Legendary American-based English rock band Foghat, known for hits like “Slow Ride,” “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and “Fool for the City,” is 51 years old and still rocking, still touring.
The band is scheduled to play a show on April 1 at the Canyon Club in Valencia. Founding band member and drummer Roger Earl, who’s 75 years old now, said music to him is the food of life.
“Maybe if everybody played sports, there’d be no more war, and if they played music, nobody’s unhappy,” Earl said in an interview with The Signal. “Maybe it depends on the music.”
Earl, who grew up in London, lived in a house filled with music. His father played piano and everyone played the radio. Using the family tape player, Earl would record music coming from the radio and TV so he could listen to it again and again. He loved blues and jazz music, but he remembers when his dad brought home the Jerry Lee Lewis 1957 rock n’ roll single, “Great Balls of Fire,” eager to share the unique piano sound with the family.
“A couple of months later, my father took me to see Jerry Lee Lewis,” Earl said. “And that was it. My mother said it was never the same after that.”
The family loved to play music in the house, loudly.
“To have a party in the house, somebody’s birthday, somebody was thinking of having a birthday — there was always a celebration of some kind, and the radio was always on,” Earl said. “The house was a semi-detached one in South London, and so it was a little difficult making noise. We had to warn the neighbors if we were going to set up in the living room and play, which we did.”
Earl said his older brother learned to play piano like their father. The drummer said he can play a little bit of piano himself, but chose the drums because they’re louder. But it was early on that Earl had dreams of coming to America. To him, America is where music comes from. Blues, jazz, rock n’ roll, country and western and gospel come from here, he said, and he loved it all. And while Earl helped form Foghat in London, they soon after relocated to the U.S. Earl still lives in Long Island, New York.
“This is the land of music,” he said. “The whole world draws on the music that comes from this land. And that’s because you’ve got all these wonderful people here and this conglomeration of music from around the world. That’s what’s made this country great.”
Over the years, Foghat, which plays a mixture of blues, hard rock and boogie — they’re known as the kings of boogie rock — has made more than 20 records. Four of those albums went gold and two went platinum. The band has consisted of a variety of members over the years, and they’ve lost a few, including original lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Dave Peverett and guitarist Rod Price. But the band continues to do what it does, and that’s make music, play music and have fun.
“I was talking with someone one time, and he said, ‘Playing music with other musicians is like having a conversation,’” Earl said. “Sometimes it’s shouting, sometimes it’s something else. But I thought that was a great description of what musicians do. You have a conversation with each other.”
And that’s what playing music is all about to Earl, which he said he’ll keep doing until he can’t do it anymore. It still drives him. And he loves touring. He said he still gets chills when he goes on stage, whether it’s in front of 500 people or 10,000.
As part of a tour of the country, including California venues in Agoura Hills and Montclair, fans can expect to hear Foghat favorites and some of the band’s more bluesy numbers on Friday at The Canyon.
“A good time will be had by one and all,” Earl said. “We’re going to have a good time, anyway.”
Foghat goes on at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 1, at the Canyon Club at Westfield Valencia Town Center, 24201 Valencia Blvd. in Valencia. Doors open at 6. The opening set by Guilty Pleasures starts at 7. For tickets go to wheremusicmeetsthesoul.com and for more about Foghat, go to Foghat.com.