The band formed in 1963, after Manfred Mann met Mike Hugg at a Bultin’s Holiday Camp in Clacton (UK).
I've been long excited about The Action's "In The Lap Of The Mods" book like it was the second coming. The Action, along with The Small Faces, The Kinks and David Bowie are my favourite 60's artists. From their first single as The Boys all the way down to the material cut before they became Mighty Baby (released in the 80's on a mini LP "Speak Louder Than") and even lead singer Reg King's 1971 solo LP I'm all on board as a one man American cheering section. I'm still, 18 years later, slowly wrapping my head around Mighty Baby.
The band formed in 1965 in Northbridge, California by Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson (bottleneck guitar) and Bob “The Bear” Hite (vocals). The boys were blues fanatics and started a jug band with drummer Frank Cook and they would appear at the odd gig around LA. The boys were dedicated to reviving the Blues and to that extent would compare favourably to John Mayell in the UK. With the addition of Henry Vestine (lead guitar and formerly of the Mothers of Invention) and Brotman Canned Heat were finally formed. Their name came from a Tommy Johnson song entitled "Canned Heat Blues" recorded in 1928.
Like any other young mod in the early 80’s, I became mesmerised by The Action the moment I’d heard their version of The Marvellettes’ I’ll Keep Holding On at the first gigs and clubs I attended, and listened to older mods speaking in hushed tones about this seemingly mythical group from Kentish Town. Getting the album The Ultimate Action seemed a necessity and from the moment it hit my turntable it very rarely left. Having a recommendation from Paul Weller on the back no doubt helped shift a few copies but the music within those grooves would have left no-one in doubt as to how good they were. I wanted to hear more and searched desperately for any snippet, picture or record by them.
As Georges Bizet, the famous French composer once wrote, "music, what a splendid art. And what a sad profession." Bizet did not live long enough to see his operatic masterpiece ‘Carmen’ become a major success. The statement certainly rings true for Bizet, who died from angina, aged just 36.
Roderick David Stewart was born on 10th January 1945 in Highgate, London. The youngest of the family, Rod has two older brothers and sisters. Apart from Mum who was a Cockney, father and Rod’s siblings were all born in Scotland. Rod was spoilt as the youngest but showed interest in singing and was very much influenced by Al Jolson.