|Real Gone Rockin', Wild Bob Burgos & His Houserockers
TCY Records (TCY-022)
Liner Notes by John Howard (UK Rock Magazine)
'Wild Bob Burgos',....The Tattooed Sledgehammer of Rock 'n' Roll, has retained his popularity across the years for more reasons than his dedication to the music, his youthful good looks and ability to lay down a beat that has pleased the biggest names in the business. Off-stage, this fiercesome looking character whose Illustrated Man appearance derives from one of his first day gigs when he was in his late teens working in a South London tattoo studio is a softly spoken and charming guy in complete contrast to the wild man with flailing hair and flailing drumsticks that you see on stage.
Like Rudy Grayzell, Mike Sanchez and Big Sandy, Bob is of Spanish descent,....To be precise, he's a South East London boy of Argentine / Spanish extraction, who took up the drums at the young age of just 8, with the aim of playing Rock 'n' Roll and Rhythm 'n' Blues. The young Bob could not have dreamt he would end up playing with a who's who of Rock 'n' Roll, appearing on TV and Radio, and travelling the world writing and recording dozens of albums and appearing regularly in the charts on both sides of the channel.
He is in demand as a session man, graces international festivals as the MC, and still finds time to tour, write and release new material all the while. His main band these days is 'Wild Bob Burgos and his Houserockers', but he still plays with his first and continuing band,....The unstoppable Shotgun. Oh, and if there is a reunion of the original line-up of Matchbox, the then British leaders of the 1970's Rock 'n' Roll Revival, then Bob is also expected to hammer his Ludwig kit for hits like Buzz Buzz A Diddle It, and Rockabilly Rebel.
But that is still only part of the story,....He was hand-picked by Screaming Lord Sutch to anchor his Savages, was a mainstay of The Wild Angels, backed everyone from Chuck Berry and Hayden Thompson to Freddie 'Fingers' Lee and Wee Willie Harris. And that's only part of his personality,....Wild Rocker onstage, quietly spoken gentleman off it, and there's a third part of the equation,....That's Bob's well developed sense of humour. "I worked with Screaming Lord Sutch for about 23 years, and with his own craziness in his act, not to mention The Monster Raving Loony Party, you needed to be able to take a joke and have a laugh,....They were wonderful days," he says!
Bob has always captured the true spirit of Rock 'n' Roll, and gets a very full sound on all his recordings, with saxes, piano, and occasional harmonica, and the quality of reproduction suggests that should he decide to concentrate on one single facet of his many talents, then record production could be one worthy of serious consideration. He has always assembled an absolutely cracking band behind his lead vocals, and always-reliable drumming on all his performances,....He is a star in Europe, and has his own regular touring band The Houserockers that always perform total Bob Burgos originals from start to finish.
Like many older people from the 1950's, I was never convinced about British Rock 'n' Roll bands, but the track 'Wild Berry Boogie' (An all time favourite of mine, and a song that Bob wrote and recorded back 1991) was the turning point for me when I realised that UK based bands could do it as well as the Yanks, and I still feel like that, along with a couple of other people, who I had to convince with that track,....I've enjoyed all his recorded output since!
I've been deeply honoured to write these sleeve notes about Bob,.... Who has a discography as long as his arm, with estimated world sales of several million, some of which turning gold,....This South East London lad has come far,....But something tells me that he has no plans to hang up his Rockin' shoes just yet !!
Liner Notes by Frank Ottosson
"Once a Rocker - Always a Rocker",....This is exactly what The Legendary Wild Bob Burgos is,....And always has been! His music has inspired countless Rockin' bands throughout the years, and being in the frontline of the British Rock 'n' Roll Revival back in the 1970's as a founder member of the original Matchbox and Shotgun bands, he has always stood tall and showed the world what Rock 'n' Roll was all about, with his hard-hitting lyrics, his lifestyle and his belief and dedication to our music.
During many years on the road he has appeared and accompanied many of the greatest names in the history of 1950's Rock 'n' Roll,....These include Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, Ray Charles, Bill Haley's Comets and Chuck Berry who he has worked with on several major tours across Europe back in the 70's, 80's and 90's! Bob has always been a well respected figure on the European Rock 'n' Roll scene, as well as an established international session musician playing drums on over 400 albums,....And that's no joke!,....Resulting in several million record sales around the world.
This cult Rocker has cruised around Europe with many top Rockin' bands in the past, and played kickass shows for the many fans and Rockers, and has become one of the greatest and most important Rockers since those glory times in the 1950's and 1960's. Now it's 2011, and the man called "The Tattooed Sledgehammer of Rock 'n' Roll" is still Rockin', inspiring bands by continuing to be the true voice of what Rock 'n' Roll is all about,....I must just quote what my girlfriend said when she heard Wild Bob for the very first time: "You can throw away all your music,....This is all you need".
Wild Bob is not only a treasure of Rock 'n' Roll, he is an institution of Rock 'n' Roll,....As Janis Martin and Johnny Carroll once said,.... "Wild Bob Burgos IS Rock 'N' Roll".
I would like to thank Wild Bob for all the great music he has given me, and all of us Rockabillies,Teddy Boys, Greasers, Hot Rodders etc, through the years,....This guy is the real thing,....He is a true Rocker who never fails to deliver, and I always look forward to hearing more genuine Rock 'n' Roll from this 'Unstoppable' Original Rockin' Rebel,....Wild Bob Burgos!
Notes by Trevor Noddles (Rock 'n' Roll Advocator / Promotions, UK)
I went to see Matchbox literally a few days after the album was launched at the Corn Exchange in Bedford,...The gigs were then coming in thick and fast! Including venues such as the Lyceum Ballroom in London's West End, and an array of European Tours that followed. Album sales were also selling in a massive quantity that subsequently led to 'Charly Records' in London releasing it world-wide. The big Seventies Rock 'n' Roll revival was exploding and Bob was part of it, and was always a key player helping to create part of the explosive atmosphere that was around at the time, he is both loved and adorned the length and breadth of the European Rock 'n' Roll circuit from Italy to Scandinavia, and beyond.
The Rock 'n' Roll / Rockabilly revival had long taken hold, and a very old friend of mine 'Alec Harper' who had connections with certain record companies at that time set a deal-up for the band and a local record label that led to Matchbox being asked to record yet again another album,...This time for 'Raw Records' who were based in Cambridge, England. The album was entitled "Settin'The Woods On Fire" but before the album was launched, a single was released to promote the forthcoming album,...This single also sold extremely well and charted in several major music polls and magazines across the country and subsequently led to 'Chisick / Ace Records' in London releasing it world-wide. Throughout the late 1970's and 1980's there was a further 14 albums and several singles released by Matchbox that Bob played on, and again led to many sell-out tours across Europe!
Shotgun was another band that Bob was part of for many years, who also featured in the Rockhouse Records catalogue in the early 1980's, when they recorded their second album entitled "Born To Rock". This band also had a lot of success during the great Rock 'n' Roll revival boom and are still together today constantly touring Europe and continuing to have many new albums released on several major labels to boot. Shotgun's popularity back in those early days was growing fast and they were soon asked to back up several visiting American artists and British Rockers including the indefatigable Freddie 'Fingers' Lee. Bob had already been Freddie's drummer for many seasons, and was also the back beat man on one of Fred's very first albums that was also on Rockhouse Records, and was again engineered and recorded by Jan Pieter Exalto who I had the great pleasure of meeting in Amsterdam only a few weeks ago,...So no stranger to Holland.
Bob was also in the Freddie 'Fingers' Lee band on countless British and European tours in the late 1970's and 1980's,... A role that he shared in-between gigs with Matchbox, Shotgun, The Wild Angels and Lord Sutch's Savages. Back in the early 1990's Bob and some members of Shotgun went into the studio to record Freddie's very last album entitled "Born To Rock" that was released on DCA Records, Paris, France. After extensive touring throughout the Rock 'n' Roll circuit Bob met up with many musicians on his travels, and was soon asked to join a band that was to be called The Rapiers. The year was 1983, and after a string of very successful shows in Britain and Abroad, the Rapiers recorded their first EP which was Shadows inspired. This was a very successful record that led to the band becoming a carbon-copy of the Shadows themselves, but this wasn't to Bob's liking as he yearned to be back playing authentic Rock 'n' Roll and Rhythm & Blues music. Eventually the bands stage image was for all the group to be dressed in matching suits, but that wasn't Bob's style either, cause he had always been a Rocker and being the Rebel that he is, soon left the band by the mid-1980's.
Another band that Bob worked with was the highly esteemed Wild Angels,....This legendary South London band were some of the wildest characters in Rock 'n' Roll that ive seen in a long time, cause when I went to see Bob and the boys play at a pub in my family's home town of St. Neots, Cambridgeshire in the 1980's,....They sure rocked the place apart, and nearly blew the roof off!! Bob was also their 'One Man Demolition Squad - Back Beat Man' for many years, recording 3 albums and an EP,....They were also a very successful team back in those memorable days.
Amongst a long list of other bands Bob played with on the established South London Rock 'n' Roll circuit was Johnny Angel's Nomads and old stable mates from the now legendary 'Billy Goat' label,....CSA (with the late and much missed Tony Vincent), who together recorded a clutch full of records that include,....Two albums, two EP's and a string of singles.
Possibly the greatest ever UK Rock 'n' Roll Showman,....The late diminutive character yet larger than life Screamin' Lord David Sutch had Bob beating the drums for him since 1979. Bob and David had a first class rapport with each other as they were both from the same mould, with Bob being a member of the distinguished "Who's Who!" list of The Savages with equal acclaim. Some other members have become global icons,....David sure knew how to enlist top class musicians! Sadly it is in excess of a dozen years since his Lordship passed from us, but the memories, his antics, and his Loony Party are stronger than ever today!
In the course of his career, David played the length and breadth of the UK and Europe with Bob, and always tried to feature him on all his shows, recordings and world tours, including memorable television appearances, radio interviews and classic studio tracks cut in the late 1970's and 1980's. There was a considerable amount of albums, EP's and singles written and released during this time, including the very popular 'Loonabilly Rock 'n' Roll',....A song that Bob wrote back in 1981 that became,....'The Loony Party's Official Theme Tune'. Not only was Bob the Savages drummer for many years, he was also an established session musician too, and again was often asked to back-up other popular British artists including,....Don Lang, Tommy Bruce, Rory Blackwell, Dave Travis, Wee Willie Harris, Geno Washington, Heinz of the Tornado's, Billie Davies, Brian Poole of the Tremeloes and many more on stage and screen.
These days Bob is still in demand as a session drummer, and also as a front man to his own band 'The Houserockers' who together have continued to uphold and perform a high standard of hard hitting, high energy raw Rock 'n' Roll throughout the international Rockin' scene, and has done for as long as I can remember. This hard hitting wild man who was raised in South London, must have been educated at a couple of schools where he gained distinct awards. These being the 'School Of Hard Knocks', where he possibly learnt the drums by beating a few heads with drum sticks, and notably the 'School Of Rock 'n' Roll !! These tough surroundings were important to Bob as they gave him an in-bred outlook that is reflected in his music today,....Tough exterior!
As his name might suggest, Bob is of Argentine Latin American descent, from where his ancestor's and members of his family still live today. I've known Bob for many years now, and he's never sold-out or deviated from the principles he started out with. He performs the real thing; Straight-in-your-face, Raw Rock 'n' Roll and Wild Rockin' Blues, and he's an icon,....This is why he is both loved and admired the length and breadth of the international Rock 'n' Roll circuit. Bob often recites that the 'Blues had a baby, and they called it Rock 'n' Roll',....Hence that both Authentic Chicago-Styled Rockin' Blues, and Rock 'n' Roll,....He has always shared an equal passion for.
Finally, It's been a great privilege writing these brief but impressive facts about Bob's musical pedigree, and I would like to thank him for all those unforgetable gigs he played in those revival days that he was a key part of, and who is still continuing to up-hold the great name of Rock 'n' Roll to this pesent day,....He is, and always will be,....A Champion On The Rock 'n' Roll Circuit !! I'm Glad to have been part of the Rock 'n' Roll Explosion during the 1970's, and i'm honoured too that musicians such as Wild Bob Burgos hold me in high esteem for my continuing appreciation,....He has been a pal of mine since I first met him back in the mid-70's, and we are still Rockin' in that same old way nearly 40 years later!
Courtesy of Wild Bob Burgos
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