Canned Heat to perform at Vogue


It’s been more than 49 years since Canned Heat played Woodstock, but drummer Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra said the band is incredibly busy.

“The older we get the more people want us to play,” said de la Parra, now 72.

Canned Heat will perform at The Vogue in Broad Ripple at 8 p.m. Dec. 2. The band was formed by blues historians and record collectors Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson and Bob “The Bear” Hite in 1966. Larry Taylor and de la Parra joined in 1967 and are still with the band.

A 2009 book, “Living the Blues: Canned Heat’s story of Music, Drugs, Death, Sex and Survival,” written by de la Parra, attracted the attention of Mike Judge.

“He called last year and said, ‘I really love your book. I want to make a movie out of it,’” de la Parra said. “I was happy to hear from him. I love his work. We signed the contract and he gave me the advance and then I haven’t heard from him. The guy is very busy. We’re in touch. I’m like, ‘Mike, hurry up. I want to finish this film before I die.’”

Judge created “Beavis and Butt-Head,” co-created “King of the Hill” and wrote and directed “Office Space.”

Canned Heat is best known for hits “On the Road Again,” “Let’s Work Together” and “Going Up the Country.”

The band will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of its Woodstock performance in the summer of 2019. “Going Up the Country” has been used in Geico commercials.

“We’re still fighting for our royalties,” de la Parra said. “We were young and wild and didn’t know many of the things we were signing. Bands from my era got ripped off back and forth by record companies, agents. It was a tough era to be musicians. We didn’t know about business.”

Wilson, a songwriter and vocalist, died Sept. 3, 1970 at age 27 in what was either a suicide or accidental barbiturate overdose.

“Alan was a very depressed man and he already tried to kill himself earlier,” de la Parra said. “Alan’s death is a mystery.”

Hite died of an overdose between sets at 38 in 1981. Another founder, guitarist Henry Vestine, died of a heart attack at 52 in 1997. Several other members have died through the years.

“Larry and I were the trained musicians, and we’re the ones still here,” de la Parra said. “Part of it is luck and part of it is we didn’t abuse ourselves the way the rest of the guys did. They drank a lot, smoked a lot. The tobacco and the alcohol were the main things that got them.”

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