Bit of an unusual one, this, as the article wasn't originally published in The Ptolemaic Terrascope.


However - I did originally research and write it for the Terrascope, but as publication of the first issue, in 1989,was delayed I decided instead to submit it to Bucketfull of Brains magazine (which I'd been writing for for the previous six or seven years). The feature duly appeared in Bucketfulls 29 and 30 in 1989.


Scouting around the internet in search of something or another recently I realised though that there was actually very little information out there about Hookfoot, and what there was was largely incorrect (for the record, former Kiss member Bob Kulick, an American, wasn't a pivotal member of the later line-ups of Hookfoot - he actually appears only on one song, 'Sweet Sweet Funky Music', playing second lead guitar; and there are no Hookfoot recordings featuring former Cochise member Mick Grabham)


Part of the problem is that Hookfoot were, as you'll read, very much a band of "musician's musicians". All of them were in great demand as session players, both individually and collectively. As well as backing Elton John on many of his early albums they also perform en masse on Mick Grabham's 'Mick The Lad' solo LP (possibly it was this which led to the misinformation that Grabham was himself a Hookfoot member) and on Steve Swindell's solo LP from 1974 (the astute amongst you may recognise Swindell's name as a former Hawkwind member). The band also backed Harry Pitch and Zack Laurence on the chart-topping one-hit wonder 'Groovin' With Mr Bloe'; and although his voice is perhaps an acquired taste, Long John Baldry's 'It Ain't Easy' LP from 1971 also featured bassist Dave Glover, drummer Roger Pope and guitarist Caleb Quaye throughout, some of the songs sounding distinctly Hoofoot-esque.


Another part of the problem was, quite frankly, their music. Great songwriters, great musicians, but their tastes strayed too far towards bluesy country funk for the heads to ever fully embrace them. A bit like Steve Stills, in some ways: you kinda dug the way he did it, but not always what he actually did. Thing is though, Caleb Quaye was undeniably one of THE finest guitar players the UK has ever produced - not for nothing did Eric Clapton surprise David Letterman a lttle while ago by informing him "I'm not the world's best guitar player. Caleb Quaye is." - and I can't help wondering, if Hookfoot had played hard rock and psychedelia, whether their albums might not today be held in the same kind of reverential, big-dollar high esteem by collectors as, say, Little Free Rock, Ashkan, Aunt Mary, Blonde on Blonde and especially I suppose Black Cat Bones (who likewise featured a stellar guitar player in the shape of a young Paul Kossoff). I still challenge any fan of the above not to go into a toe-curling trance of guitar-fuelled ecstasy on hearing Hookfoot blister through 'Nature Changes' on the 'Live in Memphis' album though, or to goggle in awe at the pyrotechnics on display on all twelve minutes of 'Shoe Shine Boy', one of the otherwise unreleased songs on the 'Headlines' compilation album.


As it is though, Hookfoot's albums are scarce, but not really worth that much when it comes down to it. I'd definitely implore you to move Heaven and Earth to track down at the very least 'Communication' and 'Good Times a' Comin', my own two personal favourites; but don't sweat too much if you never find the others. I'm not even sure they've even been released on CD - I'd certainly be very surprised if 'Headlines' has, and I don't think I've ever seen a copy of 'Roarin'' on sale legitimately either. Live in Memphis 1972', being a more recent release (and one which I should confess up front I had a hand in putting out), is probably a bit easier to track down.


So anyway, I thought it was about time I gathered together all my Hookfoot ephemera in one place and published it here on Terrascope Online. By all means get in touch if you have any questions or anything to add to it. Just don't bother hurling abuse. I know they weren't the greatest band in the world. I just happened to love them very, very much indeed...


Phil McMullen

Editor, Terrascope Online - April 2010

contact: editor (at)


(above) Caleb Quaye's 'Baby Your Phasing is Bad' 45, much beloved of psych compilations



'The Opener' 45 (non-album B-side of 'Sweet Sweet Funky Music').




'Heart to Heart Talking' / 'Red Man' 45, with 'Freedom (Nobody's Shoes) on the flip. All cuts otherwise unreleased.


An earlier 45, 'Hookfoot' / 'The Way of The Musician' on Page One, has come to light since I originally compiled this in 1998. I have a feeling it was released only in France.


The Memphis 1972 live CD (below) was released after this discog was published.

Promo photo of The Soul Agents, with Roger Pope on the right


1st edition 'Communication' cover with title sticker on the front. These were later omitted.



U.S cover of 'Roaring' (their 4th album, hence the number 4). Presumably the American Civil War scenes found on the UK cover were judged to be inappropriate.



(above) Debut 45 on Page One Records


(Left) First edition UK cover of the 'Roaring' LP. Copies like this are extremely scarce - I've only ever seen a couple in a lifetime of digging around in second-hand record shops.


Front cover of 'Headlines', the double LP compilation put out by DJM a year or so after Hookfoot's demise. Interestingly, it includes 4 non-album cuts, but no live material and none of the band's singles!


Liner notes for the ultra-rare 1984 Caleb Quaye solo album 'From Darkness Unto Light'

Cutting from Ptolemaic Terrascope magazine

Cover for the Live in Memphis 1972 album, released by SPM Records in Germany in 1990. Fred Gandy had got hold of and kept the master tapes at his house, and after I interviewed him (in 1989, see above) I shopped around a few labels I knew might be interested in doing something with them.


My original liner notes for the release are shown below, though I claim no credit for the title or indeed the cover (the live photo is taken from the inside sleeve of the 'Headlines' double compilation album)



Review of Japanese reissues from Terrascope, September 2010:



(CDs from

The Japanese reissues of revered 1970s rockers Hookfoot’s four albums, plus the previously unreleased collection of early recordings ‘A Piece of Pye’, are not exactly easy to get hold of – but oh, my goodness do they ever repay your investment of time, money and effort with rich rewards.

The band’s four albums, listed above in chronological order beginning with their 1971 self-titled debut and closing with their hard to find 1973 swansong collection ‘Roaring’, are all padded out with additional recordings that date from around the same time as each release. The die-hard fan (and there must be another one out there somewhere!) will probably have all the extra songs as they each appeared in 1975 on the posthumous Hookfoot double LP compilation ‘Headlines’: a cover of Stephen Stills’ ‘Bluebird’ on ‘Hookfoot’, the Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’ on ‘Good Times a’ Comin’’, James Taylor’s ‘Fire & Rain’ on ‘Communication’ (for my money the band’s strongest album overall) and the Byrds’ ‘So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star’ on ‘Roaring’.

Other, earlier, songs from ‘Headlines’ also appear on the ‘A Piece of Pye’ collection: the bluesy filler ‘S.B.W.’ [Sonny Bow Williamson] and the guitar heroics tour-de-force jamthat is ‘Shoeshine Boy’ – oh, dear Lord how well I remember that one blowing my socks off when I first heard it as a teenager! The remaining material on ‘A Piece of Pye’ was completely new to me – early recordings by the sound of it, all of them credited to guitarist Caleb Quaye, and sadly none of them with the possible exception of ‘You Better Get On’, a showcase bluesy groover that sounds like it might’ve been the highlight of their live set at the time, up to the standard of the stunning ‘The Way of the Musician’ debut 45 released on Page One in France which unfortunately remains un-re-released to this day. It’s must be a contender for some future late 60s compilation, surely, just as Caleb Quaye's 'Baby Your Phasing is Bad' recorded immediately pre-Hookfoot is a something of a staple requirement.

There's a fair bit of other un-re-released still languishing on 'B' sides of various singles as well, including 'Heart to Heart Talking', 'Red Man', 'Freedom (Nobody's Shoes), 'Hookfoot' (the song the band became named after, apparently due to drummer Roger Pope's habit of hooking his wayward kit back towards him while playing) and 'The Opener' (original B-side of 'Sweet Sweet Funky Music' from Good Times a' Comin'). Plus, the live album that I must confess had a hand in releasing via the SPM label in Germany back in the early 1990s is also overdue for some reissue attention.

None of this detracts however from the superb quality of these reissues. The covers are exact, detailed reproductions of the originals in miniature, right down to - get this - the dimpled card stock used on original copies of the first two Hookfoot LPs. Even the title sticker on the 'Communication' album is an actual piece of paper pasted on top of the Rizla packet lettering, again as it was on the original - later reissues didn't have this, and as it was hand-done every one is in a slightly different place, or sometimes at a different angle. The 'Piece of Pye' album also includes some liner notes by Caleb Quaye himself, which is a really nice touch.

Seriously, if I had unlimited funds I'd seek to replace every CD in my collection with one of these Japanese paper sleeve reissues! I notice this is already Vol. 69 in the "British Legends" series so I've got some serious digging ahead of me it seems. More on the mighty Hookfoot meanwhile can be read in our feature on the band from a while back: Hookfoot (Phil McMullen)



And finally....


The Terrascope's Steve Pescott spotted this (left) in his local Portsmouth paper, 'The News', dated August 9th, 1995.


The photo caption reads "Roger Pope and Ian Duck are planning for ... Hookfoot to make a comeback in Southsea later this month"


Whether the gig actually happened I have no idea - presumably though it would have been without Caleb Quaye, which would be a bit like going to see the Bevis Frond playing without Nick Saloman....









Above: flyer advertsing 2010 Japanese reissue of all four Hookfoot albums plus a compilation of outtakes and early material entitled 'A Piece of Pye'