So you want to know more about Juicy Lucy and the individuals who make up the band? Then you've come to the right place! Click on any of the pictures to go to a page about each player, or keep on reading for a history of the enigma that is Juicy Lucy.
In the beginning there was a band called The Misunderstood. Hailed in the late sixties as pioneers of the psychedelic movement by the likes of Pink Floyd, their cause had been championed by John Peel who discovered them whilst he was working as a DJ in the US. He was so impressed by them that he produced their first recordings in 1966 and invited them to come to the UK, an offer they later took up. However, having made it to the UK the Vietnam draft in the US and problems with UK immigration services caused personnel problems and associated line up changes. Juicy Lucy was born out of their final line up in July 1969.
Taking their name from a character in Leslie Thomas’ "Virgin Soldiers", Juicy Lucy were aiming to move away from the psychedelic sound of The Misunderstood to something more contemporary and commercial. Well, they certainly got that right with the first single from the self titled debut album. "Who Do You Love?", a cover of a Bo Diddley song, stamped its way up the singles charts in the UK and several European countries in the spring of 1970, finally reaching number 14 in the UK and staying on the chart for three months. The album cover itself caused quite a stir, featuring as it did a woman lying naked, surrounded (and modesty preserved) by fruit!
Unfortunately all was not well in the Lucy camp. Personal differences took their toll and the band went through several line-up changes to the extent that by the time of the band’s last album "Pieces", none of the original members who had seared their way onto the scene with Who Do You Love remained in the band.
And so Juicy Lucy disappeared from sight. However, 1994 saw the return of the band with singer Ray Owen taking the position centre stage on vocals and guitar and ably assisted by Mike Jarvis (guitar), Spencer Blackledge (drums) and Andy Doughty (bass) the album "Here She Comes Again" saw the light of day. The band toured in support of the album, but could not reach out to either their old fans or the new audience which they desired. Dispirited, that line-up called it a day in 1997.
Soon after the collapse of that particular incarnation of Juicy Lucy, Ray came into contact with Mr Fish. It was immediately obvious to each of them that the other had talent and so they decided to work together. Legal considerations at the time prevented them using the Juicy Lucy name, so they gigged and recorded as "Ray Owen's Moon", a name originally used for Ray's 1973 solo album. Over the course of the next few years there were several changes of personnel working alongside the dynamic duo; another guitarist as well as various drummers and bass players. Finally in 2002 Fletch came on to the scene. Possessing a remakable combination of skill, power and imagination he instantly fitted into place as the final piece of the puzzle and the band achieved a new level.
With renewed enthusiasm, the band set about song-writing, rehearsing and gigging. Although still out in the cold as far as the mainstream of the music industry was concerned, they set about working at the grass roots level. Doing the unthinkable, they were playing original music in pubs and small clubs, getting a great response and building up a following. By 2004 the situation with the Juicy Lucy name had been resolved and it was clear that the band had the capability to repeat, or even exceed, its earlier success. Sanctuary Records had released "Who Do You Love - the anthology" and interest in the band was being shown from all over the world. By mid-2004 a management deal had been struck, and Juicy Lucy was back in business!
Following a very successful relaunch of the band on an unsuspecting public on 16th February 2005, held at the famous Eel Pie Club in Twickenham, April 2005 saw the band setting out to gig across the UK. Kicking off supporting Saxon and Wishbone Ash in front of a crowd of 4000, they played at venues from Plymouth to Aberdeen and back again. Whether playing to longtime fans from the ’70s or to student audiences the response was the same: ecstatic! As one happy audience member was heard to say in Dundee "They're real live f****** rock stars, but nobody knows it yet!"
February 2006 saw the band supporting rock legends Nazareth at a string of dates up and down England as well as continuing to headline in their own right.
In June 2006, the band went in to The Levellers’ Metway Studios in Brighton to work on the first new recordings for twelve years. The value of extensive live performance showed when it came to the recording sessions, with the band completing the tracking for eleven songs in four days! The result of these sessions was Do That And You'll Lose It, released in September 2006.
Over the next two years the band continued to do things the old fashioned way: traveling the length and breadth of the UK, bringing their distinctive brand of blues-rock to the music loving public, building their fan base through hard work, determination and talent. In June 2008 bass player Fudge decided to leave for personal reasons and his role was taken up by the previously unseen but always present James. Not long after that upheaval, Ray was taken seriously ill with a collapsed lung. This took him out of action during the height of the summer festival season. While he recovered the band continued to perform as a trio with Mr. Fish taking on vocal duties. Ray returned to the stage after only seven weeks but never managed to achieve full fitness and suffered a recurrence of his lung problem at the end of October 2008 which required surgery on the lung itself to remove the damaged area.
Ray was expected to be fit enough to return to the band early in 2009, but the remaining trio of Mr. Fish, Fletch and James had realised in Ray’s absence that changes needed to be made in order for the band to continue to develop both its music and its audience. When this was put to Ray in January 2009, he was not in agreement and decided not to return, leaving the core "power trio" to carry the Juicy Lucy legacy into its 40th year.
In June 2012, James decided that, for personal reasons, he was no longer able to devote 100% of his time to the band. He was replaced on bass duties by Frank Cokayne, previously from Brighton based Southern-rock band Under The Gun. In 2013, Mike Phillips took over bass duty, where he's been ever since.