented guitarist and fellow blues collector, 24 year old DC born Henry "Sunflower" Vestine was drafted to join Hite and Wilson making the nucleus of the future recording artists.


Monterey Pop the Can Open

In the spring, with 25 year old Brooklyn born Larry Samuel "The Mole" Taylor replacing Andes on bass, the Canned Heat became the Kaleidoscope club's house band being discovered by Liberty Records, and the promoters of the Monterey Pop Festival. This first attempt to bring people together for love, music and charity, (pro bono acts) had them opening in the Saturday afternoon the second day June 17. The initially following acts, Big Brother and the Holding Company (as well those unbelievably famous after them) had a hard act to follow.) Before hitting the studio they replaced their drummer with a more rock oriented stylist, (who came from bands that would later become Pacific Gas and Electric), Mexico City born 21 year old Adolpho "Fito" de la Parra. When asked in August to join he confirmed to them his prophecy that he was "...born to play with Canned Heat. This was the incarnation that was Canned Heat with their first album, relatively unnoticed compared to their Monterey appearance, released simply titled with their moniker beginning the boogie music that honored their mentors, rather than merely duplicated them.

This was the year the Denver, CO Police framed the band when an undercover cop came to their hotel room to get them stoned, and plant "evidence" before a gig at the new hated (by the authorities) hippie bar in town. During an interview after the inevitable bust, Hite responded to the negative question directed at their psychedelic dress and lengthy mane with:

Because that makes me an outlaw and to sing the blues, you have to be an outlaw. ...we white people have to work for that distinction.

Certainly the hidden embracing of the darker side of the counterculture could have been guessed by the band's name, not taken for the generic name for portable fuel: Sterno, but for the hot rush from injected Heroin (taken from the title of another groups' song).


Canned Opener

Still flushed with their success at Monterery, and whatever else they could get their hands on, they proceeded in this year to make their second album on Liberty, Boogie with Canned Heat. Off this release they finally had a hit making sixteen on the top twenty-- the thing that starts with a wiry rattling followed by three harmonics --a trinity of octaves-- then blends into that buzzing, droning, monotone whine that is "On the Road Again. The sadness sung in that song was not just about some Sally meandering off, but "...dear mother left me when I was quite young." They have used it in soundtracks and commercials to this day.


Have Another Hit

Canned Heat quickly followed up their first hit second album with a third two record set, Living the Blues containing their next smash, still played today by Pepsi, Miller, and GM on their ads. Sadly the living part of the blues would be less romantic than it sounded as the infighting, drug problems and Hallelujah, the next and fourth album's lack of enthusiastic acceptance was becoming a bummer.

And We've Got To Get Ourselves Back To the Garden

August, like a long-awaited harvest time, rolled around with the biggest gig of all: Woodstock (Three Days of Peace, Love and Music). The second day of the festival, August 16th, was a day they shared with fellow roots music influenced artists, Santana, the Grateful Dead and Creedence Clearwater Revival. And not only are bits from their sets on both albums, but "Going Up the Country" which opened the movie in the soundtrack is certainly one of the theme songs. (Tide laundry soap uses it on their 2002 TV commercial. On the second album, their whole almost quarter of an hour raucacious jam is included, as well as a prototype of "Let's Work Together." which would be their last hit in the next year. They released on liberty, this year the album, Cookbook.


Living Dying The Blues

Now that the band had another hit with the above mentioned Wilbert Harrison tune, and had played both Fillmores they had another gig overseas, at the Isle of Wight Festival. "Blind Owl" this year was in the studio with grand master blues artist John Lee Hooker, but the music would not reach the ears of the public for another year. In fact the drugs and depression made Alan's partial blindness more maddening, and instead of working the September Berlin job, he wondered out into the brush of Hite's backyard Torrance home to take on a last deadly rush. He was only twenty seven. The band continued with the sessions with John Lee, Hooker 'n Heat, but things were never the same...but they have still lived up to their decree: "Don't forget to Boogie!" They backed Hooker again on 1990's The Healer. This year was a deadly year across the board, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin joined in Rock n' Roll Heaven. This year saw the release of four albums, two on Liberty: Live in Europe, Future Blues, and one on Wand: Live At Topanga Canyon, and Vintage Canned Heat on Janus.

1971 and Beyond

We Might Even Leave the USA

On the cover art of the release of Hooker 'n Heat is a picture of the musicians with a portrait of "Blind Owl" Wilson hanging above them. 1971 would be the year that commenced the many constant personnel changes which after all the thirty three some odd albums are totaled up, only Adolfo "Fito" de la Parra and his drumming has proved to be the consistent constant. Joel Scott Hill became a replacement for Alan Wilson, Larry Taylor departed for the John Mayall's Blues Breakers , and "Sunflower" Vestine turned away to form his own group (but along with Taylor, would come back time and again for projects). Michael Bloomfield helped for a while, but turned down the full-time offer to add his axe. Harvey "the Snake" Mandel, almost a Rolling Stone, joined the group for a while, leaving eventually for other endeavors. (He rejoined for some nineties revivals.) Death would haunt the group again when a decade later, Bob "The Bear" Hite's thirty six year old heart gave out with one last high at Hollywood's Palamino Club. And, the band by now, with music tastes fickle was relegated to playing mostly biker bars and small lounges. Sixteen years later fifty two year old Henry Vestines' past and the Grim Reaper caught up with him in Paris, before he could catch his flight back home, via a massive.

Goin' Someplace We Haven't Been Before

The singing left vacant was been performed through those years by James Thornbury, Walter Trout, Robert Lucas; and even studio help by Brenda Burns. Junior Watson came on board to lend his guitar talents as well. They have had Greg Kage on bass, and Juke Logan on keyboards. Skip Taylor and Tom Dowd lent managing and production expertise, the latter affiliated with the Allman Brothers and Eric Clapton. Fito del la Parra finally wrote their story in his new book, Living the Blues (Profusely illustrated.) A group that has played with Little Richard and John Mayall, and played at not only the above mentioned, but also Newport Pop, Paris' Olympia, the Kaleidoscope, Carnegie Hall (with Hooker), Madison Square Garden, Albert Hall, Sturgis Motorcycle Run and many other assorted festivals; who have been on TV's In Concert, David Frost, Merv Griffin, and Midnight Special--- are still playing, and have a website: http://www.cannedheatmusic.com.


They had two released as seven inch singles: "Let's Work Together" (1969), and "Rockin' With The King" (1972)


Canned Heat (label) Liberty (1967)
Living the Blues, Liberty (1968)
Hallelujah, Liberty, (1968)
Canned Heat, Liberty, (1969)
Cookbook Liberty, (1969)
Live In Europe Liberty, (1970)
Live At Topanga Canyon (Wand, (1970)
Future Blues (Liberty, (1970)
Vintage Canned Heat Janus, (1970)
Memphis Heat Barclay, (1971)
Hooker'n'Heat Liberty, (1971)
Collage Sunset, (1971)
Portrait - Vol. 1 & 2 UnitedArtists, (1972)
Historical Figures and Ancient Heads UnitedArtists, (1972)
Best Of Canned Heat EMI, (1972)
Very Best Of Canned Heat UnitedArtists, (1973)
New Age UnitedArtists, (1973)
One More River To Cross Atlantic, (1974)
Masters Of Rock UnitedArtists, (1974
Live At The Topanga Corral - Wand/DJM, (1976)
Human Conditions Takoma/Sonet, (1978)
Kings Of The Boogie Destiny, (1982)
Captured Live Accord, 1982)
Infinite Boogie Rhino, (1986)
Live At The Fox Theatre, Venice (& J.L. Hooker) Wea/Atlantic/Rhino, (1987)
Hooker'n'Heat Live At The Fox Venice Theatre - CD Rhino, (1987)
Back To Back Hits (CD incl. other bands stuff) CEMA Special, (1988)
The Best Of Canned Heat Emd/Capitol, (1988)
Reheated - CD (Chameleon, (1989)
On The Road Again - CD EMI, (1989)
Hooker 'n' Heat - The Best Of... Plus - CD See For Miles, {France}, (1989)
Burnin' Live - CD AIM, Australia, (1990)
Burnin' - Live in Australia - CD SPV, GER, (1991)
The Best Of - Let's Work Together - CD EMI, (1991)
Canned Heat Live! - CD Classic Rock, Charley Holdings Inc, EEC, (1993)
Uncanned - The Best Of Canned Heat - 2CDs EMI, (1994)
Internal Combustion - CD (River Road, (1994)
The Best Of Canned Heat - CD EMI-IRS, (1995)
In Concert (King Biscuit Flower Hour presents) - CD EMI, (1995)
Hooker'n'Heat EMI-IRS, (1996)
Best Of Hooker'n'Heat EMI, (1996)
Live In Concert '70 - CD BGO, (1997
Canned Heat Blues Band - CD Ruf, (1997)
On The Road Again - CD Liberty, 1997)
The Masters - CD Eagle Rock, (1998)
Canned Heat - CD Experience, (1980)
Les Inoubliables - CD Wagram, 1998)
House Of Blue Lights - CD Going for, (1998)
One More River To Cross - CD Atlantic, (1998)
The Best Of Canned Heat - CD Emd/Capitol, (1998)
Canned Heat Best - CD Zounds, (1999)
Internal Combustion - CD Conniseu, (1999)
Straight Ahead - CD TKO Magnum, (1999)
Premium Gold Collection - CD EMI, (1999)
Rolling And Tumbling- CD ELAP/Magic, (1999)
Canned Heat Blues Band - CD Ruf, (1999)
Boogie Up The Country - CD, INAK, (1999)
The Boogie House Tapes - 2CDs Ruf, (2000)

Tracks from The Boogie House Tapes (Because it is the latest)
01. Reefer Blues
02. House Of Blue Lights
03. Sleepin' In the Ground
04. Caterpillar Crawl
05. D. Drone
06. These boots are made for walkin'
07. Cherokee Dance
08. Harley Davidson Blues
09. Good Bye For Now
10. Chicago Bound
12. On The Road Again
13. Human Condition
14. My Time Ain't Long
15. London Blues
16. Future Blues
17. Move On Down The Road
18. Long Way From LA
19. Going up the Country
20. Let's Work Together
21. Bullfrog Blues--- Bob speaks to the audience
22. Pulling Hair Blues
23. You Know I Love You
24. I Love My Baby
25. Breathe Easy
26. Sore Back Blues
27. Shaken Boogie
28. Bring it on home
29. Tu Vas Trop Vite (keep it clean)


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