Vinegar Joe (A-Z Rock – part #64)

Vinegar Joe were a British R&B band which, although only together between 1971 and 1974, was notable for launching the solo careers of Elkie Brooks and Robert Palmer

Formed from the remains of ‘Dada’, a 12-piece Stax influenced jazz-rock fusion band, Vinegar Joe was formed in 1971 with Elkie and Robert sharing joint lead vocals, Pete Gage on guitars, Dave Thompson on keys and Steve York on bass. The band had no drummer at first but used the likes of Conrad Isidore and Rob Tait up until the release of their debut self-titled album in April 1972.

A second album – ‘Rock n roll gypsies’ – followed later in 1972 when drummer Pete Gavin joined for the start of a US tour. This gave rise to what would be the band’s final album – ‘Six Star General’ – released in 1973. The band split in the spring of the following year.

Subsequently, Elkie Brooks and Robert Palmer enjoyed hugely successful solo careers and Pete Gage became a record producer. By April 2012, Brooks had released more albums that had reached the top 75 of the UK album charts than any other British female artist. Sadly, Robert Palmer passed away in September 2003 at the age of 54.

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