|George Phelps; Bill Peters; Paul Bays; Steve Peters; Ted Bennett; George Egy; Paul (Doug) Mason; Jim Kitchen; Dave Wood; David Graham; Joe Adams; Bob Harris; Frenchy Massinon|
|Hometown: Terre Haute, Louisville|
Goliath formed in Terre Haute in 1969 by former members of three local garage bands, The Sons of Sound, Kicks and the XL’s. They would embark on a strange journey with many unfortunate twists and turns. The two main lineups each recorded albums. Version 1 (Phelps, Egy, Steve Peters, Bill Peters, Bennett and Mason)recorded an LP’s worth of material in Louisville in 1970 that remained unreleased until 2009. Version 2 (Kitchen, Bays, Wood, Bill Peters, Steve Peters) recorded Hot Rock and Thunder, released in 1975 on Louisville’s Bridges label. Goliath is often considered to be a Louisville band by those unaware of its deep connection to Terre Haute.
Most existing copies of the Bridges release of Hot Rock and Thunder have either a pressing defect or warp rendering them partially unplayable; flat copies are highly sought by fans and collectors. If it was a pressing defect, this would have destroyed the marketability of the release just as the band was hitting its stride.
Hot Rock and Thunder was also pirated at least twice on vinyl, but the band never knew it, nor did its fans. So called “tax scam labels” issued unauthorized releases in tiny quantities (typically sourced from unsolicited demo tapes, thereby keeping the artists unaware) to exploit a loophole in late 1970’s tax laws. These labels–likely, subsidiaries of major labels–would write off hundreds of thousands of unsold copies marked as destroyed, generating significant tax benefits for the parent company. In reality only a few hundred, sometimes far less were pressed, just enough to furnish proof that the pressing existed. Record historians have endeavored to unravel the story of tax-scam labels but with tiny quantities, no official documentation, and presumed organized crime involvement, the facts remain elusive.
The late 70’s release of Hot Rock and Thunder on Tomorrow Records, connected to Morris Levy’s Roulette Records, is the better known tax scam version; the mixes, cover and track order differ from the Bridges release. A second tax scam release on Vibration Records is barely known. The piracy of Goliath’s work continued with the 2004 CD release of Hot Rock and Thunder, via the UK’s infamous Radioactive Records, which reissued many scarce private press and local releases without authorization or compensation.
In a belated act of justice, Numero Group released the album album digitally, and legitimately in 2018, and has also included Goliath in its compilation Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares.
Reissue specialists Gear Fab added another layer of confusion with its otherwise welcome 2009 archival CD issue of the 1970 studio sessions, recordings that few Goliath fans were aware of. The inexplicable title “The Complete Recordings” implies no other Goliath recordings despite the easily confirmed existence of Hot Rock and Thunder. Many bands went by the name Goliath in the 1960’s and 1970’s; this reissue deepened the mystery where it could have provided needed historical clarity.
Gear Fab’s liner notes characterized Goliath as a Louisville band, which is accurate for these recordings. While living in Louisville, members did production music, jingles and songwriting for Allen-Martin Productions and Falls City Publishing, both arms of Triangle Talent. which booked the band’s live shows. Triangle also operated the Bridges label.
For the record, Goliath began and ended as a Terre Haute band; they returned to residency in Terre Haute by the time Hot Rock and Thunder was released. Goliath broke up in the early 1980’s after a long run as a regionally popular live act, with new members joining in later years.
The 1970 recordings are southern flavored classic rock, Hot Rock and Thunder is heavy rock with progressive and psychedelic touches. Each is well regarded. According to band members, neither of the recording sessions were complete, awaiting overdubs and final mixdown.
Egy, Phelps and Mason left Goliath (Version 1) in the early 1970’s to form Raven in Atlanta, which toured the Midwest and south for several years, prompting the revamp of Goliath’s lineup for Hot Rock and Thunder. Raven also recorded an album that lay unreleased until Golden Pavilion issued it in 2013. Those recordings, too, were considered unfinished by the band, and Raven’s flirtation with Capricorn Records failed to materialize.
|Related Artists: Sons of Sound, Kicks, XL’s, Raven|
|Years Active: 1969 – 1983|