Sunday, 17 May 2015
Don't Knock My Boogie/Got To Get Back T' Nellie
Although little remembered today, Fatty Lumpkin were (according to Ian McFarlane) a local institution in Perth in the early 1970s and the various lineups included some very notable musicians. Like several bands of the era (e.g. Galadriel) the group took its name from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, in this case his renowned fantasy novel The Hobbit (Fatty was Tom Bombadil's pony).
The original line-up was John Worrall, Roy Daniels, the great Lindsay Wells (ex-Healing Force) and Tom Watts. Worrall had been the original lead singer of noted Perth band Bakery and had performed on their two Singles and their debut LP, Rock Mass For Love LP. Worrall quit Bakery shortly after the LP was released in August 1971, joining Ssarb for several months before forming Fatty Lumpkin in 1972.
Typically, the group went through numerous lineup changes, but there is little extant information about tenures, although Joyson states that lead guitarist John Meyer joined sometime between their first and second Singles. Later members included other Bakery alumni -- Rex Bullen (a member of pioneering Canberra band The Bitter Lemons with Paul Lyneham), Bakery, Natural Gas), Phil Pruiti (guitar), John Meyer (guitar), Jon Rider (bass, vocals), David Little (drums), Bob Fortesque (bass), Warren Ward (bass) and Al Kash (drums). Fortesque and Kash will be known to OzRock aficionados as the rhythm section in the mid-1970 lineup of John Robinson's Blackfeather, the version of the group that recorded their acclaimed debut LP At The Mountains Of Madness. Warren Ward had been an early member of country-rock pioneers The Flying Circus and also played in a post-Robinson Blackfeather lineup. Almost all of the members of Fatty Lumpkin also played in Perth band Ssarb at various times.
Fatty Lumpkin issued four singles over their four-year career; the first two were issued on Martin Clarke's Clarion label, the latter two were on Festival. The band split at the end of 1976. Ian McFarlane describes the singles as balancing "jazzy hard rock with lofty, flute-led progressive ballads (somewhere between Jethro Tull and Focus) replete with quasi-Santanaesque lead guitar from Meyer". Joyson is more specific, describing their debut single as comprising "two rough and rather frantic boogie numbers". He notes that the A-side of the second single ("Millionaire") was in a similar style, but that the sharply contrasting B-side was "a beautiful seven minute flute-dominated ballad with some lovely mellow guitar from Meyer.