Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I was digging through an old box of cassettes yesterday. Remember those things? Cassettes were all the rage in the 1970's. I had many of them, mostly recorded from a friend of mine, who had an awesome record collection. He let me raid it, and take what I wanted to record. So I had them proudly displayed near my stereo. My stereo was a Sharp, with a "magic eye" that allowed you to fast forward on your cassette and it would automatically stop at the next song. I was proud of that, too, because it had huge speakers and, well, it looked cool.

I had a handful of tapes that made their way to me from my older sister. I got them when was all of 11 (my daughter is 11 now!). One of them was by Bloodrock, a band from Texas that was famous for the song, DOA, about the victim of an airplane crash . Which, by the way, freaked me out when I first heard it. This tape did not have DOA on it, fortunately. But it did contain some great songs with the underated guitar work of Lee Pickens.

The band, from Ft. Worth, consisted of Jim Rutledge (vocals), Lee Pickens (guitar),
Ed Grundy (bass), Stevie Hill (keyboards), Nick Taylor (guitar),Rick Cobb (drums). By 1972, a few of them left and were replaced and the band moved to a more progressive rock sound.

The cassette I still have, Bloodrock 3, had a few songs that were very influential to me. "Breach of Lease" features a haunting organ throughout, with a killer solo by Lee at the end. "You Gotta Roll" has Lee ripping it on a solo halfway through. He was a fast player, using a Les Paul Goldtop with P-90s. "Jessica" was the single released, not to be at all confused with the Allman Brothers song of the same name.

Bloodrock sounds somewhat dated today when I listened to the tape yesterday. However, when I hear "Breach of Lease", it takes me back to the days when I would set up my tent in the yard, grab a few comic books, and play music while reading. The tape got major play in the rotation of tapes, which containted Savoy Brown, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Steve Miller and Deep Purple. Not a bad selection to listen to.
This tape is one of the few survivors of my childhood possesions. Strange that it would be a band called Bloodrock that would still be around in my basement.
Bloorock reunited in 2005 for a benefit for Steve Hill.

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