Bloodrock was a Fort Worth, Texas-based hard, Heavy metal and Psychedelic rock & roll band that had considerable success in the 1970s, and was one of the earliest of a number of significant blues influenced rock and heavy metal rock bands to emerge from the Fort Worth club and music scene during the early to mid 1970s and on into the new century.
Bloodrock initially formed in Ft. Worth, TX in 1963 under the name The Naturals. This first lineup featured Jim Rutledge (b. January 24, 1947) ? drums/vocals, Nick Taylor ? guitar/vocals, Ed Grundy(b. March 10, 1948) ? bass/vocals, and Dean Parks ? guitar. They released their first single in 1965 ?Hey Girl? b/w ?I Want You?(Rebel MME 1003). Shortly thereafter they changed their name to Crowd + 1 and released three more singles: ?Mary Ann Regrets? b/w "Whatcha Tryin? to Do to Me"(BOX 6604), "Don?t Hold Back" b/w "Try," and "Circles" b/w ?Most Peculiar Things.?
In 1967 Parks left Crowd +1 to become the musical director for the Sonny & Cher Show (the beginning of a long career as a session musician). He was replaced by Lee Pickens (b. 12-08-??) ? guitar. It was also at this time that Stevie Hill (b. Tulsa, OK) ? keyboards/vocals joined the group. They continued as Crowd + 1 until 1969 when they changed their name to Bloodrock. They also recorded their first album the Terry Knight produced Bloodrock (ST-435). The album peaked at 160 on the Billboard Pop Albums Chart in 1970.
In 1970 Rutledge moved from behind the drum set to take on lead vocal duties exclusively. Rick Cobb (b. James Richard Cobb III) took over the percussive duties and added his voice to the group as well. This lineup recorded their next four albums: Bloodrock 2 (ST-491), Bloodrock 3 (ST-765), Bloodrock USA (SMAS 645), and Bloodrock Live (SVBB-11038).
Bloodrock 2 and D.O.A.
Bloodrock 2 was their most successful album peaking at #21 on the Billboard Pop Album Chart in 1971 mostly on the strength of their somewhat morbid single "DOA" which reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on March 6, 1971. "DOA" also gave the band considerable regional exposure throughout the Southwest and West, particularly in Texas and Southern California. "DOA" was probably the band's most well known and well remembered single, partly because of its very chilling content. The song gives an extremely grisly first person account of the aftermath of a plane or car crash (debated to this day which one the song is about). The vocalist describes the bloody sheets he lies in with a missing arm and a dead girl lying next to him, as the ambulance attendant looks over him with little hope ("he says 'There's no chance for me'"....). This narrative is backed by a rather eerie and grave organ riff & background sounds of ambulance sirens, creating a decidedly bleak and unsettling atmosphere. The song ends with the ambulance siren being shut off, indicating that the patient has died and is Dead On Arrival. According to lead guitarist, Lee Pickens, "DOA" was based on the ill fated Wichita State University football team airplane crash of Oct. 2, 1970. "DOA" was very controversial in a number of markets due to its content, and while it was not banned outright in any markets, the controversy did help the sales and chart position of both the single and the album on which it appeared, Bloodrock 2.
In 1972 Lee Pickens left to form The Lee Pickens Group and Jim Rutlege retired from active music altogether. Rutlege was replaced by Warren Ham. the subsequent album Passages was the last time Bloodrock visited the charts it peaked at 104 on the Billboard Pop Albums Chart in 1972.
1973 brought another personnel change: Rick Cobb vacated the drums to be replaced by Randy Reader. This line up recorded two albums: Whirlwind Tongues (1973) and Bloodrock 'N' Roll (1975 SM-11417).
The end of the road for Bloodrock came in 1975. Randy Reader left the group and an album, Unspoken Words, remained unreleased until 2000, where it was included as part of the release Triptych (along with Passage and Whirlwind Tongues). Unspoken Words featured Bill Ham and Matt Betton.
2005 Reunion Concert
A reunion concert featuring five of the six original numbers (Jim Rutledge, Lee Pickens, Ed Grundy, Nick Taylor, *Chris Taylor (*in place of original drummer Rick Cobb III) was held on , 2005 in Ft. Worth, for the benefit of their keyboardist Stevie Hill.