Rock Flashback: Toe Fat
When kids dream of being in a rock band, the dream always includes a cool name. Cool is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but cool is the goal regardless. But some band names make you wonder, and here’s an example: Why would anybody want to be in a band called [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Toe Fat[/lastfm]?
Toe Fat’s front man was Cliff Bennett, who’d been a big star in the UK during the 1960s. He’d met the Beatles in Hamburg; [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers[/lastfm] opened for them on their last European tour in 1966. That same year, they scored a hit version of “Got to Get You Into My Life.” (That edition of Bennett’s band featured [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Nicky Hopkins[/lastfm] on keyboards, later to play with the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Rolling Stones[/lastfm].)
In 1969, Bennett formed Toe Fat with keyboard player [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ken Hensley[/lastfm], drummer Lee Kerslake, and bassist John Glascock. The band recorded Toe Fat with its original lineup; a second one was cut after Hensley and Kerslake left for [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Uriah Heep[/lastfm]; after the second album, Glascock joined [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jethro Tull[/lastfm]. Toe Fat II featured an uncredited appearance by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Peter Green[/lastfm] of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Fleetwood Mac[/lastfm].
But it’s not the music for which Toe Fat’s albums are most notorious — it’s the covers. Allmusic.com calls the cover of Toe Fat II “a battle scene, pitting some species of alien lard against assorted roast chicken parts and a helpless bunch of grapes.” Get a look at it below, and listen to “A New Way,” featuring Green on guitar. Fear not: the song, which resembles Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross,” is much better than the album cover.
A track that’s a little more representative of Toe Fat’s sound is “Nobody,” from their first album (which has another dreadful cover).