Personalities | Martin Pugh | Steamhammer Armageddon | Guitar Heroes

Martin Pugh grew up in England during the 1960s and 1970s. As a young musician influenced by rock’n’roll, Pugh developed his progressive, blues-and-folk-influenced style with his first band, known as The Package Deal, who performed in Devon and Cornwall in the early 1960s.

Martin soon moved to London and joined Carl Douglas (‘Kung Fu Fighting’) and The Big Stampede for a year, before joining Steamhammer, the blues-rock band from Worthing, England founded in 1968 by Martin Quittenton (guitar) and Kieran White (vocals, guitar, harmonica).

Pugh remained with Steamhammer through five years and four albums. Their debut album, Steamhammer, was released in 1969 and yielded a minor hit record in Europe, ‘Junior’s Wailing’. While the album was not commercially successful, the band’s sound became popular live, especially in West Germany. The second version of the band recorded the album Mk II, released in 1969. Blues-guitar legend Freddie King invited Steamhammer to back him on two tours in Britain. Martin cited King as an enormous influence on his own sound: raw, wailing tones that come from creative improvisation, intuition and aggressive finger attack. During this period, Rod Stewart came to watch Steamhammer at a London club and hired Martin to handle lead-guitar work, along with Quittenton, who co-wrote ‘Maggie May’ and ‘You Wear It Well’ on Stewart’s first solo record, An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down (US: The Rod Stewart Album, 1969).

Steamhammer’s final album, Speech (1972), was produced by ex-Yardbird and Renaissance frontman, Keith Relf. After Steamhammer’s break-up, Pugh and Relf formed Armageddon with bassist Louis Cennamo (also formerly of Renaissance and Steamhammer). The band’s debut album was released in 1974 to favourable reviews and significant airplay, but Relf’s sudden death dissolved the band. Pugh, disenchanted with changes in the music business, settled down in the rustic town of Three Rivers in central California, with his wife and two daughters. Since that time, Pugh has immersed himself in American blues, making electric guitars and working on his original music.

Essential Recordings

Steamhammer: Steamhammer

Steamhammer: Mk II

Rod Stewart: An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down

Armageddon: Armageddon

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