Little Free Rock was a Heavy Rock Trio from Preston in Lancashire, England. Peter Illingworth, Lead Guitar and Vocals, Paul Varley, Drums and Frank Newbold, Bass Guitar and Vocals.
Their Eponymous Album was released in November 1969, and they were an evolution of Purple Haze whose psychedelic nuances created great interest from their conception in early 1968. Purple Haze were a highly respected three piece outfit formed originally performing covers of songs from bands like The Who, Creation, Tomorrow etc but quickly developing a style and presentation of their own. To avoid association with Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze, the name was changed to Little Free Rock from the meaning of their names. Paul means 'Little', Frank means 'Free' and Peter the 'Rock'.
Little Free Rock went on to work with Ginger Johnson's African Drummers, whose appearance with the Rolling Stones at the 1969 Hyde Park Concert in Sympathy for the Devil has created much interest. Drummers who appeared from time to to included Gaspar Lawal (Ginger Baker's Airforce), Remi Salaka (Rolling Stones), Speedy Aquay (Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames), Lofty and Mac Tonto (Osibisa), and 'Lord' Eric Carboo. On one occasion at the Chalk Farm Roundhouse there were 26 African Drummers and a Witchdoctor.
The band performed regularly at the Roundhouse Sunday Night 'Implosion' Events and had numerous residencies at the Wardour Street Marquee Club. As well as performing all over Belgium, Continental Trips included the Star Club in Hamburg, Essen Jazz and Blues Festival, and festivals in Frankfurt, San Tropez and Santa Margarita de la Costa in Italy.
CBS and Warner Brothers were becoming exceedingly interested in this new Afro Rock but only six weeks after the release on the LFR Album, Transatlantic started Breach of Contract proceedings. When CBS and Warner Brothers heard this they backed off, however, CBS said that the band was too much like Santana, whom they already represented. Unfortunately, LFR were then unable to record for Transatlantic or anyone else for that matter, which was sad as the original Contract was for 6 Albums over a three year period.
Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac) joined the band for a short period, with gigs arranged at The Marquee and The Lyceum, and invited LFR to perform on sessions for his Solo Album. Sadly, after only one gig at a club called The Night Angel Club in Soho, Peter decided that he was having too much hassle with Ginger Johnson about fees for the recording and he backed out. The tracks were never released.
1. Roman Summer Nights - 2:47
2. Lost Lonely - 4:15
3. Blud - 3:55
4. Castles In The Sky - 3:49
5. Dream - 3:46
6. Tingle - 3:59
7. Evil Woman - 2:43
8. Age Of Chivalry - 4:24
9. Making Time - 10:20
Little Free Rock
*Peter Illingworth - Guitar, Vocals
*Frank Newbold - Bass, Vocals, Percussion
*Paul Varley - Drums