The most successful rock band of the '70s.
*special introductory paragraph!
*Whirlwind Tongues

Hey David Applebee and the memory of the late Kathy Feeney! Remember when we were little kids and we used to ride bikes around down by the sewer? No, not in the new neighborhood or the new new neighborhood - just down by where the Coach and Scott Robey lived? Well, I used to have Bloodrock songs stuck in my head all the time when we did that. Because my dad had foolishly bought the first Bloodrock album back in the early 70s and never gotten rid of it, and whoops! I liked the darn thing! So eventually I bought all their other albums too. For some reason, they managed to put out a bunch of albums, even though "D.O.A." was the only thing even remotely close to a hit that they ever had. What did they sound like, you asked? Originally they sounded like heavy guitar rock from the early '70s, then Jim Rutledge left and that all changed like a haberdashery after the owner becomes addicted to hashish. Check it out, Slive Jive!

Bloodrock - Capitol 1970.
Rating = 8

Early 70s hard rock. EVIL dark themes and noodly guitar solos. Gruff singer guy and heavy fuzzed out Steppenwolf/Alice Cooper/Sabbath/Zeppelin-type riffs blastin' at ya. Keyboards like Deep Purple, but actually playing NOTES sometimes! And get this --

you ready?

a BLOODY ROCK on the cover!!!!! I know!!!! And you thought originality didn't enter the American psyche until 1987!!!!!!!!!! You couldn't have mistaken more been. Bloodrock is a very little known band, I think maybe from Texas? I could be wrong about that one - they don't sound incredibly rednecky. See, I really don't know much about them at all. As I was kind enough to mention above, my father made the divine mistake of purchasing this album in the early '70s and his 8-year-old kid fell in love with it for some reason. Quite honestly the album probably sucks schlongdong, but I've been listening to it for so long, how would I be able to tell?

No no -- it doesn't suck wongbong. These are awesome riffs. Kinda creepy but rockin' out like James "Mr. Charisma" Page! And you can't beat singer/drummer Jim Rutledge's shirt-off manly gravelly growl/yell/sing. None of that sissy high-pitched operatic wailing for him. Just manly low operatic caterwauling. See, the tunes have not only a blisteringly cool guitar tone, but actual HOOKS - something you were lucky to find on most early 70s hard rock albums (see Grand Funk Railroad for a good example). Seven of these nine songs have, in my opinion, KILLER riffs. And the nine-minute "Fantastic Piece Of Architecture" has about the eeriest goddamned piano line I've heard since Elton John's "Nikita".

See, life is about things occurring to me. And this album occurred to me one fine day way back in the late 70s or early 80s. And it has been occurring in my overall belief system ever since. For example, when somebody says to me, "I like weird bands! Like Caroliner Rainbow!" Which, of course, they never do, but if they DID, I often don't respond, or rather wouldn't respond if such a thing were to happen to be, but I would think to myself, "Is Bloodrock weird?" No, of course Bloodrock isn't weird. In fact, they're so not weird that I have a hard time understanding why they never had any success. Maybe because their best songs were all like 7- to 9-minutes long? Maybe because their name frightened radio DJs into thinking that they were a grindcore band 20 years before the fact?

Maybe because they actually really sucked and I just can't admit it to myself?

Okay look, even I will admit that "Fatback" and "Wicked Truth" have some uglyass vocals that render the songs nearly unlistenable -- BUT DON'T LET THAT DISSUADE YOU FROM PLAYING THE ALBUM NIGHTLY AND BUYING ALL THEIR OTHER ALBUMS TOO!!!

Reader Comments (Roland Fratzl)
This is hilarious!!! My user name on Napster is Bloodcock! HAR! (Keith Barker)
Pretty fair and even handed --- the raw Bloodrock CD. Pickens lead work is right there with the best on "Castle Of Thougths"
Great screaming lead guitar from Pickens.You gotta wonder if J Mascis was influenced by his work...
It took a couple listens to get into, but once I did, I loved it. Hey, don't you think the vocalist on "Wicked Truth" sounds just like Alice Cooper? Pretty funny! (Rick Thompson)
Bloodrock is from Fort Worth, TX. The Winter Brothers are from Texas, and they miraculously don't sound rednecky, either. Strangely, ZZ Top doesn't, either, or Van Cliburn. Or Don Henley. Or Norah Jones. Or Pantera. Or The Toadies. Or... oh what the hell: what musician from Texas DOES sound rednecky?
A great album with a great cover. Lots of great, heavy doom rock that mysteriously shifts gears to mellow and majestic at the end without losing the bad vibe. Has anyone ever listened to the backward masking portion of "Gotta Find a Way" backwards and know what it says? It's the third earliest example of backwards masking I know of, preceded only by The Mothers of Invention "Hot Poop" and The Beatles "Revolution #9". Originality was a LOT more prevalent in '69/'70 when this album was released than it was in '87.
I was lucky enough to be of the age that I could actually go see these guys play live !!! Of course I am older than dirt now but still enjoy listening to them on occasion. In 1970 I did not know for sure nor did I care what kind of music Bloodrock was putting out, all I knew was that I Loved it !!! (Albert Willars)
I am from FT.WORTH I met LEE PICKENS in 86 when I was a painter working for a guy name CHRIS CONWAY. we painted his parents house he was pretty cool guy when I found out that he played in BLOODROCK I bought the first album and thought it was good.
This record kicks ass. The smokin' lead work, molten-lava guitar tones, and great songwriting floor me every time... Nobody sounded quite like Bloodrock, did they? I guess that's what happens when you're a Texan band playing the same organ-driven brand of hard rock usually associated with British groups...

Funny story: I actually got to meet drummer/singer Jim Rutledge when I was 6 or 7... My dad was a big fan of them back in the 70's and actually ended up working with him! Of course, back then I didn't know good music from my ass, so I didn't appreciate it as much as I should have, but it was cool seeing those gruesome album covers on his wall.

I also wanted to give special mention to album's closer "Melvin Laid an Egg". Listen to that opening riff! How the hell did they create something so heavy and vicious in 1970? It's like a rampaging steamroller or something! They could've taught that Tony Iommi fella a thing or two about heavy .com (Robert)
I can't believe somebody didn't mention the epic "Double Cross". The politically correct morons among us think that "Smack My Bitch Up" is violent. I'd like to play THIS muthah for 'em and watch their little pasty faces turn bright friggin' red! Lol! Bloodrock rules!

Their first album cover just made you buy this record. When I bought the record I became an instant fan. What a great group! By seeing the cover you knew what to expect. Still play their music all the time. Would like to see some old videos of them. Never had the chance to see them live. Keep playing those songs!! (Frank Houston)
I found they`re first record probaly in 1986. I have listened to the bands work very often. Seems I can never get enough. They have added music to alot of memories. I rember taking they`re first abum and putting it on a eight track tape. And listening to them in my car. One night late on my way home from my measly security job. I was playing Fantastic piece of Archit. I could see my Dads big evergreen tree that I had recently christmas decorated. It was a beauty. And that song was so cool. Really you guys were just ahead of your time. Thanks for making my life always a little better. Here are some other bands from that era who deserve a mention. White Witch, Sirlord Baltimore, The Godz, Lucifer`s friend. I will never quit listening to them all. Never!

Craig Leaf
I LOVE this album! Have for years. Every song has its way of pulling the listening in and allowing one’s own mental imagery. Creepy… Years before videos or VH1 did the thinking for you.

Add your thoughts?

2 - Capitol 1970.
Rating = 8

Hey I forgot to mention something - not all their riffs were creepy or even angry. Bht Blloedrocks also liked a good fuzzy pop number. This was evident on the first album through such nifties as "Gimme Your Head," which kinda resembled a cross between the Monkees and Nirvana, with a smidgeon of John McEnroe tossed in and a little umbrella of Denver, Colorado along with a couple of ice cubes celebrating the number 53 and a little purple stuffed shark that jiggles around the floor when you pull its string. But on this one, it's evident in a good 6/8ths of the songs. So prepare yourself for that. I never meant to mislead you, nor did I mean to mislead that Business Week whore who accused me of lying about the USA Today Pee Finder story. And you can take THAT to the bank with Saturday's Newspaper and cash it!

If your bank happens to cash complaints, that is. Mine doesn't, but then I generally deposit my paychecks into a sperm bank out of a sense of pride. So if I every buy anything from you off of ebay, don't be surprised if my payment is all sticky and smelly.

But aside from the happy "look at the great times we're having in life today" tunes on here (which are still performed HEAVILY, just happily. You know, like "Magic Carpet Ride"), there's oh jesus I can't discuss this now.

No. I have to. My loyal fans have waited five years for a comprehensive review of the Bloodrock catalogue and I'm not going to let them down now. The song is "D.O.A." I suppose it's essentially kind of a stupidass song about a guy who was in a plane crash and is now lying on the street bleeding to death (recited, of course, in FIRST PERSON, with lots of creepy keyboards and siren noises). But see, I have OCD. So when I first heard the song back in the 8th grade, it frightened the living FUCKTOWEL out of me. I became obsessed with violent death. Afraid of it at every turn. Couldn't get it out of my mind. I was even afraid to listen to the song, but couldn't stop myself from doing so!!!! It was driving me utterly mad!!!!

Luckily shortly thereafter I read the Necronomicon and became obsessed with the idea that I was cursed to do poorly in Little League baseball and school from that point on, so the Bloodrock tune floated out of my conscience until it made me laugh my ass off about a decade later. Oh how I've grown! Whee!

So buy the damned record. And for the love of all that is big and small in this green world of elves, do NOT listen to the R'n'B failure "Sable And Pearl." The chorus features the most painfully sophomoric vocal delivery (and lyrics!) that I do believe I have ever heard a grown man force himself to perform.

Oh! And get this....

You ready?

There's BLOOD dripping down the band photo on the cover!!!!! I know!!! And you thought Ferguson Jenkins pitched for the Blue Jays!!!!

Reader Comments (Keith Barker)
Again on Cheater, Lucky In The Morning, Children's Hertitage and Dier Not A Lover -- Great Lead work ---- you can't tell I'm a Pickens fan? Another, to the point review I thought. (Glenn Milam)
OK - I was in 7th grade when this came out and it was awesome! I STILL know how to play Children's Heritage. Recently even tracked it down on CD. By the way, I even saw them open for Grand Funk Railroad around this same time. (Richard Williamson)
this is music to nuke jersalem by. d o a was a mainstay on the ancient am late nite hippie dream radio show 'beeker street'. sometimes it soundd pretty cool but also you would kinda have your fill of bloodrock after 5 or 10 minutes so i dint really consider buying their records - i liked mountain yet even snooted at grand funk or latter steppenwolf, so i wouldn't really want to ge tthe record, even tho truth be told hearing d o a was a true creepy thrill when you turned on kaay esp. the first 200 times i heard it. and i was enuff of a scholarly geek to notice the credits 'produced by terry knight', words which to me soignalled sludge. i saw where they put out a buncha lp's and were at a million second string rock festivals too for sure ( along w/ted's twilight version of amboy dukes and brownsville station. some people were wild about the exploding brainshot cover for bloodrock 3 but i didn't have that much attention sapn for it. i anyhoo all the first few have shown up at towwer recurds and i keep meaning to get #1 - which has a soft machoine song on it right? - and maybe i will. what im curious about though is why have i not seen the words 'black oak arkansas' here yet? hmmmmmmm great work herethough and i believe you have a place in the red army! today the net, tomorrow....seattle!
I loved that song in a really dark sick way when I was about 8 too. I used to make the two little girls across the street play "kidnapper" with me, and I would make them sit in my grandmother's closet while I played SPILL THE WINE by Eric Burdon on my little record player thingy real loud outside the door. I used to think to myself, "Man it would be really even better to have that BLOODROCK tune on a 45 and play it on speed 16".

I never knew the name of that song. So one day, about two years after I graduated high school and was bored out of my gourd, I called an FM radio station and asked the DJ, "Hey do you remember this song about some dude who survived a plane crash? It was kind of sexy>" I said to him.

He said, "I'll tell you what... you are a sick person to call and request that song. That song should have been banned from the beginning." and he hung up on me.

I felt kind of baked but about two months later it occured to me that maybe someone he knew had been on a plane flying low that hit something in the air.

Oh well.
Just visited your website...
I saw someone named Richard Williamson left feedback and I had to comment too. I grew up listening to KAAY AM Radio too... Late night, they'd play Bloodrock's DOA, backed with Mason Proffit's Two Hangmen and The Guess Who's Friends of Mine... Talk about a bit of 'morbidness' in a disc-jockey... But it got me out to the record store to buy them.

I just got most of Bloodrock's catalog on CD before Christmas on eBay. I don't miss the 'snap-crackle-pop' of my vinyl records.

On a personal note: I, personally mind you, don't care a lot for their only 'hit'. Comparing DOA to Lucky in the Morning, Childrens Heritage, Cheater, etc... Just can't be done. It's almost like a different band... I think it may have been a band (airplay) thing. You may have run across this. The band, Steam. Their only hit, Kiss Him Good-bye, was a 'joke' - the vocals were done by a non-member of the band - low production costs and was purposely put on the 'B' side of the 45... They thought no one would play the 'B' side and in case they did, no one would want to hear it again. Just goes to show you can't always tell what the public wants. I might be wrong, most likely am, but that's my opinion.

Thanks for having the webpage about one of my favorite bands. (of note, I found it while searching for the 'lyrics' to Bloodrocks songs. Haven't found a site with them yet but I'm hoping) (Norman McPherson)
This weird guy I used to hang around with in the ninth grade used to play "D.O.A." in the lunch room three or four times every day while the rest of us ate. He was about the only guy in the ninth grade that had a beard......and I mean it wasn't fuzz either. Never did find out how old he was and we figured he finally got tired of going to high school because he didn't come back the next year. It's been over thirty years but "D.O.A." has got to be the most depressing song that I've ever heard. (Jack Clements)
I was in grade school when this nightmare (DOA) hit the airwaves. I got the 45, it scared the living shit out of me, but I couldn't stop listening to it for months.

I don't really think it was about a plane crash though. My older stoner brother told me at the time that "flying low" was a term used for getting wasted and driving balls out in a car. Not that it matters. The song can still give me the childhood regressive willies.
Bloodrock put out some of the best hard rock and roll of the 70s. They are one of the few bands of then and today to put out an album with every song being kick ass. The album was Bloodrock 2. DOA was the song that everyone is familiar with but as good as it is, the other songs are even better. The other albums they put out had good tunes but not all of the songs were as good as the ones on Bloodrock 2. Us Texans maybe redneck but we do know good music – good rock and good honky tonk.
Wow! Beeker Street, many a road trip listenin to it. I'd forgotten about them. Lived NW of Chicago in '71, '72 and for some odd reason, we could only get it on some station from K.C. or somewhere. It was roadtrip music. They'd play the long version "Magicians Birthday", "Stealing", Genesis/Foxtrot, Hawkwind, Pigs Of Uranus. Wow, that’s when I learned about imports albums. non mainstream. (David Ramstadt)
The sound of Bloodrock ... Heavy, moody and terrifying ... capturing that part of the human psyche where many fear to venture. D.O.A. is a scary song. At that time (early 70's) few bands (except maybe Sabbath, Cooper, Stooges) would venture to release a track as stomach churning as D.O.A. -- A truly classic track from a band that was many light years ahead of their time.

A remake of D.O.A. in the hands of a VERY capable band would be interesting ....

Guy Wire from "Aqualung"
Fancy Space Odyssey is still to this day one of my "Warm Up" tunes I play Back stage before a show, 30 years later.
Bloodrock is the only thing I ever stole.

I was pretty sure it was about being hurled from a car accident, not a plane crash. I use to listen to the Partridge family and Three dog night until DOA came along. My mom threw away the album ( I loved the cover). I was furious so I shoplifted 5 of the 6 copies of DOA on 45' singles from the record bin at the Spartan Atlantic store. I was like 10 or 11. I kept them hid and one by one I would sneak them into my regular rotation and play them over and over for the next 2 years, which is how long it took for my parents to confiscate them.

I can still hear it...

Laying here looking at the ceiling
Someone lays a sheet across my chest
Something warm is flowing down my fingers
Pain is flowing all through my back

I try to move my arms and theres no feeling
And when I look I see theres nothing there
The face beside me stopped it totally bleeding
The girl I knew has such a distant stare

I remember
We were flying along and hit something in the air
I remember
We were flying along and hit something in the air

Then I looked straight at the attendant
His face is pale as it can be
He bends and whispers something softly
He says theres no chance for me

I remember
We were flying along and hit something in the air
I remember
We were flying along and hit something in the air

Life is flowing out my body
Pain is flowing out with my blood
The sheets are red and moist where Im lying
God in Heaven, teach me how to die

I remember
We were flying along and hit something in the air
I remember
We were flying along and hit something in the air
I was 11 when D.O.A. came out. I loved it but promptly forgot about it for years. Mainly because it stopped getting airplay. When I thought about it years later, I called radio stations to request it but they acted like they didn't know what I was talking about. Then, perhaps by fate, I spotted a cassette tape with a compilation of 70s hits, in a convenience store in my hometown (population 1500). D.O.A. was on it! I always pictured a car crash during the song. I don't know how anyone can think it's a plane crash. Airborne cars really do fly! I have heard two people who remind me of Rutledge when they sing. One was in a band in the early 90s, 0 Negative or something like that, I don't remember.(My kids listened to them) The other was just tonight when I heard a group on Conan O'Brien. Something Flanagan. Once again, I didn't catch the entire name. Dammit. Reading the comments makes me want to hear more of their songs though.
remember it well.had to run out and get the album after hearing it.the local disc jockey did not like me requesting it 3 times a day.'we were flying low-hit something in the air'.played it over and over,until i knew all the words and the thoughts told me it was about how life can be cut short unexpectedly,and maybe we should set our goals loosely and not worry about what we dont know
This is perhaps one of my most cherished memories of all my childhood days. I don't have many memories of my mother, but listening to Bloodrock II could very well be the best one that I have. Lucky in the Morning, DOA and Sable and Pearls...oh my God...These songs are forever etched in my memory and what I would not give to be able to play them today. Alas, I do have a copy of Bloodrock II, but it is packed away in storage in another state. I can still hear DOA in my is one of the most intense songs I have ever heard...
I too am old as dirt and heard Bloodrock and Black Sabbath in concert at Minneapolis about 1971. Also played in a local garage band and did a couple Bloodrock tunes. DOA of course. Was a hit with the kids then. I bought all the albums at the time. Still have them. Was a huge Grand Funk fan too. Still have those albums also.Both bands were Terry Knight productions, later turned into problems.
I'm a (Dallas) Texas native and current Brewster Co. landowner. I recall recording "DOA" on my ancient Hitachi reel-to-reel tape deck, then looping it over and over until I mastered the tune on my folk's upright piano. To my mother's horror, my favorite time and place to play it and sing along was at church in between morning services and Sunday school. I was royally pissing her off and my buddies thought I was cool so it was ALL good =^)
I am 51 and was a very morbid teenager (now a paralegal and gramma - still morbid lol). DOA was my FAVORITE song and I have been unable to replace the LP that got thrown away when I moved 16 years ago. (John Folk)
One of my goals in life has been to replace every piece of vinyl I ever had with CDs. I searched the net intensely and when I found Bloodrock II on CD, I ordered it immediately before it went out of production. Still have the vinyl, of course...
no one wins old bet

brother 1 - "we were flying low and hit something in the air"
brother 2 - "we were flying along and if something in the air"
Can't believe no-one has mentioned the ballad (an enigma for this group in itself) "Sable and Pearl". These guys were mentored by the old Dawg himself. None other than "Uncle John" Nitzinger. Man, remember the old Electric Ballroom?!! I too, am a Ft. Worther and (sadly) still live in those days. Anybody remember my old buds Blackhorse? I always wondered why none of the doom goth bands never re-did DOA, not that I would have appreciated itr, but it would have been perfect for 'em.
RE: "DOA".

I'm fairly certain that "DOA" has been confined to the ash heap of history, considering I listened to classic rock radio pretty much nonstop for most of high school and never heard it once. Now, of course, in the wake of 9/11 it will probably NEVER be played on air again (a fate that has also befallen the hilarious Simpsons "Homer vs. New York" episode), and thus I only heard it on a whim during one of my random, generally misguided downloading binges (incidentally, it should be noted that I'm so oblivious to my surroundings that I didn't even notice the 9/11 connection until, like, two days ago). Unfortunately, this seemingly trivial action has resulted in me being (unhealthily) obsessed with this stupid song.

For the record, the line is without a doubt "We were flying ALONG", meaning that it's almost certainly about a plane crash (unless it's just an extremely atrocious metaphor for something else that doesn't work at all). Besides, The guy's arm was severed, which generally doesn't happen during overdoses or whatever other silly explanation that stoners have come up with over the years. I suppose a car crash scenario is possible, but that one is still stretching it and isn't nearly as creepy. In any case, "We were flying low" would have been a much better line, but hey, we have to work with what we have.

There are two aspects of "DOA" that strike me more than anything else: 1) there is no point in time other than the early 70's that this kind of song could ever receive airplay at all, and 2) this "attendant" doesn't seem terribly suited for his job. I mean, I find it hard to believe that the medical establishment condones the practice of telling patients that there is "no chance" for them. I hope he got fired for that.

Oh, actually there's three things: the last verse pretty much blows, and makes the song seem a lot more retarded that it even actually is. "God in heaven, teach me how to die?" Huh? All of a sudden the narrator is completely aware of his surroundings and situation enough to put together coherent platitudes about five seconds before he dies? Wouldn't he become less reflective as he's bleeding to death? Come on, guys.
Several blogs that I've read online insist that DOA was written mostly as a result of the Marshall football team plane crash in 1970. That might make sense, since DOA hit the charts around March 1971, and the plane crash was on November, 1970. Just thought I'd pass that along, with the new move "We Are Marshall" set to debut in a couple of weeks. (Eric Berg, MD)
Mason Profitt ... my, my, my ...

"Everybody was sooo wrong ..."

What a long, long time ago. Saw them in concert on a small stage at a small South Carolina college in 1971 or '72. Probably Wofford College (now a university?) or some other place near Greenville-Spartanburg.

Still have two of their albums on vinyl, but no longer own a turntable. Haven't heard their music in nearly two decades, but can still hum the tunes.
Grew up listening to these guys in high school. Our band played DOA and Timpiece (awesome back-and-forth between lead guitar and keyboard). Loved these guys! The 70s rocked.... (Tom in Denver)
I'll never forget sitting in a Pizza Hut after mowing their 10' x 20' lawn and enjoying my payment of a free pizza and a pitcher of Coke. I walk up to the Juke Box and find D.O.A. on there, drop my quarter and fall into a dark and eerie trance. I can picture all of the twisted imagery of this horrific car crash and the lifeless bodies staring at each other.. Good times!
Oddly enough, I only have Bloodrock 2. I don't wanna play the age card here, but I saw these guys live at Keil Auditorium Annex in 1970 when I was 17. *Note: I saw about every big rock band there was at the time, whether at Keil, Keil Annex, The Arena, SIU Mississippi River Festival, Cowtown Ballroom, The Ambassador etc etc. Between St.Louis, Kansas City, KU, Mizzou and SIU, I had lots to choose from and gas was was good weed.;-)

Of all the concerts I saw, that Bloodrock concert that night just absolutely ruled. I never saw a better concert, not even with Hendrix....many as good, but never better than that night. Yes, they were from Texas-Ft.Worth to be exact. So many groups in those days, could not deliver a live performance to save their lives (America and Black Oak Arkansas, the worst). It was a rare group that played as well as their album, or in this case, even better. Unlike other old 'hippies', I have little empathy for aging rockers. Rock is a music developed, promoted and nutured by young males. Like Morrison said, "Rock is cock." It's about hormones, a young man's angst, getting laid, finding good drugs, good company to get stoned with and a young dude getting his groove on.

I'm sickened by my contemporaries making 'comeback tours' and/or getting back together. The running joke I have is that if you wait long enough, the mega rock groups from the 60-70's will be touring at your county/state fair....or casino. It's only fitting that they go out in sleaze venues(for rockers). They all should have stepped away 25-30 yrs ago and helped the younger dudes along their way. Like a 'mentor program', but with rock. But since it's always been about ego and money, it's comes as no surprise that Bob Seeger et all would announce a new what, 70yrs old?? I think however, you could play folk acoustic rock forever, as long as your brain isn't fried like Young's or Dylan's. But certainly not to huge sellout venues-small theaters & clubs. Think what you want, but people like Cat Stevens had it right to disappear from on top of the heap like he did. It's a sad commentary that many of the greats died at the top as well, especially from an overdose.

You really want to listen to Bloodrock as it was recorded? Find someone like me that has some giant, kick-ass system with a turntable and SPIN Bloodrock. That will give you the feel that you were there, not from the remastered CD. I don't know what they did after 2 and I don't care. I'm listening to them right now on a 38yr old album. I haven't played this vinyl in 30yrs. No real reason, just thought I had 'outgrown' them...nope.

Also FYI, D.O.A was so controversial back in the day, that I had to buy the album just to listen to it when I wanted....many stations would not play it. When they did that live, I couldn't feel the earth beneath me.

Cool discussion here, but if you think Bloodrock sucked back in their early days, then you know squat about rock. Try some Procol Harum/Broken Barricades (some of the best lyrics ever written in rock), Wishbone Ash, King Crimson/In The Court of The Crimson King, The Allman Brothers/Live At Fillmore East, Quicksilver Messenger Service or Pink Floyd/The Wall.....just for a sampler of what once was.

Not to put down today's Alternative rock however-I'm hearing some of the best musicians and vocals ever, albeit a tad more violent than necessary, but hey, we live in a mega violent world now. The dudes are just writing about what they see, feel and hear. They're starting younger, they're better schooled, have more music to draw from and build on than my generation and generally, band electronics are better. I hear modern rock so good that I get the proverbial buzz right up the back of my spine to my head, just like back in the day. That's my litmus test of rock, anyway.

Add your thoughts?

3 - Capitol 1971.
Rating = 9

Is it Southern Rock? I've heard foolish critics (one) refer to Bloodrock as such, but I don't hear it. Because they have their own set, blocky, heavy, sludgey, rockin' sound. When they try to do pop, it's not light enough. When they try Southern rock, it's not twangy enough. When they try to get funky, you don't move your feet. It's not pop rock, southern rock or funk rock - it's BLOODrock. That means good old early '70s heavy rock -- like Deep Purple, but (in my opinion anyway) with more reliably catchy riffs.

Thus... this album. The most consistent studio album that the fine hairy men in Bloodrock ever created. And diverse! There's the creepy dark overlords of "Whiskey Vengeance" and "Breach of Lease," the jazzy funkhole of "Song For A Brother" and "Kool-Aid-Kids," the creepy dark fuckhole of"Jessica," the goodtime rockysockafunkabollawollahoolagoolafoolamoolapituitarygland of of "You Gotta Roll," the beautiful balladry (!) of "A Certain Kind" and funkdish, even a vocally harmonized acoustic folk tune about "America, America"! Does life get any better?

Well yeah, both of the first two albums have tons of awesome songs too. But each have a couple of, as Paul McCartney might put it, "my entire last two decades of output" on them. Not this one. It's really, really solid. No nooks or crannies of icky singing, no riffs that hang by the thread of my nose, and most importantly -- no Richard Nixon. The boys had Richard Nixon do WAY too many backup vocals on those first two efforts.

Oooh! And get this....

You ready for this?

There's a drawing of dripping blood dripping from the American-flag looking "Bloodrock" logo drawn on the cover!!!! I know!!! And you thought your favorite color was the smell of your own ass!!!!

Reader Comments
BREACH OF LEASE form BLOODROCK III is their BEST song next to D.O.A. especially now, with the lyrics; "All the god's are now preparing... .. for the feast that waits us all... .. Man... has disobeyed his leaders... ... Man.. has SORELY 'Breached his lease'.. (As custodians of earth)...

I was about 15 when I first heard this monumental album. It will always be a gem and no other bands then or now can ever top B3 in my opinion. Lee Pickens has some means biting solos in this album, Man, those guys really knew how to put together songs that even today I enjoy playing while fighting morning traffic in LA. Jessica, Song for a Bro, and Kool Aid Kids are jazzy, rocky, sunny,explosive,melodic you name it they deliver it. I wish I would have seen them in concert but the Live album was pretty scary - "make way for the paramedics people....." Great band with B3 as a special marker in my puberty years...
I remember seeing them in Louisville Ky. I named my daughter after a song from the USA album. "Jessica"

Bo Denton
I saw BLOODROCK open for GRAND FUNK in 1971 and I thought they blew them away.

Add your thoughts?

* Live - Capitol 1972. *
Rating = 10

Come on, don't argue with brilliance. Nine awesome sludgers from the first three albums. Sure, it's missing some killers but there's no crap here at all - and there's two full albums of it! If you gots to hear what Bloodrock sounded like (and you DO, or you're no friend of mine, kind reader), try to hunt this down in your local Virgin. Check behind the hymen. HA HWHHW!!! HAAHAH`1 HHS!~~ HAA!H!!!

No but really. One Way Records re-released this on CD in 1998, so you shouldn't have that hard a time finding it. The mix isn't QUITE as stellar as on the studio recordings, but it's still plenty heavy for early 70s rock and you can hear all the instruments and stuff. And they do a fantastic run-through of "D.O.A."!! With pumped in sirens and everything! Hell, for all I know, they flew in a dying guy and set him on the stage just to make it more realistic for the crowd! I know I would!!! AND DID!!!!!

One complaint: They nearly slaughter "Gotta Find A Way" with jivey, sloppy goodtime exuberance. Why they would choose such an angry, bitter song to end the concert in a clapalong beer-drenched fun-a-thon is beyond me, but then again -- I was never on stained glass reef in the decade of decadance! Slow it down, guys! Go back 28 years and SLOW IT DOWN!

Say, did I mention Nitzinger? Nitzinger is some guy who wrote a bunch of Bloodrock's best songs. And he had a couple solo albums! And I just ordered them through ebay and can't wait til I get them! I can't imagine that his voice is anywhere near as cool as Jim Rutledge's (Jim also has a solo album apparently but I haven't managed to snag a copy yet), but hey -- anyone who can write a song as awesome as "Jessica" immediately earns a few spins on the turntable of Mr. P!

Huh? No, not Franklin Pierce! Jesus christ, get your ass out of my ass!!!!

Reader Comments
This album could still arguably be considered one of the best live albums ever. (I would also include Head East Live in that catagory) I saw Bloodrock in concert twice, 1st opening for Grand Funk in '72, & headlining a smaller venue in"73. Grand Funk just couldn't compete. I must disagree with the assesment of "Gotta Find a Way", however. I felt then & now that the live version of that song had so much more energy & just brought the audience into the middle of the performance to be an integral part of it, you left the show & never forgot the experiance. Some tunes seem to inspire you to clap your hands & stomp your feet & I dont normally participate like that. Artistically, the studio version was entirely different & more appealing to some, but I enjoy both! I was so glad to see the catalog released on cd since my records were played to death. I'd also love to see more of todays music feature the sounds of a Hammond & less of other BS. Bloodrock will always be on my favorites playlist!
Unfortunately, several songs on this album are not "live" at all. They are nothing more than the original recordings with audience noise mixed in with it. I heard that Jim Rutledge wasn't happy with all the "live" recordings and didn't have enough to fill up the entire album. Amid protests from the band, he took the original masters from several of the albums and added audience cheering, etc. and more reverb to make them sound "live".

The only songs that are not "live" are "Cheater" and "You Gotta Roll". The reason they sound different is Jim took the original 24 track master tapes and re-mixed them (like turning the drums and hi hat up louder on "Cheater"). The mixes are different from the album version, but it's the same tracks and of course, the audience noise is added on. I know this for a fact, because I noticed it when it first came out and contacted Stevie Hill about it. He complimented me on my "great ears" and confirmed that I was correct. The band didn't really want to do it but Jim assured them, "No one will ever be able to tell". The biggest giveaway is the lead guitar. Lee Pickens never played the same thing twice. And, the guitar solo on "Cheater" (on the record) is actually a solo that was recorded, then the tape was flipped over, and the solo played backwards. Notice that it is "backwards" on the "live" album, which was impossible to do in those days (before digital technology). (Dennis Ward)
Thanks for the reviews. I thought I was the only person left alive who heard of Bloodrock.

I came across an old compilation cassette I made in my college days and found two Bloodrock cuts on it. DOA isn't one of them. As I recall it was seriously long, droning, moaning, with sirens all the way through it. It was CREEPY!

Was the cover of the Bloodrock Live LP deep blue with orange 'blood' dripping from the band's name? Mine was a two record set so it must have been the Live LP you describe.

I had that record (bought it new) and GAVE IT AWAY! I never get rid of music, even if it sucks. Can't believe I did that. It was in perfect condition. I should have kept it if just for the cover.

Glad I kept my Lord Sutch and His Heavy Friends - almost sold that one. It sucks, kinda, but it's interesting. Hey, did anyone ever identify The Masked Marauders? (TL Myers, old guy)
Yea I saw Bloodrock live at Monticelo Indiana. I was right next to the stage.

I can still remember the ambulance siren when they played DOA, and the lead singers "Mark Farner" (Grand Funk Railroad), type vocals. Excellent old rock band.

The backup band was a band called Savage Grace.

I was trippin on acid at the time...ahhh, those were the days!! (M.J.M.)
I was lucky enough to see them in the year 1970 in West Palm Beach,FLORIDA. Those were the days.All on 1 bill Catus,Rare Earth, and infamous MC5.The song D.O.A. Brought the house down.Feels like yesterday.
Hey I am from Ft. Worth Texas and when i was 14 I went to Will Rogers Auditorium and saw my very first rock concert....actually it was Jimi Hendrix....but as the locally famous Mark "Marky Baby(KFJZ radio)" Stevens took the stage to announce the opening act....he said, " From Fort Worth Texas --CAPITOL Recording stars-----BLOODROCK !!!...and the place went WILD....oh yeah...after Jimi finnished his show ...we had snuck around the hallway to behind the 'chutes'...finally the steel door from the stage opened and out walks none other than Mr. Jimi Hendrix....what a night and what a first concert!

A. Haas
I graduated from Jim Rutledge's High School (Arlington Heights High School) in 1970. The ambulance sound track from D.O.A. is from Ray Crowder Ambulance Service, which is located right across the street from A.H.H.S. (actually I-30 was between the two -- then called the East-West Freeway).

I saw them perform in March '71 in Ft.Worth, when they were the opening group for Grand Funk, from 3rd Row Center. Still blows me away thinking of that concert!!

Add your thoughts?

USA - Capitol 1972.
Rating = 8

More funky, catchy riffs. The Bloodrocks won't let you down - they're too busy bringin' ya up! Sure, there are a few riffs on here that seem more "generic" than "inspired," but they're still as good as anything Deep Purple ever came up with, and they're LEGENDS!!! Why, you can't enter a clothing store on the entire east coast without hearing somebody raving about the songwriting genius of Mr. Roger Glover, the bass playing prowess of Mr. Ray Gillen, the drum skills of Mr. Dave Gilmour and of course the classic "Smoke ON The Waters" screaming vocals of Mr. Tony Martin. But enough about me - let's talk about USA, the finest live King Crimson album since Islands -- Live!!!!. This Bloodrock album features great song titles as always ("Abracadaver"! "Don't Eat The Children"!), but it's curious to see that the band members themselves only wrote four of the nine tunes on here, and they aren't necessarily the BETTER 4/9ths either! (though they ARE catchy songs, mind you -- just not quite as memorable as the three absolute KILLER Nitzinger tracks on side one). I'm all for goodtime rock and roll if there are some good breaks and it's not just straight blues riffs - and that's what you get when Bloodrock is in a good mood. Yes, I probably PREFER their darker stuff, because it matches Jim's voice and the band's image so well. But their happy stuff is catchy as all daylights and TONS more memorable than kinda-soundalikes Steppenwolf. More along the lines of early Alice Cooper, as I think I said earlier. By the way, Alice Cooper is awesome - I don't think I've said that on the site recently. I should have reviewed him myself. FIE!

So yeah, more reliable Bloodrock -- your happy rock, your moody early grunge - if you dig early '70s hard rock Nazareth, Aerosmith), you owe it to yourself and at least five or six other individuals to try to hunt down all these early albums somehow. How can you hate it? What kind of soulless monster are you? You son of a whore. Hey!!! You're President Clinton, aren't you???? Get the hell off of my site, President Clinton!!!!! I've had it with your untruthful manner and the way you've driven my great nation into the dirt of bad tidings!!!! Fie on you, damned spot!

Oh, I almost forgot! Guess what's on the cover?

That's right! A cartoon of a giant green man holding onto the Capitol building with one arm and shooting a man through the forehead with his other forefinger, causing a huge gush of blood to shoot out the back of his head. Yeah, see? And you thought women LIKED 3-inch weiners!

It's gonna take some time to forgive myself for using the word "weiners."

Reader Comments (Kacy Ross)
this is my favorite bloodrock album. maybe it's the production. i never listen to any of the others with any regularity (unless it's DOA)...but i always loved the usa LP. particular tracks i like ... "american burn" and "magic man". a really interesting 2nd tier group. wish i could find my vinyl copy of usa which was stolen. fan of old grand funk, too. So, the terry knight connection is there.

good site. thanks (Presley E. Acuna)
Like your comments about bloodrock music but gotta say, in the realm of politics, you're a victim of Republican jackal propoganda. They fooled you, man.

I bet those 8 years of piece and prosperity under Clinton look pretty good about now, eh bro? Out of job per chance? Think dubbya is a better man for the job? God help you if you do. (Robin Scheines)
I have a CD of Bloodrock USA, and the copyright says 1976. I believe that to be true. It is my under standing that the original band reformed and recorded this album. (Willie Hines III)
Nostalgia is one thing, history is another. Look, after Bloodrock 2 they were bad, they were nationwide(yes, I'm quoting another Texas band y'all) and they could not be dismissed. Of course, one has to credit John Nitzinger for providing most of the ammunition. Still, you have to give it up for MVP players Lee Pickens and Jim Rutledge. Screaming guitar solos galore and those over-the-top histrionic vocals! Topical songs and hard rock virtuousity combined to make a formidable statement. I would put Bloodrock 2 and Bloodrock USA up with Deep Purples' Machine Head or Grand Funks' E. Pluribus Funk for 70's rock 'n' roll excess. Sometimes it's the band that falls through the cracks that, in the long run, really matters.

USA is undisputably their best. Period. "Hangmans' Dance" alone is worth the price of admission. "It's A Sad World" is as good as "Lucky In The Morning", and that's saying something! How many bands keep on maturing long after their supposed shelf life has passed? They should have been D.O.A. after that song peaked, but they weren't. Seriously, there aren't many bands that stand the test of time upon repeated listening(especially in the early '70's), yet Bloodrock is one of them. Fans of this album should check out Iron Butterflys' "Metamorphosis" album from the same timetable.
I found the sight about Bloodrock "entertaining." I grew up loving Bloodrock! I saw them at every opportunity when they came around the Chicago area. They were mainly the backup band for Grand Funk Railroad. The first time I saw Bloodrock was at the International Amphitheater in Chicago, IL. They ROCKED!! I had (and still have) ALL of their albums, but they are actually on 8-track tapes! Do you remember 8-tracks at all? {:>)

The last time I saw the band together, they played at a small bar in Kenosha, Wisconsin called "Sammy G's Flying Circus." I got to meet Jim Rutledge and talk to him at the bar during one of their breaks. WHAT A DOLL and very nice person he was. So many memories I have when these albums were released. I never could figure out why they didn't top the charts with more of their songs. There is still no band that I believe is as consistently great as Bloodrock was.

I was able to replace my Bloodrock Bloodrock and Bloodrock 2, 8-tracks with CD's and am looking for Bloodrock 3 and Bloodrock USA to complete my search. I found the first 2 on, but didn't buy USA at the time, and now they don't have that available. The search continues!

Thanks for having this website!
I admit during their rein that some of their music may have not been readily accepting of our ears. Their style, at some point, was new to some of us. However, you have to admit these dudes knew how to play music, no matter what your music tastes are.

To give you an example, I immediately took to Black Sabbath. They know how to play hard rock. Just when you thought the song might be approaching the end, they would kick in some other instrumentals and make you wear out your air guitar.

I have all of BloodRock's albums, but, the one that stands for me with consecutively kick-ass songs, was, USA. As far as I'm concerned, this was their groundbreaking album. And has yet to be topped. They weren't, for the most part, unknowns, trying to start a new band. They were seasoned players that saw the future. They were just ahead of their time, same as Black Sabbath. Just remember, these guys can't be judged on all their songs because, I don't know of one band that all the songs, on all the albums, were good. Fact of the matter is, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and, what's good for one person, may not be good for the other. I'm just glad they put out some tunes that blow the dust off my woofers, now, and from here on out!

Respectfully to all readers,

If there's any doubt in what I say,.....wish you could listen to BloodRock on my stereo. It's sure to change your mind.

Add your thoughts?

Passage - Capitol 1972.
Rating = 3

Okay, so there are three important facets to the greatness that is Bloodrock: (A) Jim Rutledge's husky manly vocals, (B) Lee Pickens' stinging and occasionally annoying lead guitar runs and (C) awesome rock songwriter John Nitzinger. After USA, THEY ALL SPLIT. So what the fuck is this shit????

Answer: BAD BAD SHIT. They picked up a new singer/songwriter/flute player named Warren Ham who does his college best to transform the band into a sub-par prog rock band like Genesis or a really bad version of Jethro Tull. What was the point? Why is the band still called "Bloodrock"? Did they honestly have enough (or, in fact, ANY) name recognition that would make such a move wise? Surely not, as this must have alienated their entire fan base the same way it did me when I finally got a copy last year. It's not heavy. It's not catchy. It doesn't rock. And this Ham guy has a HIDEOUS voice. Just wussy and forgettable. No force at all. In a few spots, there will be a hint of that wonderful old catchy Bloodrock sound ("Days And Nights" and "Fantasy" are great tunes, Warren Ham or no Warren Ham), but this just ain't Bloodrock.

It ain't GOOD either.

Oh! I nearly forgot! Guess what's on the cover?

You're absolutely right!! It's an artsy painting of a ship passing through mountains at night!!!!!

Reader Comments (Presley E. Acuna)
Actually, it's one of the more interesting albums they produced, but yer right, it's not Bloodrock. You're also right that they should have changed the name of the band at this point. Bloodrock fans can't compute this type of music and continuing to call the band "Bloodrock" only pissed them off. Bloodrock fans have no business reviewing an album like this.

If you DO like semi-complex art-rock, this is a pretty cool album. Don't believe the hard rockers - they don't grock if ain't hard-rock. (Joe Mystery)
Saw Bloodrock twice, once at the Fillmore East and once in Bayonne, N.J.! They were a fanatastic hard rock band. I am now a 50 year old man with a family but I still listen to the Rock. Love all their work. As good as any of the great hard rock outfits of that era such as Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult (another great, great band). Bloodrock 2 and 3 were awsome albums. like most Bloodrock fans I was pretty shocked when Passage came out. I think the music is very good but not as powerful as what preceded it. When you lose Rutledge and Pickens that is alot to make up for. Still think Stevie Hill is probably the greatest rock organist I have ever heard and I love Ray Manzarek but... If you like classic rock, I am still doing it and have a cd available under Joe Mystery Group ( or go to
I just completed reading your reviews of the band's various various albums. I also laughed outloud from your funny comments. I'm an odd bird, concerning this band. When I was a boy, I bought the Passage album at a St. Vincent DePaul 2nd hand store in the mid 70's. It was the only Bloodrock album I owned or listened to during my teenage years in South Bend, Indiana. I played Farfisa organ through a Leslie cabinet in the high school "Swing Choir" and in a teenage rock band called "Stage 13." Since I played the organ, I was greatly influenced

and enamored with the artistry and playing ability of Stevie Hill on this album. I moved away from home in the late 70's, lost track of my record collection, including the Passage album (didn't take it with me through college, or get it from home when I was married in 1980). About two years ago I found the vinyl album in a local record shop here in Columbia, SC. I paid a couple of bucks for it, took it home and played it after a 25-year absence of listening to it. Boy, talk about memories and feelings flooding back. The old album, with those organ and piano renderings still captivated me after all that time (I still play keyboards and organ). I agree, concerning Warren Ham on vocals/sax/flute- weak vocally and an odd mix, not befitting a band named BLOODROCK, but I still enjoy the album greatly. The sax thing is reminicent of the Dave Clark Five- and just plain weird for a 70's hard rock band. If I have ever heard DOA on the other album, I'm not aware of it, but your comments have peaked my curiosity. The next time I'm in the record shop, I'm going to get that album with that song on it. I mostly listened to WLS/Chicago when I was a kid and don't recall that song being played at that time on the am channel(s). Thanx for the web sight. I was listening to my Passage album while reading and writing this.

Add your thoughts?

Whirlwind Tongues - Capitol 1974.
Rating = 3

More art rock (in case you couldn't tell by the album title). Singer Ham still trying to make the band sound like Traffic or King Crimson. Still doesn't come close to the same league as Mr. Jim Rutledge, Rock Warrior Of An Unknowing Generation. And most of the songs are every bit as despicable as the ones on Passage though. Sure, parts of it totally cook breakfast - the wonderfully energetic repeating guitar run in "Voices," for example -- but holy christ, did somebody in the world REQUEST a flute-heavy salsa version of "Eleanor Rigby"? If so, smack that guy in the balls with his own clenched fist. And "Guess What I Am"???

Umm.... A sissy?

As I sit here in listen to this fine, fine '70s album I can't help but think: God I fuckin' love Kansas. And Styx? Oh, what kind of person wouldn't want Dennis DeYoung staying in their guest bedroom for an extended visit? A fool's fool, sayeth I! Henceforth I decree that these last two Bloodrock albums (and the infamous unreleased eighth album) be buried in a shallow grave tended only by the ravenous wolves that occasionally gnaw on the vinyl in anger.

One other thing - I'm not even going to bother describing the pile of horseshit on this cover. But I will leave you with a question that's been haunting me for the last two and a half minutes -- when this pansy version of Bloodrock toured, did they still play the classic hard rock oldies? Ooo! And did our boy Ham get to play the "D.O.A." siren with his flute?

Fuckers probably made the guy come back to life and dance around in a meadow at the end.


Reader Comments (Mike K.)
Ok, I feel a teensy bit loserish for this, but I read all the bloodrock reviews even though I've never even heard of them. I happened to be on the site and was bored and hoping that Prindle would make a funny poop joke or something. And now I'm glad I did, partially because of the interesting backstory, and partially because the reviews of the later artsy prog rock stuff were hillarious. Anyway, the description of "DOA" really piqued my interest, and I ended up looking the thing up on napster and downloading it. It's pretty neat, in a creepy way. Sorta reminds me of "Black Sabbath" by Black Sabbath, only less evil and loud and more eerie. They've got the same sort of structure, i.e. quiet slow dirgey verse turns into louder slow dirgey chorus (or rather, what would be the chorus of "black sabbath" if Ozzy actually sang stuff over the riff that comes between verses instead of just yelling "oh no!" and "please god help me!" and such). They also sort of sound like they might have some of the same chords, but what the hell do I know? I can't even read music! (though that somehow doesn't deter me from recording it). Also, the siren mimicking synth line is kinda neat because it unintentionally sounds like video game music! For the first 30 seconds or so before the guitar came in, I was thinking it sounded like it could be the music to some sort of creepy palace level to a legend of zelda game or something. (Bill Evans)
Well, Kansas, liked Warren enough to have him tour with them. And then audition for the band (to replace Singer Steve Walsh). Instead, Kansas leader Kerry Livgren asked him to form a band with Kerry -- they did, recording four albums as such.
In the early 70s I bought every Bloodrock 8-Track and claimed them as "My Band". Most of my friends liked Zepplin and Cooper, but none ever took to Bloodrock lilke I did. When the cassette revolution took over I couldn't replace my BR collection, because the only BR works that initially came out on cassette was the album with D.O.A. So, I essentially went a decade without listening to Bloodrock. But, Hallelujah, one by one each of their albums have been released on CD. Though I am now a father of two and direct a large company with a multi-million dollar budget, I still pop BR in the CD player at home, in the car and at work. In essence, I have been a Bloodrock fan since I first heard them in 1970 and am just as big a fan, 32 years later. (Ralph Markowicz)
You think Bloodrock was great? They sure were but Spookytooth was better. Albums like "The Last Puff", "Tobacco Road", "You Broke my Heart So I Busted Your Jaw" are great and that isn't even their best. (Jill Pletcher)
i agree that bloodrock is THE best! check out what i just found! a NEW bio about our texas band! this writer is going to release on sept 11, 2003! *what timing!* you can see what i found at: the graphix are really good, too. i can't wait to read this! steve hill is THE ultimate keyboard player! (Misha ben-David)
I'm a music reviewer myself, and have been a huge Bloodrock fan since 1970. I just found your sight and I laughed so hard that I'm blowing 7up out my nose and my face is drenched in tears. Keep up the awesome work !
THE band that caused me to pick up a guitar. Knew them personally-sort of. All their autographs. Jammed w/their Hammond B3 keyboardist. Know every lyric,riff, have all their published work. NO.1 fan. mj guitarzan.
I've been spinning Bloodrock since they appeared. Definitly not your ordinary Texas band.

It's a damn shame they were'nt recognized for there talent. It sucks!
Bloodrock's official biographer here. Good for you for bringing attention to this interesting band, there's a lot in your comments I really enjoy. As you might expect, I'm a fierce loyalist when it comes to all of Bloodrock's phases - and there are many - but I'd never try to talk anyone into liking 'prog' when they obviously don't, such an endeavor would be way too 'prog' (head over heart). That said, I would like to clear up a popular misconception about the band which suggests Warren Ham (or, more appropriately, Stevie Hill, who was the leader of the second phase Bloodrock) 'ruined' the 'direction' the band took after Rutledge (with Nitzinger's songwriting) and Pickens departed.

Rutledge, the first to go, left the band specifically to record an album of acoustic Nitzinger ballads which were orchestrated by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; work began on this project while Bloodrock was still the arranger of these sessions, both dudes were tired of screaming onstage everynight, they wanted to create some art. And so they did. Capitol rejected the effort - an amazing album that, in my estimation, exceeds Dylan's Blood On the Tracks for emotional intensity and maturity - because it strayed too far from the Bloodrock formula. The album has languished - criminally - in Capitol's vaults ever since.

Pickens, for his part, today claims warning his bandmates against 'mellowing out' Bloodrock's sound. Nevertheless, the lead-off 45 to his 1973 debut solo effort, The Lee Pickens Group, 'Hold On,' was a quintessentially sensitive romance tune rich with keyboards. (Luckily for the fans, the rest of that LP rocked out quite nicely - albeit with some jazzy guitar chops rarely heard on the early Bloodrock LPs.)

Bloodrock, who were discovered by the infamous Terry Knight, almost immediately rebelled against the ghoulish imagery and tirelessly metal sound imposed upon them by producer and label. (It was Knight who insisted Rutledge sing the chorus of Nitzinger's ballad 'Sable And Pearl' in a 'heavy metal' manner.) Recall the follow-up 45 to 'DOA', it was Bloodrock's cover of the Soft Machine ballad 'A Certain Kind.' There are other indications of 'prog' proclivities through their third album - their last with Knight.

Another important component of this story is the (still unreleased) album recorded by the Ham Brothers (under the name Israfel) in 1971. There is their original version of 'It's A Sad World' which Bloodrock soon after performed (with Rutledge on vocals, interestingly enough) on the USA album. This version, plus many other tracks from those sessions, easily show the Ham Brothers comfortable with a heavy guitar sound. Unfortunately this great music, like the Rutledge album of Nitzinger ballads, remains out of the general public's listening; both albums deepen the Bloodrock story considerably. Indeed, the Israfel material provides the missing link from the USA and Passage.

In short, everyone associated with Bloodrock found the heavy sound too limiting. And it was. These dudes could play everything and anything - and, until their stubborn arena audiences and the corporate music industry blocked them, they did. Whatever you, or anyone else, might say about prog in general, Bloodrock, in their final incarnation, never relied on the pomp of acts like ELP or Yes; they always kept the music tight, honest and eccentric - just like all Bloodrock productions. When Mark Prindle says 'Fantasy,' with it's Brubeckian 7/8 waltzing meter, is a 'great tune' (and it is), I'm stunned to discover his rejection of all their other equally fascinating stuff from that period.

Personally, I dig ALL of it - from the proto-grunge of 'Gotta Find A Way' to the neo-exotica of 'Jungle.' (Dean Marshall)
I saw the Lee Pickens group years ago at a nightclub here in Fort Worth TX area after he left Bloodrock & he tore the place up. He was wailing on the guitar jumping all over the place, long hair flowing under a funky wide brimmed hat(ah,the 70’s). He had one of the top albums(remember vinyl) in the nation then disappeared. About 8 years later(1981’ish) I’m with a friend & fellow garage band member talking to two guys from a local Ft worth band called “Easter Island” at a club about where to get gigs. I kept looking at the Guitar player & he looked familiar. One of his eyes was looking a slightly different direction than the other & I knew I’d seen him before. We had watched these guys play many times before & it was obvious the lead guitar player knew his instrument very well but seemed to be holding back & when we’d talk to them he was very quiet & reserved. It finally hit me & I asked him “aren’t you Lee Pickens & he said yes. I told him I saw him & the group several years earlier & he said “Yeah, I had it all, money, women, a hit record, & I coked it all away in nothing flat”. I could hardly believe this soft spoken mild mannered short haired guy was the same animated wild man I’d seen perform years before but I guess recovering from addiction can make you more reserved. (Randy Blenden)
Thanks to Barry Stoller's above comments, to helping clear up some of the misconception concerning Bloodrock's change of direction after the permanent addition of Warren Ham to the band. I'm in my 50's now and have followed the band since their first album. Never got the chance to see them until 1972, when the new incarnation was touring. I didn't know of the band member changes made at the time, so was very surprised. But after hearing their set, I was also very impressed!

I was a hard rocker since my early days, but also began enjoying a lot of more progressive music as the years went by. I was able to regain some of they're later music after the release of Triptych. Now I have a collection of early and later stuff and like it all equally and as much as I did back then. To those who think that the last two albums should't be called Bloodrock, I think you're wrong. Many bands have survived member changes and gone on to create a new sound and good music! Yes, Bloodrock's change was dramatic, but I think one thing the later music had in common with the earlier stuff was that they were able to create a sound all their own, that was hard to categorize. No they weren't a southern rock band, and no they weren't Texas rednecks. What they were to the end was a group of very talented musicians with a lot of enerey and creativity.
Great to read all this stuff about Bloodrock. Its been so long since I've heard one of their tunes, I'd forgotten about them. Played in a gargage band in West Texas back in the 70's that used to do several BR tunes such as Cheater, DOA, Children's Heritage and Fancy Space Odyssey. While DOA may have not been that big of a hit nationally, it was very big in Texas, despite its eerieness. As with other folks, it also scared me the first time I heard it being about a plane crash and all. Wasn't that much fun to play either, at least not on bass, so it didn't stay on our playlist as long as the others (Children's Heritage was the best one to jam on). Never saw them live since most acts tended to bypass a podunk town like Odessa (Doobies and Foghat loved it though), but did see a spinoff band, Nitzinger (first time I ever saw a female rock drummer), who put on a good show. Like most folks, I wasn't particularly impressed with 'Passage' the first time I heard it, but several tunes did grow on me over time (had lots of time to listen to this 8-track over and over driving the long, lonely roads of W Texas). Will have to jam on some of their tunes when I get home tonight to see if I can remember any of them. Between my brother and I, we had all of their releases (except for Whirlwind), but they were mostly 8-tracks that have been lost through the sands of time. Luckily, I still have a copy of BR 2 on vinyl. Will have to give it a listen soon.................
On march 12th ,2005, Bloodrock( the real Bloodrock with Rutledge,Pickens,Hill,Taylor & Grundy,w/Taylor's son on drums) did a reunion show in their hometown of Fort Worth and unless you were there, it's impossible to describe how good this band sounds after not playing together for 30+ years! Rutledge still has the best rock voice ever, Pickens still has the cleanest sound of any guitarist and still scorches the frets like no other and Hill is just an unbelievable keyboard player ! I heard D.O.A. the first time they ever did it in front of an audience and now I saw them the last time they did it , what privilege it is to make that statement. Thanks Bloodrock, for giving us so many years of real rock & roll music!
A great album and a great band and Yes, they where from Texas. I grew up in the sixty’s and seventy’s listening to all the groups you mentioned. And NO! it wasn’t because they sucked. You have to remember that your opinions are founded around years of musical input but these guys where on the cutting edge. There resources where limited. I am a 35 year professional Musician and I can tell you that The guitar player for Bloodrock had one of THE GREATEST tones I’ve ever heard. Any group that came out of an era where albums where not produced on hard disk recorders, marketed on the internet, and over (Lee)
OK...I read his reviews of big question old is this guy and was he even alive when Bloodrock were around????? Well.....I am guessing he is some young guy who really has NO CLUE as to what Bloodrock were about.

I was around and still have excellent copies of every well as every cd that has been issued to date.....

I was at the CHICAGO AUDITORIUM in 1972 to hear them.....and I was at the CHICAGO AMPHITHEATER when they recorded the live album......I also caught them in Dallas/Ft Worth a few times during the early 70s when I lived in Louisiana.

Now...I probably wont impress you with my music critic wannabe jargon......but then, I dont care to....all I want to say is....these guys could rock and they wrote excellent songs.....they were as good live as they were in the studio. far as ....PASSAGE and WHIRLWIND TONGUES....and the UNSPOKEN WORDS albums......of course they didn't sound like the BLOODROCK you'd remember....why do you think they call it "progressive rock"???? It changes...otherwise, it would get redundant.....There is some very fine playing on those 3 albums.....and the recording technology is great....I have no clue what this guys problem is.....but he needs to expand his horizons and open his mind....(as was the catch on #4.....another amazing adventure to open your mind...)

As for me...I was estatic when they released these on cd....sure took long enough.....and was well worth the wait.

Thanx for your time..... (Coni)
I have been a Huge fan of Bloodrock since I bought their first album, which was 3.29 back then....I have all of them except the ones after Passage. Frankly, I didn't know there were any more records made until I caught this site. I will have to try to get copies. I have been singing for about 16 years, and when I first started, we did a bunch of Bloodrock songs, like "Koolaid Kids" and "DOA."..I still listen to them to this day, and the material has stood the test of time. Probably my most favorite song is "Fantastic Piece of Architeture". I had always felt that song described Howard Roark, the character from Ayn Rand's most incredible novel, "The Fountainhead". Bands like these guys, Captain Beyond, Uriah Heep, and Deep Purple still hold their own and have been consistantly appealing least to me. They have influenced my writing and performance style.
I'm old enough to have seen these guys Live as well. We saw Bloodrock in a parking lot at the Sanger-Harris store in Oak Cliff. It was crazy but it was good stuff. Still is. I just picked up a couple of their CD's that were actually pressed in Russia. Great memories and great tunes.

Someone e-mail me and let me know what these guys are doing today.
Only had one album. My boyfriend at the time use to play this one song for me and I forgot the name of it. It was kind of a love song. Do you know the name of it. Thanks. (Danny)
HELLO IM HERE TO SAY THAT BLOODROCK LIVES !! lee pickens is one of the best guitarists that ever crossed the rio grande ! i seen the bloodrock -grand funk railroad concert in tulsa,oklahoma in 1970 !!! my first concert anyone who has anything bad to say about them suck and dont know anything about music at all ! the best stuff they did was never played on the radio,its was played everywhere else ! BLOODROCK FAN FOREVER !!!

have a nice day,people !
i like blood rock ive got 2 records of them fare ment but i like to find them on cd

Oats Willie, Biloxi, MS
I was just noodling on my puter and thought of Bloodrock for some reason. It is so strange that I can't remember something 2 seconds ago but I can remember lyrics from Bloorock's and other great groups of the early -mid 70's..I hate gettin' old.. I wish I was back at a Captain Beyond or Bloodrock concert..waaaaa.. Just passin' thru (Wayne Sales)
Thank goodness I had an older brother that turned me onto the best of music. He introduced me to bands such as Captain Beyond, Trapeze, Black Oak Arkansas, Savoy Brown, Wishbone Ash, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Nitzinger and yes, Bloodrock. I can say that Castle of My Thoughts was always a favorite of mine. And, yes, I got to see them live, but apparently after most of the guys had left the band. It was in Wichita Falls, TX but I don't recall the year. They absolutely sucked, but mainly because they didn't play any of the songs from the first 2 or 3 albums. Most of the crowd continuously chanted, "DOA, we want DOA". I, of course was yelling Castle of My Thoughts and the singer got front stage and said that this is not the old Bloodrock and they were moving in a new direction and wouldn't play any of the old stuff. The boos commenced.

Bloodrock was backed up that night by none other than the Lee Pickens Group. Lee and his guys were totally awesome...very tight. I had that 8track and it was a helluva tape. Practically wore it out.


Oh, and a previous writer compares the songwriting of Bloodrock to Roger Glover and Ian Gillian of Deep Purple. I love the band, but come on, get real.

Really enjoyed the site. Will be back. (Bloodrock fan)
I'm crazy about The Bloodrock they've really kick ass back in 70"s I wish they make another album or Make comeback just like other groups Like grand funk,as well the rest.Bloodrock still rockin and kick ass
I have always loved Bloodrock. I had their 8 track and played it full blast in my 68 Ford XL with 60's and glass packs. I hated it when they changed their sound. Bloodrock Rocks! (LindsayShane)
hey...I have known all the old original band for well..all these years. I can't say what I'd like due to the jealousy of the(current) girlfriend of Stevie Hill..the keyboard player. She will pitch a fit if I even post on his site..writes me nasty emails and he calls and apologizes..enuff there..if you want the latest news, releases on new and old material..go to and everything should be there, plus pix...I will always adore them..and have received some wonderful reviews written on Stevie that he's sent me throughout these past 30 odd years. Stevie (who did the " nine-minute "Fantastic Piece Of Architecture" has about the eeriest goddamned piano line I've heard since Elton John's "Nikita". ) was performed by Stevie of the best keyboard players in the world...I still have some of his clothes that well..I just had..and tons of other "stuff" I'd never part with. But Check out his site..(it changes all the time) hubby is in production/music in LA and would have been interested in helping Stevie but I guess he doesn't want to be bitten by the current g/f...

warm thought to all..and yes....the Filmore was a blast, time with Carmine..all of it was fun..but it is my past. Period! One more the words to "Song For A Brother"...written by Stevie long favorite and he proved himself a magical songwriter with those words..they fit today's world as easily as they did that era. "Millions", another but different type...shows another side to his ability as a writer..Far newer and unrecorded on a major label...beautiful nonetheless....all these things are on the site I listed..Thanx to all of you for keeping them alive..I agree, they never got the credit they deserved...I will always love them all and recall their antics fondly.
Blown away! I was (for some strange reason) doing a Google search of Warren Ham, because as a Kansas fan forever, I remember him touring with Kansas in 1982 (the first concert video they ever made) and Ham was a back up musician playing about every instrument ever invented. Then, as another poster said here, Kerry Livgren kept him around for his later - post Kansas band AD.

So THANKS for the history of this guy Ham. I never knew his background.

He doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would be in a band called "Bloodrock." Livgren's AD band and later projects (even into the 2000's) are Christian, and Kerry (whom I met a couple years ago and is a really nice guy) keeps bring Ham in to sing songs here and there, which tells me that Ham, like Livgren, must have converted to Christianity in the early 80's.

Now I'm interested in this band Bloodrock. Thanks for the info again!
I saw Bloodrock open for Grandfunk in 03/71 at pirates world in Dania, fl and they literally blew grandfunk off the stage. Their sound was enormous and their stage show captivating. Early live with Jim Rutledge was an awesome band. Later I saw them 1974 and all the power was gone and they were very flat.
I really enjoyed reading all of the comments about BLOODROCK. I knew them when they were the Naturals, then Crowd + One, and ultimately evolved into BLOODROCK. I still keep intouch with Ed Grundy from time to time. They were and are a great bunch of musicians and I hope they have another concert so I can hear them again. It has been a long time since they played for parties on my driveway and at the old Fort Worth teen club, The Box. Dean Parks was still the lead guitar player in those days. Do you remember Mary Ann Regrets? It was another quirky song that grew on you. (Rick Sharp)
Hey man,

I was there when the music came out…yeah I’m old…great band! I know some of the guys…Stevie Hill is a dear friend Lee and Ed are killer musicians…Rutledge is a prick…he added the least to the band and tries to take all the credit…fuck Jim Rutledge!!! Fuckin’ lead singers…what do you expect? If I see him on the street, you can bet I’ll kick his ass!!

Lucky in the morning is killer… and Sable and Pearls, I’m goin’ by old memories here…and Fancy Space Oddessy…they were one of a kind. Although they could have done it all with any lead singer…I used to do DOA with Steve.

Rutledge SUCKS! And not very well I might add!
I've been a blood rock fan for over35 years and still have the original vinyls and what I can get on cd's.I even made my own cd's..I didn't know this site existed. I about sh_ _ myself when I ran across it. I saw Bloodrock in "71 in Monticello Indiana, indiana beach and i've never forgot about them..Can you tell me anything about the guys? Are they still rockin' are all the originals still with us? Can you fill me in on the past 35 + years....Thanks so much!
In answer to your question about Bloodrock w/ Warren Ham live, as far as I know (which ain't much), Warren Ham actively REFUSED to play the classes (D.O.A, Whiskey Vengeance, etc.) live.

Wayne Klayman
Glad I found your site...I recently started listening to BR for the first time in many many years, and had forgotten how good they were. I saw them as the opener for Sabbath's first major US tour in 1971, here in Minneapolis, and again at the ill-fated Celebration of Life rock festival in McRae, Louisiana also in the summer of '71...they were among the few scheduled acts that showed up as the festival moved locations 3 times on the day it was to start! The festival was disastrous but BR was great! They were so ahead of their time, ala Wishbone Ash, Captain Beyond, Sir Lord Baltimore and others...their "underground" persona was their big appeal. But they were very talented - the somewhat weak vocals aside. Hearing them today sounds even more incredible. Funny, but DOA is among my least favorites. Breach Of Lease and Gotta Find Away are jaw droppers. Thanks for keeping their memory alive! Would have killed to have seen their reunion show...

Add your thoughts?

Hey! If you want to buy Bloodrock CDs, go here - BUY BLOODROCK CDS. Thanks!

Back to Mark Prindle's Blood and Rock Reviews