Juicy Lucy was formed in 1968 from the ashes of a psychedelic garage band called The Misunderstood, who had released the single I Can Take You To The Sun and had received great support from John Peel, but had failed to make any lasting commercial impact.
American pedal-steel guitarist Glenn ‘Fernando’ Campbell, vocalist Ray Owen and saxophonist Chris Mercer – who had moved to Britain from the US with The Misunderstood – re-formed the group as Juicy Lucy with all-new British players, Neil Hubbard (guitar, ex-Bluesology), Keith Ellis (bass, ex-Koobas and Van Der Graaf Generator) and Pete Dobson (drums).
The band almost immediately hit the UK Top 20 (#14) with their cover version of Bo Diddley‘s Who Do You Love?. Their self-titled debut album (1969) was also a hit, though it stopped just shy of the Top 40.
Within months, Ray Owen left the group to try his hand at a solo career. He was replaced by Paul Williams (ex-Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band). Hubbard and Dobson also departed, being replaced by Micky Moody and Rod Coombes respectively.
Their second album, Lie Back and Enjoy It, was released in 1970 and contained a hit single in Pretty Woman (not the Roy Orbison song).
Another bassist, Jim Leverton, assumed Ellis’ duties for the follow-up, 1971’s Get a Whiff A This.
The constant turnover clearly took its toll on the group both creatively and commercially, with co-founders Campbell and Mercer, plus Coombes, exiting prior to the fourth Juicy Lucy album, 1972’s Pieces.
This was recorded by a makeshift lineup of Williams, Moody, keyboardist Jean Roussel, and the former Blodwyn Pig rhythm section of bassist Andy Pyle and drummer Ron Berg. Juicy Lucy disbanded shortly thereafter. Micky Moody later joined the inaugural Whitesnake line-up in 1978.
Founder member Ray Owen revived the name in 1995 for the album Here She Comes Again with Mike Jarvis (guitar), Andy Doughty (bass), and Spencer Blackledge (drums) rounding out the band.
A couple of years later this version of the band broke up but Owen wanted to keep on going, especially when he formed a musical partnership with a guitarist known as Mr Fish.
Legal problems kept the new band from using the Juicy Lucy name, so they gigged as Ray Owen’s Moon (Moon being the title of Ray Owen’s 1971 solo album).
By 2004 bassist Fudge and drummer Fletch had joined the band and the legal issue was settled. The new Juicy Lucy spent 2006 working on a new album (subsequently titled Do That And You’ll Lose It), and touring the UK with fellow rock veterans Nazareth.
The band is still touring in the UK, fronted by Mr Fish. Ray Owen performs occasionally as Ray Owen’s Juicy Lucy, accompanied by Mike Jarvis and Spencer Blackledge from the ’90s incarnation of the band.
Glenn ‘Fernando’ Campbell
Pedal steel guitar, mandolin, vocals
Stephen ‘Fletch’ Fletcher