This is the last one, folks. The very last Canned Heat Boogie House Tape that you’ll ever hear. Until the next one’s found, anyway. And I don’t mean that as a slam to anybody or any institution. With the record companies’ standpoints on pinching every penny so tightly they make Lincoln need to change his diaper, I have little sympathy. So here’s my logic: If the record companies had something like a guaranteed seller, a big guaranteed seller, it wouldn’t still be in the vaults. It would either be on the street, or the trumpets would be blowing, Lassie would be taking the shipment personally to all the music outlets, and the twelve white Clydesdales would have been clip-clopping down the center of the mall announcing the big event. A Dog & Pony Show, set to music.
But seriously, over the past few years some new, previously unknown musical artifacts … and yes they are artifacts: they’re forty and fifty years old – have actually been discovered. A few of them have to do with things some people didn’t want to get out. Others, startled descendants are sometimes taken aback with what ole’ grandwhatever or great-grandwhatever had stashed away. How many times have you heard, “S/He never told a soul!”
But I digress. Canned Heat was the best – bar none – White Boy Blues Rock band that I’ve ever heard. Before you throw a shoe at me, please listen. I know the band is still together, but in many cases when a single person from a group is left standing, the group suffers. Sometimes the sole survivor will accept somebody who’s not quite there in the rendition of the music, just because the survivor can’t stand to see the group die. Don’t raise that shoe; lemme finish.
I’ve never heard Canned Heat in their current incarnation, so I’m not talking about them. All I’m saying is that I’d have to hear them before I’d say anything. Only fair, right? I heard them at Atlantic City, at Woodstock, and on Oahu, in 1969, 1969, and (I think) 1970, respectively, and they were always the same, or so close to the same that my ear couldn’t tell the difference. Then again, I usually had pleasure on my mind, not business, when I went to these events to see them. I think you can see the way the smoke is drifting on that point, can’t you?