Remembering TIM BOGERT (August 27, 1944 – January 13, 2021)

VANILLA FUDGE – YOU KEEP ME HANGIN’ ON

Tim Bogert was one of hard rock’s most respected bassists, due to his influential work with such notable late-’60s/early-’70s outfits as Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, and Beck, Bogert & Appice.

Bogert joined a number of forgotten local bands in the New York City area, during which he met keyboardist and vocalist Mark Stein in 1965. The pair decided to form a group of their own, resulting in the formation of the Pigeons with additional members Joey Brennan (drums) and Vince Martell (guitar).

After an obscure album came and went (While the World Was Eating), the Pigeons replaced Brennan with Carmine Appice, focused on a hard rock/psychedelic musical direction, and changed their name to Vanilla Fudge. 1967 saw the release of Vanilla Fudge’s classic self-titled debut release, which spawned a massive hit single with a cover of a slowed-down and rocking version of the Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”

Bogert and Appice quickly became one of the strongest rhythm sections in hard rock and the duo progressed technically with each successive Vanilla Fudge release — 1968’s The Beat Goes On and Renaissance, 1969’s Near the Beginning, and 1970’s Rock & Roll — before the group’s breakup.

Written and composed by Holland–Dozier–Holland in 1966, Vanilla Fudge’s 1967 psychedelic rock remake of YOU KEEP ME HANGIN’ ON reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart a year after the release of the Supremes’ recording.

While the edited version released on the 45 RPM single was under three minutes long, the album version was 7:20.

The recording, done in one take, was Vanilla Fudge’s first single.

“In 1966, when I joined the band, there was a thing going around the New York area and Long Island that was basically slowing songs down, making production numbers out of them and putting emotion into them,” explained Fudge drummer Carmine Appice.

“The Vagrants were doing it, they had Leslie West in the band. The Rich Kids were doing it, they had this writer named Richard Supa. The Hassles were doing it, they had Billy Joel.”

“It all started from The Rascals, I think. We were all looking for songs that were hits and could be slowed down with emotion put into them. ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’ lyrically was a hurtin’ kind of song, and when The Supremes did it, it was like a happy song.”

“We tried to slow down the song and put the emotion the song should have into it with the hurtin’ kind of feeling the song should have.”

“Our manager had a connection with Shadow Morton, and he connected it with us. The object was to get us in the studio. When he saw us, he loved us, and we cut ‘You Keep In Hangin’ On’ in one-take mono. One take, straight to tape.”

Vanilla Fudge was one of the few American links between psychedelia and what soon became heavy metal.

While the band did record original material, they were best-known for their loud, heavy, slowed-down arrangements of contemporary pop songs, blowing them up to epic proportions and bathing them in a trippy, distorted haze.


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