Eddie and the Hot Rods are a British pub rock band from Essex founded in 1975. They are best known for their 1977 UK top ten hit "Do Anything You Wanna Do", released under the name The Rods. The group broke up in 1981, but have reformed several times since, with singer Barrie Masters the only constant member. The band was formed in Canvey Island during 1975 by guitarist Dave Higgs (who had previously played in the Fix with Lee Brilleaux), with drummer Steve Nicol, bassist Rob Steele, and singer Barrie Masters. Before rising to semi-stardom in 1977, the Hot Rods underwent several changes in personnel: One of the first members to leave the band was Eddie himself, a dummy that featured prominently in the Hot Rods' early gigs and was discarded as the joke had worn thin. Otherwise, the band consisted of Barrie Masters on vocals, Pete Wall and Dave Higgs on guitar, Rob Steele on bass and Steve Nicol on drums. Ed Hollis (brother of Talk Talk's Mark Hollis) became their manager.
Links to Peel
Peel nominated the band's 'Teenage Depression' LP as one of his 1976 Top Ten Albums and a year later included 'Beginning of The End' in a 1977 Festive Fifty he selected himself. The band did a total of three sessions for his show.
JW: What was the first hint that something different was at last coming over the horizon, as far as your ears were concerned?
JP: Well, having mentioned Island Records, it was one of their acts, I think. It was Eddie & The Hot Rods I think were the first people to give me an indication that there was change in the air. And that is because they were doing that kind of is it Canvey Island or something like that, I don’t know – always a romance about Essex, which has never seemed to me to be a romantic place at all. But that kind of Essex R&B thing - just very, very fast. And I went to see them play in London, at the Speakeasy actually of all places, and thoroughly enjoyed them, and came back and told you about it – and you as I remember weren’t entirely convinced by Eddie & The Hot Rods. But they did seem to indicate that there was something afoot.
JW: I remember going to see them, because they were one of those names around, and standing with Muff Winwood, who was sort of looking at them for a record company, about whether to sign them I think. And both of us had played in bands in the sixties, but our attitude was, “We’ve done all this before. They’re just doing all the old stuff.” You know, it seemed to be a lot of energy and banging – but was that what excited you? That it was the lack of sophistication? That you thought, “Thank goodness we’re getting back to roots again?”
JP: I suppose it must have been that initially, because I was genuinely very excited about them and couldn’t wait to get back and tell you about them as far as I recall.
On his 25 November 1999 show, Peel credited the group for opening doors that people like the Sex Pistols and the Clash subsequently kicked down. He nominated their top ten hit single "Do Anything You Wanna Do" for his Peelenium 1977.
Festive Fifty Entries
- 1977 Festive Fifty: Beginning Of The End #57
- Peelenium 1977: Do Anything You Wanna Do
1. Recorded: 1977-02-15. Broadcast: 21 February 1977
- Keep On Keeping On / Why Can't It Be / Teenage Depression / On The Run
2. Recorded: 1977-10-10. Broadcast: 17 October 1977
- Life On The Line / I Don't Know What's Going On / Telephone Girl / Beginning Of The End
3. Recorded: 1979-02-05. Broadcast: 05 March 1979
- Stangers On The Payphone / Power And Glory / Breathless / Living Dangerously
Other Shows Played
- 27 February 1976: Writing On The Wall (7") Island
- 03 November 1976: Teenage Depression (7") Island
- 10 December 1976: 'Horseplay (Weary Of The Schmaltz) (EP-At The Sound Of Speed)' (Island)
- 21 July 1977: Do Anything You Wanna Do (7") Island
- 22 December 1977: Beginning of The End (LP – Life On The Line) Island FF #57
- 25 November 1999: 'Do Anything You Wanna Do (LP-Life On The Line)' (Island) Peelenium 1977