The Climax Chicago Blues Band rode the late-60s wave of popularity in Britain, as the vital new sounds of bands like The Stones, Fleetwood Mac and Cream placed new music at a crossroads, with paths leading to Hard-rock, Progressive music, Jazz-Fusion and Heavy Metal as musicians used the language of the Blues to speak to the youth of the world. Formed by guitarist and singer Pete Haycock, harp player Colin Cooper and Derek Holt on guitar and later on bass, The Chicago Climax Blues band formed in Stafford, England, in 1968 and went on to release 17 albums of Blues Rock over a long career.Their first album had several covers of Blues standards and established them as favourites on the club and college circuit that was fertile ground for new music as the 60s turned into the 70s. The band dropped ‘Chicago’ from their name after legal pressure, and moved their music towards heavier Rock, and by 1976 they embarked on a World Tour, releasing a live album, ‘FM Live’, recorded at a New York radio station. The following year, their single ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’ was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, reaching No.3 in the Billboard Hot 100. A later single, ‘I Love You’ also went high in the Hot 100, and remains an FM Rock Radio classic. As the stadium-rock era got started, the band played to audiences of more than 20,000.
Pete Haycock’s spectacular gold Valeno guitar featured on the cover of the album ‘Gold Plated’, but by the end of the 80s, the band was running out of power. Pete moved to Germany to work on film scores with Hans Zimmer, including ‘Thelma and Louise’, ‘K2’ and ‘Drop Zone’, while playing live with his band ‘True Blues’. Colin Cooper continued to lead The Climax Blues Band as the toured and recorded, and Derek Holt collaborated with Pete for a while in their Factor H project before rejoining the band. When Colin passed away in 2008, he willed that Climax should go on without him, and they continue to tour Britain and Europe. Pete contributed to many charity projects in the new century, including a ‘supergroup’ of veteran musicians who made the ‘Biker’s Dozen’ and ‘Damage Limitation’ albums and formed the LovePower Band, as well as continuing his film work. He also re-started a version of The Climax Blues Band in 2013, but sadly passed away from a suspected heart-attack later that year.