Behind the Band Name: Foghat

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Originally from England, Foghat certainly made an impression in the U.S. Known for incorporating the sound of slide guitar into their rock music, Foghat formed in 1971 in London after founding members Dave Peverett, Tony Stevens and Roger Earl left their previous English blues rock band, Savoy Brown.

Rod Price brought in the group’s signature slide guitar after he left Black Cat Bones. The band soon began a journey that would lead them to legendary rock star status. Below, we explore the meaning behind the band name, Foghat.

Meaning Behind the Band Name

The name originated from a word that Peverett and his brother John made up during a Scrabble-like game they were playing as children. Though legend has it that “Foghat” is a riff off the curse word, “fuck,” Peverett put those rumors to rest when he shared that it was actually a “nonsense word” he and his brother created. Peverett recalls in an archived interview with In the Studio that the name calls back to his childhood when he and his brother John were making up “silly words” while playing a game.

“This word ‘Foghat’ came up and we thought it was hilarious at the time,” he said. “We never found a use for it for a while.”

When playing with Chris Youlden when he joined Savoy Brown, Peverett said Youlden wanted to change his name to Luther Foghat. But just after recording their self-titled debut album, which was released in 1972, the band needed a name. That’s when Peverett went into the memory bank and pitched ‘Foghat.’

“When we did the first album, we had it all ready to go, the artwork was done….we didn’t like the name we had at that time, which was Brandywine, which sounded like a Kingston trio kind of band,” Peverett said, noting that the name reminded him of a folk band. “I came up with the little drawing of the guy with this hat and everybody said ‘at least we’ve got a logo, we’ll go with the Foghat.’ And that was it.”

The back cover of Foghat features Peverett’s sketch drawing of a cartoon man’s face with his tongue sticking out with fog pouring out of his hat. “[Peverett] used this new word to create Junior Foghat, an imaginary childhood playmate who became an alter ego and therefore the genesis of the ‘Lonesome Dave’ persona that he was to employ as a performer,” according to Rock and Roll Paradise.

Lasting Legacy

After relocating to the U.S. after signing with Bearsville Records, Foghat dominated the rock scene throughout the 1970s, with five of their albums certified gold for sales north of 500,000 copies. Two albums, Fool For the City and Foghat Live, both achieved platinum status for sales of a million copies or more. “Slow Ride,” “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” “Drivin’ Wheel” and “Third Time Lucky (First Time I Was a Fool)” are among their most recognizable hits.

“It happened suddenly,″ Peverett recalled in a 1998 interview with The Associated Press regarding the band’s success. “I don’t think I realized at the time how big the band was. We were still playing and had the same mentality of coming up with songs for the next album. We looked up, we were headlining big arenas. It was nice to go through that and survive it. I think we were pretty levelheaded compared to some people.″

Peverett departed the group in 1984 and upon returning to the U.S. in 1990 he established a new iteration, Lonesome Dave’s Foghat. The band featured former Wild Cherry guitarist Bryan Bassett and Stephen Dees and Eddie Zyne, bassist and drummer for Hall & Oates, respectively. Price also made guest appearances.

Peverett passed away at the age of 56 in 2000 following complications from cancer. Price followed in 2005 after suffering a heart attack. 2021 marked Foghat’s 50th anniversary. The band lives on today with the current lineup of original member Earl, along with Bassett, Rodney O’Quinn on bass guitar and lead singer and guitarist Scott Holt.

(Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)

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