Hollywood Fats Band
Hollywood Fats, who was born Michael Mann on May 17, 1954 in Los Angeles, started playing guitar when he was ten years old. He developed an early, deep interest for the blues, and his mother would drive him to the black ghettos in Los Angeles so he could hear and see blues acts perform whenever they came to town. He met with legendary players like Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, and during the late sixties and the seventies he played professionally with blues stars like Jimmy Witherspoon, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, a.o.
While he was a member of the Muddy Waters Blues Band for a couple of months, he met with harmonica player and vocalist, Al Blake. Along with Fred Kaplan on piano, Larry Taylor of Canned Heat fame on upright and electric bass, and Richard Innes on drums, Fats and Blake formed the Hollywood Fats Band in 1974.
Obviously, it was bad times for a traditional style blues band, and it was not until 1979 when they recorded their first, and only album which came out on a small local record label, PBR International.
Not long after the album had been released, the Hollywood Fats Band disbanded, and Fats joined James Harman’s band where he was playing alongside Kid Ramos. During the mid-eighties, he became the lead guitar player in The Blasters, the world-famous Californian roots rocking combo. Hollywood Fats died from a heroin overdose in Los Angeles on December 8, 1986. He was 32 years old.
Today, Hollywood Fats is a legend. With his swinging, elegant, fluid style and the excessive use of reverb he has inspired countless electric blues guitar players, from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Ronnie Earl.