The original biker band rock nâ€™ roll machine known as The Godz have been riding â€˜high and tightâ€™ along the American highways for over a quarter of a century.
Fronted by the legendary Eric Moore, The Godz released their debut self-titled album in 1978. The band wanted to name the album Rock and Roll Machine, but opted not to as the Canadian band Triumph had already titled their sophomore album using that same name, which subsequently was released in the US that same year.
The Godz debut album featured Eric Moore (vocals/bass), Mark Chatfield (guitar), Bob Hill (guitar/keys), and Glen Cataline (drums). This album spawned the radio hit, â€œGotta Keep A-Running,â€ and their fan favorite cover of Golden Earringâ€™s â€œCandyâ€™s Going Bad.â€
Born on May 7th, 1953, Mooreâ€™s musical career started long before The Godz. Moore started out playing in a band called Tree. Despite a major label deal, Tree faltered and Moore moved on to a band called Mixed Water, which also included future Godz guitarist Bob Hill.
Mixed Water ended up changing their name to Capital City Rockets after inking a deal with Elektra Records and scored a mid-western hit in 1973 with â€œBreakfast In Bed.â€ After the Capital City Rockets split, Hill teamed up with future Godz drummer Glen Cataline in a band called Sky King.
After Sky Kingâ€™s original bass player left, they recruited Moore to take over on bass. Mooreâ€™s involvement with Sky King eventually lead to the demise of the band as Moore teamed up with Cataline in order to pursue a heavier musical project. Teaming up with Mark Chatfield, Michael James, and Hayward Law, this heavier project was soon dubbed as The Godz.
Both James and Law were tragically killed in an automobile accident where they were testing out a fiberglass kit car they had built. Hill found his way back to Moore as he was added to replace the duo. The group garnered the attention of Millennium Records but had to clear up a dispute over the bandâ€™s name, due to a 60â€™s band of the same name, before they could release their debut album.
The Godz hit the road in 1977 supporting KISS and Cheap Trick. After their album was released, they toured with Angel in 1978. They dubbed it as the Match Made In Heaven tour, playing off on Angelâ€™s use of wearing white satin and The Godz use of wearing black leather.
The band returned to the studio in 1979 to record their sophomore album, Nothing Is Sacred. Despite successful tours with The Outlaws, Kansas, Iggy Pop, and Blue Oyster Cult, the album sales were low and their record label would eventually drop the band.
Hill left the band and the remaining three would continue for a bit before splitting up in 1980. This was a hard time for Moore as he was injured in a bad motorcycle accident, plus would end up serving time in prison in connection with a shooting in a bar.
The Godz reformed in 1983. Moore enlisted ex-Outlaws guitarist Freddie Salem and the two of them went through different band members before they released the album, Iâ€™ll Get You Rockinâ€™, in 1985.
Moore and Salem recorded the Mongolians album in 1987 with Mark Chatfield (Bob Segerâ€™s band) on guitar and Kevin Valentine (Donnie Irisâ€™ band) on drums. Band members would change again and Moore would tour under the name of the Eric Moore Band, although Moore would continue to forge on through the 2000â€™s under The Godz moniker.
According to New York Waste, â€œMooreâ€™s presence is vital in keeping true Rock nâ€™ Roll spirit alive, especially in todayâ€™s day and age when the genuine art of real Rock has almost disappeared from the public eye. Mooreâ€™s Jack Danielsâ€™ vocals mixed with his distinctive beer soaked bass style has consistently been a driving force in Rock, been a major influence on bands like Gunsâ€™Nâ€™Roses and has given many bands serious musical competition in live shows, purity of style and hell-raising. Grit has been the trademark of The Godz since their self-titled recording in 1978.â€
Interview with Eric Moore at Rippers Rock House:
The Godz are like a Harley Davidson Seventy-Two; an authentic 1970â€™s chopper attitude meets modern power and premium H-D styling in their bare-bones no frills gritty hard rock nâ€™ roll.
The rock and roll community got together to throw an Eric Moore charity benefit at Rippers Rock House in Akron, OH in November. A turnout of who’s who in the Ohio music world came together to paid tribute to this legend and innovator. Members of Mari Jayn, Arctic Flame, and the acoustic assassin Tom Hagley all performed a series of opening sets in honor of The Godz. The original Godz band couldn’t make the trip so members of Mari Jayn and Arctic Flame combined to perform a short set of Godz tracks. The final song of the set was the legendary anthem “Gotta Keep A Runnin'” where the band was joined by Eric Moore to take over vocal duties. The benefit raised several thousand dollars to help Eric with his medical bills he accumulated over the years.
The Godz are also releasing a series of CD’s in the coming months, including a six CD set dubed Gold of the Godz and a tribute CD that has nineteen bands performing covers of hits from the band, including members from The Mentors, Jetboy, Poobah, and others. Another tribute CD will also soon be out that includes a cover of “Gotta Keep A Runnin'” featuring Chris Holmes, Jimmy Bain, Joel Ellis and Frankie Bannalli. Eric himself plans to return to the studio and record and acoustic CD with guitarist Jeff Westlake sometime in 2015.