March 22, 2005 – Roderick Michael “Rod” Price (Foghat) was born November 22, 1947. At the age of 21, Price joined the British blues band Black Cat Bones, replacing legendary Free alumni Paul Kossoff, which recorded one album, Barbed Wire Sandwich. The album was released at the end of 1969, when British blues was being supplanted by rock, and though artistically successful it was a commercial failure.
The band dissolved, and Price joined Foghat when the group was first formed in London in 1971. He played on the band’s first ten albums, released from 1972 through to 1980. His signature slide playing ability helped propel the band to being one of the most successful rock groups in the United States during the 1970s. His slide playing was featured distinctly on Foghat songs “Drivin’ Wheel”, “Stone Blue”, and the group’s biggest hit, “Slow Ride”, which was a top 20 hit in 1976. Price’s final performance with Foghat before he left for the first time was at the Philadelphia Spectrum on 16 November 1980. He was replaced by guitarist Erik Cartwright.
Price virtually disappeared from the music business until 1990, when he briefly joined forces with Foghat vocalist Dave Peverett. Foghat had actually split a few years after Price left, and drummer Roger Earl had reformed the band without Peverett, who decided to start up his own version of the band and invited Price to participate. Price was in and out of the band for the next couple of years, but agreed to commit totally to a reunion featuring all four original Foghat members in 1993.
Foghat then released Return of the Boogie Men in September 1994. A complete new era of music styles, the album failed to gain as much commercial success as the band had previously earned, but nevertheless they hit the road and began touring regularly across North America, rebuilding their reputation as an excellent live act. Foghat released the Road Cases CD in 1998, a live recording which further cemented Price’s slide virtuosity. A DVD entitled Two Centuries of Boogie, recorded at a 1996 concert in Dayton, Ohio gives a close-up and first-hand view of Price’s guitar abilities. It also features a very in-depth interview with the musician himself, as well as other members of Foghat.
Price once again left Foghat in 1999, after vocalist Dave Peverett was diagnosed with cancer. The singer returned to the band after several months of recuperation, but by this point Price had decided he wanted to step away from full-time road work and parted company with Foghat. He was replaced by guitarist Bryan Bassett.
Price began a solo career at the beginning of the 21st century, and returned to his blues roots. He released two CDs, Open (2002) and West Four (2003). He toured and performed in blues clubs across the United States, and was featured at guitar seminars and workshops during this period.
Price died at his home in Wilton, New Hampshire, on 22 March 2005 at age 58, after he fell down a flight of stairs when suffering a heart attack.
Known as the “Magician of slide” he collaborated with Shakey Vick’s Blues Band, Champion Jack Dupree, Duster Bennett, Eddie Kirkland, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon and David “Honeyboy” Edwards.