on 17 June 2013
Canned Heat is an American blues/boogie rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1965.
Canned Heat line-up, who together recorded some of the band's most famous and well-regarded songs.
Bob "The Bear" Hite
Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson
Henry "Sunflower" Vestine (and later Harvey "The Snake" Mandel)
Larry "The Mole" Taylor
Adolfo "Fito" de la Parra
The first big live appearance of Canned Heat was at the Monterey Pop Festival on June 17, 1967. A picture of the band taken at the performance was featured on the cover of Down Beat Magazine where an article complimented their playing: "Technically, Vestine and Wilson are quite possibly the best two-guitar team in the world and Wilson has certainly become our finest white blues harmonica man. Together with powerhouse vocalist Bob Hite, they performed the country and Chicago blues idiom of the 1950s so skillfully and naturally that the question of which race the music belongs to becomes totally irrelevant.
Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson died in Topanga Canyon, California of a drug overdose at age 27. Although Wilson had reportedly attempted suicide twice before and his death is sometimes reported as a suicide, this is not clearly established and he left no note.
Wilson was born in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in the Boston suburb of Arlington, Massachusetts. He majored in music at Boston University and often played the Cambridge coffeehouse folk-blues circuit. He acquired the nickname "Blind Owl" owing to his extreme farsightedness; in one instance when he was playing at a wedding, he laid his guitar on the wedding cake because he did not see it. As Canned Heat's drummer, Fito de la Parra, wrote in his book: "Without the glasses, Alan literally could not recognize the people he played with at two feet, that's how blind the 'Blind Owl' was."
Robert Ernest "Bob" "The Bear" Hite was found dead in his van of a heart attack in 1981, at the age of just 38. He was the American lead singer of the blues-rock band, Canned Heat, from 1965 to his death in 1981.
Hite was born on February 26, 1943, in Torrance , California . His father was a radio sportscaster and the family moved about the country during his elementary school years. Back in California in his teens, Hite made a deal with a guy who changed the records in jukeboxes each week to sell him all the 78 rpm records that he was taking out of rotation for one dollar. This was the start of Hite’s giant record collection, which at his death was one of the biggest collections of 78 in the world.
Henry "Sunflower" Vestine had finished a European tour with Canned Heat when he died from heart and respiratory failure, in a Paris hotel on the morning of October 20, 1997, just as the band was to return to the United States.
Henry Vestine's ashes are interred at the Oak Hill Cemetery outside of Eugene, Oregon. A memorial fund has been set up in his name. The fund will be used for maintenance of his resting place at Oak Hill Cemetery and, when it is possible, for conveyance of some of his ashes to the Vestine Crater on the moon, as has been his wish.
on 14 October 2012
I was amazed when I heard it. It seemed to develop a rawness that their later better known material lacked. This may have been because Bob Hite sang lead all the way through and he had a rougher voice than Al Wilson who eventually took over usual lead, although Bob Hite did sing lead on a later hit LET'S WORK TOGETHER. This was their first recorded album from 1966, although not released until 1970 when they were more popular with other hits behind them. Most of these tracks were covers of blues standards, many of which had already been covered to death by other 60,s rock bands. But Canned Heat just seemed to do very good versions of them, putting their own stamp into the songs.
on 22 March 2015
When I first started getting Canned Heat back-catalogue, I thought that “Vintage” was an Odds n Sods album, but apparently this was going to be Heat’s first album, but Janus Records decided not to release the album, until the band had become a big success with Liberty records, so then Janus tried to cash in with this belated release.
Good sound quality & musicianship, with a diverse mixture of R&B & blues. Even at this early stage in their career, Canned Heat have stamped their own unique style onto these blues standards.
So a great sounding record, if a little short at just over 20 minutes, it’s just a shame there isn’t a deluxe version with the unreleased sessions.