John Lee Hooker and the Groundhogs
John Lee Hooker was a guest on the BBC2 music show The Beat Room in 1964. His band at the time, the Groundhogs, had only recently started playing the blues at the suggestion of their new guitarist, Tony McPhee, who had also renamed the group after one of Hooker’s songs.
They meet their hero in the second paragraph of the bio at Groundhogs HQ:
Tony and the band played all of the gigs on the blossoming blues circuit and then backed Hooker on the final week of his first British tour. John liked the band so much that he always asked for them to back him on British tours and preferred to travel with them in their Commer van. In an interview of the time he called them the ‘number one British blues band’.
Hooker and the Hogs’ studio recordings from this period have been issued under many different titles, but they first appeared in the US on the 1966 Verve Folkways album ...And Seven Nights. The song they are tearing up below, “I’m Leaving,” was not one of these, but a terrifying single Hooker cut for Vee-Jay in ‘63. (They also played “Boom Boom” on The Beat Room; there’s a kinda low-res clip of the whole appearance here.)
Paul Freestone’s biography of Tony (TS) McPhee, Eccentric Man, is available from the author.