Library albums (with Bob Hall): Solo albums: Extraordinaire bassist, Colin "Bomber" Hodgkinson has a very special technique, based on chords, something very usual on guitar, but very strange when playing bass. He was born in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, on October 14, 1945.

He has played several styles, from jazz-rock to hard rock, as well as blues rock. As Mikael Jansson points me (thanks for all, Mikael!), Colin is still playing the same Fender Precision bass that he's had since the early 60s!


Colin went professional in 1966 with a jazz-rock trio. Later, he was part of Eric Delaney's Showband. Some of the musicians were:

Colin Hodgkinson (bass, vocals)
Ron Aspery (keyboards, flute, sax)


Next I know about Colin is that he was part of this Alexis Korner band, formed around 1969. They played as an opening act (with King Crimson and Family) for famous Rolling Stones Hyde Park Concert on July 5, 1969. That concert was Mick Taylor's introduction to the band, and it converted into a tribute to Brian Jones, who had died just two days before. Well, returning to Colin, the short-lived New Church was formed by Alexis Korner and Danish singer Peter Thorup. I'm not sure about the lineup when Colin was there, but it probably would be:

But in August 1969, the bassist in the band is Nick South. The band folded quickly, and Korner and Thorup began their new project: the macro-band CCS.

The album Both sides contains great musicians in it: Paul Rodgers (vocals), Anette Brox (vocals), Andy Fraser (bass), Henry Lowther (trumpet), John Surman (sax), Kenny Wheeler (trumpet), John Marshall (drums).

(from left to right: Colin Hodgkinson, Tony Hicks, Ron Aspery)
(scan courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

And then, Colin formed his own jazz-rock outfit around 1971 in Yorkshire, although Clin and Ron had started thinking of having their own band while they were together in that showband, around 1969.

(scan courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

Their first album was released in a local label, but big success led to being reissued soon after with a major label.

They were a hot live band and they even played in Spain!! The late Felix Pappalardi (Cream producer, and member of Mountain) produced 8th street nites. In 1974, they play opening for Emerson Lake & Palmer in a worlwide tour.

In 1975, they change drummer:

Carl Palmer produced their last album, Activate.

They played as a quartet at Reading Festival 1976 with great player Micky Moody:

After that, the band split in 1977. All their albums got great reviews, but for some reason, sales weren't as succesful. Why?!

Once I read they had another keyboardist. Does anybody know?


And then, Colin joins again Alexis Korner for the Edinburgh Festival in 1979. That festival gave them the idea for working as a duo.

They recorded Bedtime gories, an EP of railway songs, with Pete Sayers (dobro, banjo), under the names Schtick and Futz. It was never released, but some of those songs from the EP can be found now in the compilations Alexis Korner And 72-83 and On the move.

A duo concert was filmed in 1981 at the Roundhouse, for the TV program 'Individual voices'. Does anybody has a copyyyyy?

There are a couple of live albums recorded as a duo, just Alexis & Colin:

Testament was recorded live in Paris, March 1980 (although released in 1985). Colin sings lead in three tracks: '32-20 blues', 'High-heel sneakers' and 'Will the circle be unbroken'.

Three years later, in 1988, it was released a new live album taken from the same concert. It's called Live in Paris. Colin sings lead in 5 songs, including renditions of 'Sweet home Chicago' and 'Key to the highway'.

There is a bootleg album called White & Blue (1984, Blue Silver, France only), taken from this same concert.

Some other albums recorded at that period are:

Just easy contains many collaborations: Jim Diamond (vocals, later in Ph.D), Graham Broad (drums, much later in Roger Waters band), Richie Zito (guitar), Dick Morrisey (sax), Mick Weaver (keyboards), Dave Wintour (bass), Henry Spinetti (drums), Graham Deacon (drums), etc.

Just easy contains many great collaborations: the usual band in most of the tracks is: Jim Diamond (vocals, later in Ph.D), Danny McIntosh Jr. (guitar, from the band Bandit), Colin Hodgkinson (bass), Graham Broad (drums, much later in Roger Waters band). Other guests: Sappho Korner (vocals), Richie Zito (guitar), Dick Morrisey (sax), Mick Weaver (keyboards), Dave Wintour (bass), Henry Spinetti (drums), Graham Deacon (drums).

The party album was a double album, commemorating Alexis 50th anniversary, on April 19, 1978. It's credited to Alexis Korner and Friends, and there are lots of guest musicians, many of them former Alexis bandmates: Zoot Money (keyboards), Mel Collins (sax), Eric Clapton, James Litherland, Chris Farlowe & Dick Heckstall-Smith (from Colosseum), Paul Jones (vocals), John Surman (sax), Dick Morrisey (sax), Art Theman (sax), the late Ian 'Stu' Stewart, Duffy Power (harmonica), etc.


This band was assembled by Jan Hammer (keyboards, from Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jeff Beck band).

The album Hammer lists the Hammer band as: Jan Hammer, keyboards, vocals, Colin Hodgkinson, bass, vocals, Greg Carter, drums, Glenn Burtnick, lead vocals, rhythm guitar.


A superb lineup: Neal Schon (guitar, from Santana and Journey), Jan Hammer (from Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jeff Beck Band) joined Colin to release some albums.

Being a trio, the albums were credited to "Schon & Hammer"! Their first album was Untold passion.

Here to stay contains guest appearances from Neal Schon bandmates in Journey: Steve Perry (vocals), Ross Valory (bass) and Steve Smith (drums). Mike Stone is the producer (he also was Asia producer).

But in 1982, Colin leaves them. They never performed any concert, they just were a studio concept.

There is a later compilation called No more lies, probably with some extra tracks.


This fun-band was assembled by Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, and great long-time Rolling Stones friend and pianist, the late Ian 'Stu' Stewart. They were a big band, with no stable lineup, but the usual bassist was Jack Bruce. But, when Jack Bruce wasn't available, Colin used to play live with them. Can't say the exact period, although they were active from the late seventies to Ian Stewart's death. I put here some of the musicians I know used to play with them.

They released an album, but Colin doesn't appear there (Jack Bruce plays bass in the album).


In 1982, Pete York was touring promoting his video "Super Drumming", with an all-star band. Jon Lord also joined, as his main band, Whitesnake, was hybernated.

They played jazz-rock in the small clubs circuit during March and April 1982. They released one album with a slightly different lineup, although Colin doesn't play there (the album was released in 1981 under the name Olympic Rock & Roll Circus, with Brian Auger instead of Lord, and Steve Richardson instead of Colin).


Around 1982, Jan Hammer tours US and Europe:

Amazing band! Carsten Bohn was the drummer in superb German band Frumpy. Check his own website (see link below).

They didn't record. They toured supporting Al Di Meola, after Colin left the band, being replaced by Jack Bruce.


When Whitesnake awakes, Neil Murray had gone with Gary Moore, and Jon Lord asks Colin to join the band. This was in September 1982.

(from left to right: Cozy Powell, Mel Galley, David Coverdale, Micky Moody, Jon Lord, Colin Hodgkinson)
(click here for a bigger image, 62 Kbs.)
  A superb band!
(from left to right: Mel Galley, Cozy Powell, David Coverdale, Colin Hodgkinson, Micky Moody. Out of the photo: Jon Lord)

There is a video from this lineup: Whitesnake commandos - Donington 1983 (1983, EMI). They played in Spain, with Meat Loaf opening the concert.


(scan courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

They only released an album, Slide it in. But there are two different editions of the album. The European one (released on EMI) was recorded with this lineup, but the American edition (released on Geffen) contains all the guitar parts re-released by new guitar axe John Sykes, and it seems that Colin parts were re-recorded by his replacement, Neil Murray.

In January 1984, Whitesnake lineup changed almost completely, and Colin left the band.


As the name indicates, they were a duo:

They have been playing together several times along the years. I'm not sure about knowing all their albums, so if someone notices I'm missing some album, please tell me! Frank Diez is a veteran player who appears in albums by lots of German rock bands, such as Armageddon, Emergency, Agitation Free, Atlantis, Randy Pie, as well as in some album by Eric Burdon.

Bitch feature Frank & Colin, plus Olaf Kubler on sax. It was really credited to 'Colin Hodgkinson & Frank Diez'. Recorded live in Munich.

Make mine a double features the following additional musicians: Jackie Carter (vocals), Eddie Taylor (harmonica), Thomas Zoller (harmonica), Jan Hammer (keyboards), Thomas Glanz (organ), Pete York (drums), Bertram Engel (drums) and Curt Cress (drums, a great sessionman, he belonged to Triumvirat; watch the link below).

Electric Blues Duo & HR Big Band is a superb live album, I love it. As you can imagine, it was recorded with a live band. One of my favourite tracks is the rendition of 'Roberta'.

Out on the highway is a compilation with tracks from their 3 albums: Bitch, Make mine a double and the live one Electric Blues Duo & HR Big Band, plus 4 unreleased songs ('Steady rollin' man', 'B&O', 'No money down' and 'Louise').


A reunion of veteran musicians, under the name of the historical group. Spencer Davis reunites musicians for both an European version of Spencer Davis Group and another musicians for an American version of Spencer Davis Group. Colin Hodgkinson is usually called for the European lineup. It's hard to track the different lineups along the years, so I only put here the things I know.

The lineup is just a trio for a short tour during September and October 1984:

PETE YORK (again)  

Around 1985, they play as a trio, but with Brian Auger instead of Spencer Davis:

They release the live album Steaming. Great playing here by all three. But, as this one is Colin's page, I should say that he's especially fantastic at their rendition of Donovan's 'Season of the witch', as well as in 'Going down slow'.


Around 1985, the trio above mentioned changed to a quintet, with Spencer Davis again:

BACK DOOR (again)  

In 1986, the original Back Door lineup reunited for a special gig at Ronnie Scott Club in London.

This was followed by a reunion tour, with lot of success.


Around 1986, Colin toured with Chris Farlowe. Can anyone give me more details about lineup, please?

Chris Farlowe (vocals)
Colin Hodgkinson (bass, vocals)

+ others unknown to me. Help!


Colin had played in Wecker's studio album, Wieder dahoam (watch sessions page). Colin, Frank Diez and Pete York also joined the band to record a live album.

They released the double album Live. Colin sings lead in some songs, as well as performing solo in 'San Francisco Bay', a Jesse Fuller song. It was recorded on 20 & 22 May, 1987 in Germany. The CD edition contains 7 bonus tracks (!).


The lineup around 1988 was:

They released a live album, Extremely live at Birmingham Town Hall. Colin is superb (as always), especially on 'Feets too big', and there's a bass solo in 'Stormy Monday'.

Digitized image is from the "Spencer Davis Archive Collection". Used by permission. All rights reserved.

There is another live album by that period. But here, the lineup is again just a trio:

Live together is a superb live album; Colin always amazes me, his "attacks" in 'Keep on running' are stunning, as well as his performances of 'Walking blues' and 'Sliding Delta'.


They toured Germany during November/December 1988:


Later, Colin was part of a band called Pete York & Superblues, based in Germany. The band was another variation from later Spencer Davis Group lineups, and reunites again some veterans from the British blues-rock scene.

They played some live footage for German TV. They also released a live album, with a modified lineup, and Colin doesn't appear there (check my Miller Anderson pages for info on this album).

And then?...  

I don't know about Colin groups during all this period. Probably switching jobs among Peter Maffay, Spencer Davis Group, Alexis Korner and his own Electric Blues duo gigs. :)


Around 1990, Colin joined Peter Maffay Band, to record a live album, along with companion Frank Diez (both had been appearing yet before in several Maffay albums, watch sessions page):

They released the live album Leipzig, credited to Peter Maffay '90 und Band. The CD edition has a long bonus track, 'Sonne in der natch'.


This super band was assembled by Bernie Marsden, to promote his own tribute to Peter Green, Green & Blues. In Bernie's own words: "Green & Blues All Stars is me and whoever I take on the night". So, there were different musicians. Some of them were (not all together, of course):
Bernie Marsden (guitar)
Micky Moody (guitar)
Snowy White (guitar)
Colin Hodgkinson (bass)
Andy Pyle (bass)
David Levy (bass)
Tony Ashton (keyboards)
Don Airey (keyboards)
horn section & backing singers


Miller Anderson and Colin Hodgkinson appear as a trio with former Back Door drummer, Tony Hicks, in the Open Air Festival in June 1994:

I'm not sure about the name of the band, and if they were accompanied by more musicians. Did anyone see them?


During a break in Deep Purple tours and recordings, Jon Lord reunited with some of his friends, in order to play two gigs.

This happened in July 1995.


Around 1995, Colin joined again Peter Maffay Band, along with companion Frank Diez:

They toured Germany, but I don't know how much time Colin stayed in the band. Help, please!


In March 1997, the Electric Duo play some gigs in Germany, under the name "Colin Hodgkinson + Frank Diez" Blues Duo.

(from left to right: Colin Hodgkinson, Miller Anderson, Pete York and Spencer Davis)

In 1997 there is another reunion:

They released a live album, recorded live April 1997 in Regensburg, Alte Mälzerei. It's called Payin' them blues dues - The Spencer Davis Group alive '97.

For a short period, Spencer Davis leaves them (he probably went to tour the States with his American version of the band):

They were touring Europe in summer/fall 1997. But soon, around November 1997 Spencer Davis joins the band again:

This was an occasional all-star lineup assembled for a gig in September 1997 in Hell Blues Festival.


When they aren't playing for other bands, Colin and Frank Diez enjoy playing together again:

They have released a new album, Lucky at cards, with the help of drummer Wolfgang Haffner.


After having played in Jon Lord's Pictured within album (watch the sessions page), Jon assembles a live band for touring Europe to promote it.


Colin has recorded one library album, along with piano player Bob Hall. It's called Boogie and the beat, and it contains 17 tracks. Colin writes 5 of the tracks ('Shazam!', 'That's heavy', 'Southpaw rag', 'Round midnight blues', and 'Lights out'). The album was produced by Peter Cox, and the strings and brass were arranged by Cy Payne. I don't know about other musicians involved in the album.


As Mikael Jansson tells me, Colin recorded a solo album around 1977, just after Back Door separation, but Warner Bros decided not to release it, so it's still lost in a vault. What are you waiting for, record executives?!!!

(scan courtesy of Mikael Jansson)

But, finally, Colin has just released his first solo album!! It's called The bottom line, and it contains bass solos and some trio numbers.

When he has some time, he also plays some solo gigs. People in England were lucky to have Colin playing in Birmingham and London just last week (that is, on March 11, 1999). I even have received a couple of photos from that gig! Special thanks to Ken Mitchell and Andy Johnson. Both know why! So, here you have these photos.

(Colin Hodgkinson live at The Bass Centre in London, March 11th, 1999)
(both photos courtesy of Andy Johnson. THANKS!!)

And now, for those interested, I should say that May/99 issue of "Bassist" magazine includes a very interesting article on Colin Hodgkinson (4 pages!). You can find there an interview with the man himself, some great photos, as well as a bass tablature, explaining part of Colin's personal style.


Press here to read about Colin Hodgkinson sessions

Related links

Musicians mentioned in this page that I have projected to cover in my site someday: And short tributes to:

Family tree

Coming soon (I hope so!).

Thanks section

Special thanks to: Alex Gitlin, for so many albums (THANKS!!!); Carsten Bohn for his great politeness, patience and help with lots of info; Mikael Jansson, for his kind words, and for LOTS of info I didn't know about Colin. He wrote an article about Colin in Bass Player magazine (Jan 94 issue), check it out if you have the chance!; Arne Rasmussen, great fan, for DOZENS (no joke!) of credits I didn't know about Colin (A HUGE THANKS TO YOU!!!); Ken Mitchell, for his kindness, his messages and that great surprise!; Andy Johnson, for his kindness and his superb photos; Rune Torkildsen, for his fantastic present (!!); Thomas Meyer, for some of the album scans.

Thanks to:

Walid Itayim for info about Superblues; Graham Hulme for his comments about Colin; Gregory Springer for his help and permission for the Spencer Davis related images; Dirk Evans, for info about Electric Blues Duo; Paul Collins and Cliff Patterson, for their very kind messages.


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Page created by Miguel Terol on: 18/November/1997. Last modified on: 18/August/2000. 1