Club 27: Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson

Today’s Club Member is Alan ” Blind Owl” Wilson


Alan Christie Wilson (July 4, 1943 – September 3, 1970) was a co-founder, leader, and primary composer for the American blues band Canned Heat. He played harmonica, guitar, and sang with the group live and on recordings. Wilson was lead singer on Canned Heat’s two biggest U.S. hit singles, “On The Road Again” and Going Up The Country. His death at age 27 prefigured that of some of the other rock artists of the 1960s.

Alan Wilson is widely remembered as a pioneer of blues-rock during its crucial development period of the 1960s. Wilson’s devoted fans considered him one of the most brilliant, innovative, and sadly under-recognized artists of his era. His recording career spanned only three years, cut short in 1970 by his untimely death. Despite this, he left behind a rich legacy of inspiration to fellow artists, music scholars, and listeners alike.

Canned Heat enjoyed considerable artistic and commercial success, crowned by an appearance at Woodstock in 1969. But guitarist Al “Blind Owl” Wilson was a troubled man. Like many in the 27 Club, he was estranged from his family; he lacked confidence and suffered from depression. One of his eccentric habits was sleeping outdoors, as he did at vocalist Bob Hite’s house in Los Angeles on the last night of his life. Wilson’s body was found in Hite’s yard on September 3rd, 1970. His hands were crossed over his chest and there was a bottle of the barbiturate Seconal by his side. Cause of death was officially given as an accidental overdose of barbiturates, but drummer Fito de la Parra has said he believes Wilson committed suicide.

Check out  Canned Heat On The Road Again… Wilson really was in his zone. Enjoy

F.M. Laster

“I never loved another person the way I loved myself”. – Mae West


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