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Woody's Truck Stop

Woody's Truck Stop came together in Philadelphia, in late May 1966. As young teens, drummer Bob Radeloff and guitarist Alan Miller had been active in a folk group that played in the local area.

After high school, Miller began attending classes at the Philadelphia College of Art, while Radeloff continued teaching guitar classes. Miller and Radeloff soon were adding drummer Artie Heller and bassist Carson Van Osten (both new college classmates of Miller's) to form a group of their own, heavily inspired by electric blues acts like the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the Blues Project, as well as Chess blues artists and British blues-rock groups like the Yardbirds. They got their name from the motorcycle repair shop below where the band rehearsed. Various other members came and went, including Bob's brother, keyboardist Ken Radeloff. During that summer of '66, after opening for the Shadows of Knight and the Byrds, Heller was replaced, first by Tim Moore, from DC & the Senators, and then, by drummer Joe DiCarlo. One day DiCarlo brought his friend --

Todd Rundgren -- to rehearsal, and after seeing Rundgren play guitar, Bob Radeloff convinced Miller that having twin stereo lead guitarists -- like Paul Butterfield's band -- would be a good thing. Rundgren joined and they continued playing gigs, mostly at low-key coffeehouses like The Second of Autumn and The Second Fret. They later relocated to the Boston area. Miller and Rundgren began arguing about the band's direction during this time. Miller wanted the band to remain more blues-oriented, while Rundgren wanted them to venture off in a more psychedelic-rock direction. On May 7, 1967, the band found themselves playing with the Blues Project at the Town Hall. After the audience pelted them onstage with pies, Rundgren decided to split and concentrate on his own music; he was replaced by rhythm guitarist Greg Radcliffe. Woody's Truck Stop continued on without

him, and in February of 1968, the band landed on a bill with Rundgren's newly-formed band, the Nazz, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Rundgren's new band also featured bassist Van Osten, who had quit Woody's Truck Stop to concentrate on college. His replacement was bassist Ron Bogeon. Woody's Truck Stop, meanwhile, recorded their first album, the self-titled Woody's Truck Stop, at Regent Sound in New York City. It was released in 1969 on Mercury's Smash label. The album failed to bring them success, and soon after its release, the band broke up. Incidentally, a few of Rundgren's early demos with Woody's Truck Stop from late 1966 and early 1967-- including "Why Is It Me", and another an early Nazztrack, "The Lemming Song" -- have been collected on various Rundgren compilations, including a 2CD Nazz set released in 2002 on the Japanese Airmail Recordings label. The U.S.-based Distortions/Philly Archives also plan to reissue the

Woody's Truck Stop CD. ~ Bryan Thomas, Rovi

Albums
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