Judas / Bitter Harvest
Hot Property / Flight / Destroyer


This page follows the evolution of HAMMERHEAD through Judas and Bitter Harvest

The roots of the band can be traced back to the early 70's.

The lineups of the bands were -

Judas
'Dobin' Long - Vocals,
Brian Hodgson - Guitar,
Paul Sherwin - Bass,
Baz Ellwood - Drums.
Bitter Harvest
Neil Scott - Bass, 'Klaus' Clark - Guitar,
Hank Stewart/Dave Jordan - Drums,
Brian Hodgson - Guitar/Vocals,
Alan Nelson - Vocals
.

Judas formed around 1970 and played extensively all over Cumbria and occasionally travelled all over the country, they were essentially a rock covers band playing all the popular tunes of the time by bands such as Free and Cream.

This continued for a few years until their guitarist Brian Hodgson was asked to join up with another local band called Bitter Harvest who consisted of some of the area's finest musicians at the time, they had been busy writing some very strong original material and Brian's soulful melodic style fit in perfectly with them, he began working on ideas for songs with bass player Neil Scott, some of these ideas eventually went on to become Hammerhead songs.

The line up of Bitter Harvest changed and evolved over a period of a few years until eventually Brian Hodgson left to form his own band, bass player Steve Archer was asked to join this new line up, the pair immediately began to write new material to augment songs that Brian already helped to write with Bitter Harvest, 'I'll be back' and 'Feel I'm Falling' were among some of first to be written (both just been given a new lease of life on the ‘Headonizm' album).

Drummer Dave Heaney was soon brought on board and gigs undertaken under the name 'Destroyer'.

In 1975 the band played at the N.M.E. Battle of the bands in Newcastle University finishing runners-up in the northern heat, this line up lasted for a short while, but Brian eventually left to re-join a revitalised Bitter Harvest, however, once again things didn't work out, so Brian left and never played with them again, Bitter Harvest did carry on for a while afterwards but eventually split up.

Steve and Brian were reunited again when Steve was asked to join another outfit called 'Flight', (later to be re-named 'Hot Property'), this band concentrated more on playing 'covers' and had a much more commercial sound than the loud and heavy style of playing that they both favoured.

This band featured some of the areas other top musicians; Tucker McCombe on guitar, John Moore on drums, and vocalist Roger Ackerley.

As time progressed, Brian and Steve could not shake off the urge to write and play their own compositions, and one night whilst supporting a rock band called 'Taurus' at a local venue called 'The Down Under Club' their minds were made up 'That is what we should be doing!!!' they both agreed, it was now around 1976/7.

The search for a third member of the band was ended only fifty yards from Brian's front door when neighbour / friend / drummer; Maurice Reay agreed to join the line up, a list was put together consisting largely of songs from the 'Destroyer' set list, plus a couple of new tunes; 'Ton of bricks' and 'Lonely Man'.

These new songs were added into the set just prior to their first gig at another local venue called; 'The Matador', with time closing in, and the gig fast approaching, the band still hadn't settled on a name, and were under pressure from the venue manager Barry Jennings to come up with something/anything, as he wanted press on and advertise the gig!

Over a few drinks the boys pondered and discussed their problem.
In the end a new band name was chosen, but to
this day nobody can recall who actually suggested -

Many thanks to Buzz Elliott for providing both the writeup and the photographs