Monday, December 23, 2019

Hard Knox – Backstreet Life - Obscure US Hard Rock (1977)

Hard Knox – Backstreet Life/Midnight Celebration – Sunspot Records SSP2001 (US 1977)

Here is an interesting one I recently picked up. It’s what is called a “Google 0”, meaning no information can easily be found on the Web...

Anyhow, earlier in the year a digger found 4 copies of this single in a store in Southern California, being a Crunching Killer obscurity all 4 copies were quickly snapped up by the usual target audience namely a gaggle of  US, UK and Swedish collectors with an interest in all things Bonehead…and me.

Due to it being found in California, you would expect it being a local band, however one red herring is that the bag it comes with might be from a pressing plant in Texas…I am sure the credits on the label reveal more clues so someone is bound to come up with the relevant information at some point.
What of the music? Backstreet Life is Hard and Heavy without slumping into an indigestible dirge, it is further enlivened by a surprising near psychedelic break that really lifts proceedings. The B side is more snarly in approach coming across like a Proto Punk ZZ Top attempting to twin Alice Cooper with The Stones…

So here it is; a mysterious release by a band no one knows delivering two fine slabs of chunky meaty morsels that deserve wider recognition. Up to you now

Hear a full version of Backstreet Life

Hear a full version of Midnight Celebration


jhendrix110 said...

A-side writers seem to be Richard "Dick" Wyzanski and Bill Armstrong, who seem to have run a Jeff Beck fansite.

Wyzanski died a few years ago -

McKay2120 said...

Yes, Jhendrix110, you are correct. My name is Bill McKay, the drummer for Hard Knox. I'm forwarding this information to Bill Armstrong.
I'm surprised to see our record in stores in California. A collector from Cambridge, Mass. recently contacted Bill Armstrong saying a collector friend found a copy of the 45 at a shop in NH, and wondered if Bill knew where he could get a copy or two. We used to hand them out at all the gigs we played back in the day. Now that I think of it, I still have several copies stashed away in my closet.
Hope this information helps connect some dots.

Robin Wills said...

Hi Bill thanks for the info. So where was the band from? Also, I could easily sell some copies on your behalf if you are interested...You are welcome to contact me, my email is on my profile page

Unknown said...

The band was from Marblehead, MA.

Anonymous said...

The band is from Marblehead, Massachusetts. A lot of good musicians, Bill Armstrong and Ed Warnock still playing, I don’t know about Bill McKay. Dick sadly passed away a few years ago.