Pete Haycock´s Climax – Total Climax (1986/1990)

FrontCover1Peter John “Pete” Haycock (4 March 1951 – 30 October 2013)[1] was an English musician and composer of film scores. He began his career as lead guitarist, vocalist, and founding member of the Climax Blues Band.

Haycock was born in Stafford and he attended St.John’s Primary School and King Edward VI Boys Grammar School in the town. As he child he was inspired by the guitar music of The Shadows and he played his first electric guitar at a miners club when he was 12. He then played guitar at school and college dances and formed a blues band with local boys called Mason–Dixon line. As a 17-year-old in 1968 he was a founding member of the Climax Chicago Blues Band which changed its name to the Climax Blues Band in 1970.

PeteHaycock1974The Climax Blues Band went through a few personnel changes during the early 1970s before arriving at their most stable, creative, and successful, line-up, which consisted of Haycock, Holt (switched to bass guitar), Cooper, and drummer John Cuffley. The band, featuring these players, toured heavily in the 1970s and 1980s. During much of this period, Haycock played concerts with his rare trademark instrument, a gold-plated Veleno guitar, which was also on the cover (and was the namesake) of Climax’s Gold Plated album.

In May 2012, the Major League Productions Ltd record label released an until-then unknown vault recording of a 1976 live performance, featuring the Climax Blues Band at the top of their game: Climax Blues Band / World Tour 1976. Haycock provided some insightful liner notes for the CD’s insert, and the recording further demonstrates the tight musicianship that was found in the band’s line-up at that time. The band produced more than 15 successful albums in their heyday

Though another group of musicians, which at one time was led by late former bandmate, Colin Cooper, is currently calling themselves “Climax Blues Band”, their lineup does not consist of any founding members, and has not found the commercial success or following that the original, “true” Climax Blues Band enjoyed during Haycock’s years with the band.

PeteHaycock02After he and the original Climax bandmates went their separate ways in 1988, Haycock went on to record several solo projects, the first of which was an album entitled Total Climax, which was recorded by his band, Pete Haycock’s Climax. Pete Haycock’s Climax toured extensively in Europe, including Communist East Germany, as well as a well-received tour in Australia. After that, Haycock was asked by his former Climax Blues Band manager, Miles Copeland, to record an instrumental album for I.R.S. No Speak entitled Guitar and Son, as well as the Night of the Guitars live album (from the tour of the same name). After that tour, Haycock teamed up with fellow guitarist Steve Hunter and former Climax Blues bandmate, Derek Holt, to record an album under the name, H Factor.

In 1990, Haycock was approached by Bev Bevan, formerly of Electric Light Orchestra, to join the newly formed Electric Light Orchestra Part II. The group toured and recorded with Haycock in the early 1990s, releasing both a live CD and video of their performance with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra.

In the early 1990s Haycock began scoring music for films. He was asked by Hans Zimmer to collaborate on several projects, including K2 and Drop Zone, among others, and it was on the soundtrack for Thelma & Louise that Haycock performed the Thunderbird theme music on slide guitar. Haycock was asked by Zimmer to re-create his performance, with a live symphony orchestra for the recording of Wings of a Film, which was a compilation album of Zimmer’s successful film scores.

Other work with Zimmer led Haycock to begin composing music of his own for film and television. In One False Move, (1992) Haycock collaborated with Derek Holt. More scores would follow, and Haycock helped produce recordings for other artists.

PeteHaycock03Haycock collaborated with Zimmer again in 2011, and played guitar on Ron Howard’s soundtrack for The Dilemma, which starred Vince Vaughn and Kevin James).

In 2005, Haycock supplied all the music for the Hollister Independence Motorcycle Rally DVD charity project, for producer Jeff Byler, with proceeds benefiting Emmaus House, a shelter for battered women and children. When the DVD’s producer suggested a follow-up soundtrack to the project, Haycock went back into the studio to complete the album that became Bikers’ Dozen, which featured a vocal performance by John Fiddler (Medicine Head).

Haycock signed on as a major contributor to the LovePower and Peace charity CD project in 2009, which was spearheaded by fellow musician Robin George, and was built around George’s hit song, “LovePower and Peace”. Haycock contributed many trademark slide guitar tracks and donated studio time to the project, a charity effort to benefit children with cancer and other terminal diseases.

This collaboration, which included the donated talents of scores of veteran musicians, also resulted in the forming a “super group” called The LovePower Band, which landed a major record deal and completed its first album, which was released in 2011.

After an absence from the stage and live performances, Haycock formed a new band, Pete Haycock’s True Blues (featuring Glen Turner). In 2008, they toured Europe and released their first recording together: Pete Haycock’s True Blues Live (featuring Glen Turner). In April 2009, Haycock, in an interview talked about the early days with the Climax Blues Band, the transition to studio work (with and without Hans Zimmer), and his return to the stage with his new band, after an absence from live performances of fourteen years.

Haycock continued to record, and perform live, and had been a featured guest performer with the Siggi Schwarz’ band, and was on the same bill with ZZ Top and Johnny Winter in 2012.

PeteHaycock012013 found Haycock coming full-circle with the formation of a super-group recording and scheduled for touring as Pete Haycock’s Climax Blues Band featuring Robin George, with Haycock being joined by a lineup of musicians including George, with whom he had collaborated on the LovePower Band, and other projects. Haycock envisioned this project as a return to the “true” Climax Blues Band, and he had just completed the new album, Cruel, before his death. (by wikipedia)

OriginalFront+BackCover1986Original front+backcover from 1986

This is his shortlived “Pete Haycock´s Climix” project and it´s not his best album, because Pete Haycock tried to produce a pop orientated album. But this is not the kind of music for Pete Haycock. So, it´s a more or less weak album … but part of his career.

And this is the German edition of “Total Classic” (with liner notes in German !)

Livingstone Brown (bass)
Iain Dunnett (keyboards)
Pete Haycock (guitar, vocals)
Pete Thompson (drums)
Paul Brett (guitar on 06.)
Stuart Brooks (trumpet)
Misha (background vocals)
Paul da Vinci (background vocals)
Chris White (saxophone)
D.A. Williams (background vocals)

01. The Fight Is Fixed (Haycock) 4.10
02. Scene Of The Crime (Haycock) 3.42
03. Young Executives (Haycock) 3.49
04. Love To Burn (Haycock) 4.25
05. (I’m The) Madness In Your Life (Brett/Breeze) 3.46
06. In Time (Haycock) 4.02
07. Irresistible Forces (Haycock) 3.59
08. Guilty (Haycock) 4.19
09. Mean Streak (Haycock) 2.53
10. Sunbird (Haycock/Brett/Thompson) 3.30


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