Friday, 18 January 2008

Incredible Fog - When The Sun's Gone Down / Tommy Black

Incredible Fog - When The Sun's Gone Down / Tommy Black (Probe 464)

The band consisted of Jesse Gay (lead guitar/vocals) Mimi Gay (vocals), Jon Chase (drums/vocals), Jamie Fisher (bass/vocals), Bob Hall (rhythm guitar) and Elaine Allen (keyboards), all of which were friends from Langley High School in McLean, VA.

The band started out playing various High School, church dances and teen clubs and were discovered around 1967 by Dick Weissman of The Journeymen, after a 'Battle of The Bands' in Fall Church, VA. The Fog won the Battle and were offered a deal with ABC/Probe to record a single in NY. Jon had previously played in garage band the Id (unrelated to other bands of the same name.) with Phil Radler. The Id didn't make any recordings, but around 1966 Phil penned his first song, "When The Sun's Gone Down".

Phil Radler was still performing with the Id at the time of the Fog's Probe contract, but Jon Chase brought "When The Sun's Gone Down" to the band and this was recorded as the A-side of the Probe release, back with "Tommy Black". The single featured orchestral overdubs, which were arrangement by a then unknown Bob James. Bob would later gain success in the jazz fusion world and created the theme to the TV show Taxi.

The 45 scored some success in the DC area, where it charted. This local success got the band a couple of slots on local Washington DC TV station. They also flew to Cleveland for a guest slot on a syndicated music show (most probably "Upbeat").

During the summer of 1970 the band lined up another contract with Clark Records. Clark was a small label out of Nashville, owned by Fred Carter. Fred also owned a studio in Nashville and the band travelled down south and set about recording an albums worth of material. Two songs were plucked from the sessions and released as a single, "Can You Stand It" b/w "Princess of a Fool" (Clark 527). By this time there had been a few line-up changes with the new band consisting of; Jesse Gay (lead guitar/vocals), Brad Lyons (lead vocalist), Jon Chase (drums/vocals), Jamie Fisher (bass/vocals), Bob Hall (rhythm guitar) and Carpie Carpenter (keyboards).

The band built up an excellent reputation in the local area, playing mostly covers (Grand Funk, James Gang, etc.) as well as some band originals. They scored plenty of gigs throughout the D.C. area and beyond, including a graduation party at the Hilton hotel where President Reagan was later shot, a cotillion at the U.S. Army's facility at Fort Myer and a number of college gigs in Virginia and Maryland.

After the second 45 Phil would join his ex-Id band mate in The Fog after the original bass player, Jamie Fisher, quit and moved to California to start college. Carpie Carpenter also left the band around this time for college. The rest of the band went to study at the more local George Mason University in VA.

The second single received some radio play around the Washington DC area. Phil Radler was also studying at the George Mason University at the time and got the 45 loaded onto the college jukebox, giving the single a good blasting. This resulted in the single charting on a number of college stations.

Unfortunately by this stage, after the summer of 1970, the band had mostly all graduated and the band had broken up. With no band to promote the single Clark cut their losses and gave the single little or no promotion. The album would also remain unmixed and unreleased.

In 1990 the band performed a well attended reunion show, and hope to do the same again in 2010.

Read more about The Fog here


Kurt said...

I agree with you that the flip is the better song here. The topside is nice, but it's rather bubblegummy for the Probe label.

I'm impressed with the site so far! Keep up the bitchin' work.

transoniq said...

There was a group by this name who charted a 45 called "I Can't Stand It" at the University of Minnesota (and only there it appears) in 1971. That 45 was on the Clark label. They had an album too!