Eddie and the Hot Rods came steaming out of Essex in the mid-seventies like Dr. Feelgood on sulphate. Their high energy stage show and the all out R&B sonic attack of their music made them lots of fans in the nascent punk scene who were starving for something a little more rock 'n' roll than Peter Frampton, Yes and other "boring old farts."

They began to receive heavy support from the music press after the release in 1976 of an e.p. recorded live at the old Marquee Club in Wardour Street - a sweaty dump of a place where I misspent far too much of my youth (it's unsanitary atmosphere was emphasised by having toilets only surpassed in wretchedness by those at The Princess Charlotte venue in Leicester). However, grotty as it was, the Marquee was the hippest place to be at the time and The Hot Rods made it their own throughout that sticky summer.

"... the Hot Rods played a set at London's famous Marquee Club - their opening act was a young band named Sex Pistols. During a residency at the club in the summer of 1976 they duelled for alternate weeks with AC/DC, to see who could cram more bodies into the Marquee during one of the hottest summers on record." (WIKIPEDIA)

For two years the band rode their fame for all it was worth, touring constantly, regularly infiltrating the singles' charts and even appearing on Top of the Pops. But then it all went wrong. First they became poppy and then, even worse, they suddenly became a heavy metal band. Well, the punks dropped them immediately and there was no metal scene to speak of in Britain at the time (we still had the dubious talent of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden to look forward, making this period a golden age for rock music). In the end they broke up (although, predictably, they have reformed and are now doing quite well on the Continent). Basically, they blew it and let British rock 'n' roll down, big time.

I saw the band perform live on three occasions. Once, supported by the reggae band, Aswad, at the Cricket Ground, Northampton. Once, when they turned up and played unannounced at the Moonlight Club, West Hampstead, after their fall from grace. And once, most memorably, in November 1976, when they headlined at The Rainbow, supported by Ultravox. That was one hell of a gig, as this photo, taken after the show, demonstrates (the arrow points to where I was sitting in the second row).

Anyway, here are a load of their tunes to be enjoyed by the fans of loud, who I know are out there somewhere.

Before rising to semi-stardom in 1977, the Hot Rods underwent several changes in personnel: One of the first members to leave the band was Eddie himself, a dummy that featured prominently in the Hot Rods' early gigs and was discarded as the joke had worn thin.(WIKIPEDIA)



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