Back Street Crawler (band)

Back Street Crawler was an English–American rock band based in London in 1975. There was a group of blues and rock musicians founded by guitarist Paul Kossoff (ex-Free), signing to Atlantic Records (courtesy of Ahmet Ertegün) in 1975. The band took the name from Kossoff's solo album, Back Street Crawler. Terry Wilson, Mike Montgomery and Tony Braunagel had played together in the short-lived Bloontz, whose only album was released in 1973 and included versions of the Mike Montgomery songs, "Jason Blue" and "Long Way Down", both of which featured on Back Street Crawler's album The Band Plays On.

Back Street Crawler
OriginUnited States
GenresBlues rock, hard rock, heavy metal, Rock music
Years active1975–1976
LabelsAtlantic Records
Associated actsPaul Kossoff, Crawler, Free
Past membersPaul Kossoff
Terry Slesser
Terry Wilson
Tony Braunagel
Mike Montgomery
John 'Rabbit' Bundrick


The band's progress would continually be overshadowed by Kossoff's well-publicised drug dependency. His reliance on narcotics was common knowledge. Ultimately, his addiction to narcotics led to his eventual demise.

A headlining tour was conducted in the UK during May and June 1975, prior to finalising sessions for the album The Band Plays On. To push the album, a further series of live dates were announced. However, these shows were curtailed when Kossoff was taken ill with a stomach ulcer. Whilst receiving treatment, Kossoff's condition worsened and suffered a cardiac arrest. Four live concerts, in Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle and London, were undertaken in November.

Keyboard player Mike Montgomery quit the band shortly afterwards, to be replaced by John 'Rabbit' Bundrick for a series of American concerts in early 1976. Again, ill-health on Kossoff's part, including the guitarist breaking his fingers, resulted in numerous shows being cancelled.

The band set to work on their second album, working with producer Glyn Johns, in a variety of studios in New York and Los Angeles. With Kossoff still obviously ailing, session musician W.G. 'Snuffy' Walden committed much of the guitar to tape, Kossoff later playing lead over the mostly completed tracks. Walden also performed live, in the absence of Kossoff, with the band in February 1976. With Kossoff resuming his position, the band headlined four shows at the Starwood in West Hollywood. During the run of shows, Bad Company, were performing at the Los Angeles Forum and they joined Back Street Crawler onstage for two nights. The final night of the engagement, on March 3, 1976, was to be the final performance of both Paul Kossoff and Back Street Crawler.

A British tour with AC/DC as support act was set to commence on April 25, 1976. On March 19, Paul Kossoff died from cerebral and pulmonary edema on an overnight flight from Los Angeles to New York. Following Kossoff's death, the band continued under the name of Crawler.

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Former membersEdit


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