Pop Culture Laughs With, Not At, Foghat

Pop Culture Laughs With, Not At, Foghat

At some point, sometime in the nineties, Foghat became a punch line.

It may have been Will Ferrell that used the band’s name as a representation of a weathered, old band that your crazy uncle from Wisconsin still worships. Aside from being the first “boogie-rock super group,” as no less than Stephen Colbert refers to them, there has always been an air of clever humor to the Foghat brand.

Just look at their album covers. I can remember my buddy Joe asking me to interpret the cover of 1973’s Rock and Roll album. “Stone bun?” I replied? Not quite. Joe. Same guy that a year or two later on a Pat Travers Band ticket run, broke out a hat emblazoned with a simple, bold, “FOG.” See what they did there?

foghat albums

Foghat has been around in one form or another since 1971. Core duo Lonesome Dave Peverett and Roger Earl, refugees from Brit-Blues outfit Savoy Brown, (along with Tony Stevens) hung out their own shingle and became FM stalwarts out of the gate.

Buoyed by singer/guitarist Lonesome Dave’s celebratory yearn of a howl, (imagine Steve Perry drinking whiskey instead of Perrier), and sent over the top by Rod Price’s off the reservation/on the money slide guitar, the band hit long and hard thru the seventies.

Eight Gold records, one Platinum, one Double Platinum (sorry, Gene). Line up changes followed, as they typically do, with the band eventually falling back to earth, and the club circuit. Somehow the train never stopped, even with the eventual death of both Peverett and Price.

In a bold move, Roger Earl kept Foghat alive after the bands recognizably unique voice and lead guitar had passed, and along with most time served (and most hips shaken) bassist Craig MacGregor, they’re still gettin’ it done. They’re Foghat. It’s what they do.

The big (Tight) Peverett/Price shoes where filled by the deferential yet fresh duo of singer/guitarist Charlie Huhn (Ted Nugent) and lead guitarist Bryan Bassett.

Bassett, who by the way, only happened to write one of the most well-known guitar licks of all time. Play that funky music, white boy?

foghat hat
The author’s son reluctantly donning the “FOG” hat.

Years turned, with the band remaining in pop culture via movies (Dazed And Confused), and the aforementioned comedy world. Kudos to Colbert for actually taking their punch line status and moving it in a whole new direction, suggesting Foghat records as perfect presents in a “Late Show Holiday Gift Guide.”

Turns out Roger Earl, now adding winemaker to his CV, caught wind of this, and sent the Colbert show a box of gifts. Included amongst the usual merch fare was some of that Foghat cellars wine, which Colbert and comedic actor/musician Fred Armisen enjoyed swirling and rating, all the while wearing those great “FOG” hats the band wisely reissued.

So, cheers to Foghat! Good on ‘em for not taking themselves too seriously, and taking advantage of the iconic gravitas kept alive by their court jester celebrity fans. Look for Foghat to grace your local casino, fair, bike festival or winery, and be sure to hit the merch booth on your way out. Getcha’ some of that Chateau Lafitte 59 Boogie to go!

Follow the author, David Peers, on Twitter at @SongIsKing and Facebook

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