Crabby Appleton : Michael Fennelly Talks about the 1960s, The Hit Go Back, The Doors, Jeff Beck
Elektra Records Artist Crabby Appleton – Vocalist, Guitarist Michael Fennelly Talks about the 1960s, The Hit Go Back playing with The Doors, Jeff Beck and lots more!
In this captivating episode, we delve into the musical journey of Michael Fennelly, a pivotal figure in the 60s music scene and a member of the iconic band Crabby Appleton. Born in New York and raised in Pennsylvania and Westfield, New Jersey, Michael’s passion for music was ignited early. He started guitar lessons at nine and, by 17, found himself hitchhiking to Los Angeles, where his musical career began to take shape.
In the vibrant clubs of LA, Michael’s talent caught the attention of Curt Boettcher, a renowned songwriter and producer. By 1967, he was an integral part of Boettcher’s studio collective, contributing his skills on the electric sitar and vocals to Sagittarius’s album “Present Tense.” His journey continued as he became a key member of The Millennium, a sunshine pop group formed by Boettcher, showcasing his multifaceted skills as a singer, guitarist, and songwriter.
1969 marked a significant turn in Michael’s career when he joined Stonehenge, a band he would soon lead as the frontman, renaming it Crabby Appleton. Signed to Elektra Records, the band released two albums, with Michael’s songwriting evolving under the influence of artists like Neil Young and Stephen Stills. Their hit single “Go Back,” penned and sung by Michael, climbed to No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970, cementing their place in the music world.
Post-Crabby Appleton, Michael embarked on a solo career, releasing two albums. “Lane Changer,” recorded in England with Chris White of The Zombies and featuring members of Argent, showcased his evolving style. The album also featured a standout performance by Jeff Beck on “Watch Yerself.” His second solo venture, “Stranger’s Bed,” was recorded in Los Angeles, capturing the essence of the city’s vibrant music scene.
Despite the challenges in his solo career, Michael’s contributions to music remained significant, including his collaboration with Steely Dan, where he sang the high harmony on “The Boston Rag” from their album “Countdown to Ecstasy.”
Join us as we explore the rich tapestry of Michael Fennelly’s musical legacy, from his early days in the 60s to his enduring influence in the world of rock and pop. It’s a journey through the heart of a musical era that continues to resonate with fans across generations.
Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine