CANNED HEAT has been world famous for its tradition-rich style of blues and rock longer than most current pop stars have been alive. The band rose to fame because its members’ knowledge and love of blues music was both wide and deep.
Emerging in 1966, CANNED HEAT was founded by blues historians and record collectors Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson and Bob “The Bear” Hite. Joining them was Henry “The Sunflower” Vestine, another ardent record collector who was a former member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. Rounding out the band in 1967 were Larry “The Mole” Taylor on bass, an experienced session musician who had played with Jerry Lee Lewis and The Monkees and Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra on drums who had played in two of the biggest Latin American bands, Los Sinners and Los Hooligans.
The band attained three worldwide hits, “On The Road Again” in 1968, “Let’s Work Together” in 1970 and “Going Up The Country” in 1969 became rock anthems throughout the world. They secured their niche in the pages of rock ‘n’ roll history with their performances at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and the headlining slot at Woodstock.
Now, more than 45 years later and with 38 albums to their credit, CANNED HEAT is still going strong. They remain anchored by the steady hands of de la Parra bassist Taylor and New Orleans legend Dale Spalding on harmonica, guitar and lead vocals. Chicago great Harvey Mandel is the regular guitarist but has been temporarily replaced by John “JP” Paulus while “The Snake” deals with serious health issues.