Band Of Joy
1966
United Kingdom
demo band
The Band of Joy are a rock band from Birmingham, England. The original Band of Joy performed from 1966 to 1968. Robert Plant re-formed the band in 2010 for a concert tour of the United States.

The band is notable as the first of several line-ups included two musicians, Robert Plant and John Bonham who went on to join Led Zeppelin; and, to a lesser degree, because the band's roadie was Noddy Holder, who later was in the band Slade.

The earliest incarnation of the group was formed in 1966 by Plant. Conflicts with the band's management led to Plant leaving the group after a few months. He quickly tried to form his own Band of Joy, but it soon folded. A third incarnation of the band, including Plant's childhood friend John Bonham, lasted from 1967 to mid-1968. Their brand of soul and blues was popular with Birmingham mods. The final lineup recorded a number of demo recordings in early 1968, but broke up in May 1968 when a recording contract failed to materialise. Bass player, Paul Lockey went on to play with the Foundations, Mad Dog - who were Jimmy Witherspoon's backing band, Bronco - and the second coming of the Band of Joy.

At some point the lead guitar duties were taken by Dave Pegg, who later played the bass guitar with Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull. The story was recalled by Robert Plant when he joined Fairport at the Cropredy Festival in 1986, with Dave Pegg recalling, that it was Plant who fired him from the band.

The very last line up of The Band Of Joy consisted of Robert Plant, John Bonham, John Hill and Mick Strode in 1968. John Hill was a great friend of Bonham, they were at school together, he was playing bass in a band called Uncle Joseph. This was a blues three piece with Simon Fox on drums, later the drummer with Be Bop Deluxe.

At a famous art students party in Lye, a black country town, Robert and John co-opted Hill and strode into the band to complete a tour of Scotland for the infamous promoter Duncan Macinon. John Hill continued playing in The Wellington Kitch Jump Band and also did a stint with the Foundations. In the 1990's he was the bass player with Vincent Flatts Final Drive (stage name Boss Hog), they produced two albums, and more recently with The Notorious Brothers (stage name Johny Flambe), also producing two albums. Mick Strode is still playing fine blues guitar.

Plant and Bonham eventually joined Led Zeppelin. Kevyn Gammond (stage name "Carlisle Egypt") and Lockey subsequently formed the country-rock band Bronco, with singer Jess Roden, bassist John Pasternak, drummer Pete Robinson, and future Robert Plant sideman Robbie Blunt. They made two albums before breaking up after a serious road accident.

In 1977 Gammond and Lockey revived the Band of Joy, rounding out the lineup with Pasternak, Robinson, and keyboardist Michael Chetwood. They invited Plant and Bonham to contribute to their 1978 self-titled album, but nothing came of it. The group released a second album in 1983 before breaking up.

Gammond later joined Robert Plant in the Priory of Brion from 1999 to 2001.
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