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Cactus (American band)

Updated: 2017-07-04T17:23Z
Cactus (1970).png
Cactus in 1970 (Left to right: Tim Bogert, Rusty Day, Jim McCarty, & Carmine Appice).
Background information
OriginLong Island, New York (original line-up); Longwood, Florida (1975-1979 line-up); Long Island, New York (present-day line-up);
GenresHard rock, blues rock, heavy metal
Years active1969–1972 (original Cactus), 1975-1979 (Rusty Day's reformed Cactus), 2005–present (Current Cactus)
LabelsAtco, Atlantic
Associated actsVanilla Fudge, Mitch Ryder, The Detroit Wheels, Detroit, Ted Nugent, The Amboy Dukes, Wicked Lester, Leaf Hound, Jeff Beck, Beck, Bogert & Appice, Steve Gaines, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rossington-Collins, .38 Special
MembersCarmine Appice
Jim McCarty
Jimmy Kunes
Randy Pratt
Pete Bremy
Past membersRusty Day
Tim Bogert
Ron Leejack
Peter French
Werner Fritzsching
Duane Hitchings
Mike Pinera
Roland Robinson
Jerry Norris
Bobby Caldwell
Charlie Souza
Steve Dansby
John Sauter
Gary Moffatt
Elliot Dean Rubinson

Cactus is an American hard rock band formed in 1969. It is composed of 5 members, Jimmy Kunes as lead singer (2006-present), Jim McCarty on the guitar (1970-71, 2006-present), Carmine Appice on the drums. Pete Bremy on the bass and Randy Pratt on the harmonica [1][2]


Original line-up (1969–1972)

Cactus was initially conceived in late 1969 by former Vanilla Fudge members bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice after plans to team up with guitarist Jeff Beck were scuppered when Beck had an automobile accident and was out of the music scene for over a year. In early 1970, Bogert and Appice brought in blues guitarist Jim McCarty from Mitch Ryder's Detroit Wheels and The Buddy Miles Express, and singer Rusty Day (born Russell Edward Davidson) from The Amboy Dukes.

This line-up released three albums on Atco Records, Cactus (1970), One Way... or Another (1971), and Restrictions (1971), before intraband troubles led to McCarty quitting at the end of 1971. Day was fired from the group shortly afterwards. The fourth and last original Cactus album, 'Ot 'n' Sweaty (1972), featured original rhythm section Bogert and Appice joined by Werner Fritzschings on guitar, Duane Hitchings on keyboards and Peter French (ex-Leaf Hound and Atomic Rooster) on vocals.

After Cactus

Beck, Bogert & Appice

After Cactus's dissolution in 1972, Bogert and Appice finally joined with Beck to form Beck, Bogert & Appice. After one studio album, the self-titled Beck, Bogert & Appice (1973) and one live album, Beck, Bogert & Appice Live (in Japan) (1973, released only in Japan), the band dissolved. Their second album remains unreleased to this day, along with recordings of the band's last concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London on January 26, 1974.

The Band Detroit

Having made a name for himself in Detroit's rock scene as a force to be reckoned with, Rusty Day worked to restore one of Detroit's most legendary bands, The Band Detroit, to the national stage. The Band Detroit was formed as an offshoot of The Detroit Wheels by members Steve Gaines, Ted "T-Mel" Smith, Nathaniel Peterson, Terry Emery, Bill Hodgeson, and others. The band's initial flame burned out quickly due to many different issues going on at once. There's a recording of Rusty Day, Steve Gaines, and the rest of the band performing in 1973 called The Band Detroit - The Driftwood Tapes.

The New Cactus Band

The New Cactus Band, led by Duane Hitchings, released one album, Son of Cactus (1973), which featured none of the original Cactus members. Mike Pinera, formerly of Blues Image and Iron Butterfly, came in on guitar, along with Roland Robinson on bass and Jerry Norris on drums. The band then toured live in the Midwest and on the East Coast in mid 1973 with Captain Beyond drummer Bobby Caldwell and former Gregg Allman bass player Charlie Souza. The New Cactus Band soon disbanded. Their sole album peaked at #183 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart.

In 1976, Rusty Day formed another version of Cactus in Longwood, Florida, where he had relocated. This version of Cactus featured Steve "Kahoutek" Dansby on guitar, John "Soybean Slim" Sauter (who later played on Ted Nugent's Weekend Warriors) on bass guitar, and Gary "Madman" Moffatt (who currently plays for .38 Special) on drums. This was the longest lasting 1970s line-up of the band, which ended around 1979.

On June 3, 1982, Rusty Day was murdered at his own house in Longwood, Florida. He and his son were shot to death by an unknown gang of drug dealers. The case has never been solved and remains open.[3]

Current incarnation (since 2006)

After a long hiatus, Cactus re-emerged in June 2006 with two appearances in New York City: a radio appearance on The Radiochick Show, and their first show since 1972 at B.B. King's Blues Club in Times Square on June 3. This show was a warm up for the gig which sparked the reunion, an appearance at the Sweden Rock Festival in Norje, Sweden on June 9. The 2006 version of Cactus saw original members Appice, Bogert and McCarty reunited and joined by former Savoy Brown frontman Jimmy Kunes on vocals. Randy Pratt joined the band in New York and Sweden on harmonica. The group also released a new album, Cactus V (2006).

In 2008, McCarty left the band again and, coincidentally repeating history, was once again replaced by Werner Fritzchings. Elliot Dean Rubinson replaced Tim Bogert, who retired from touring. In 2011, McCarty returned to the band with Pete Bremy taking over on bass. Bremy also took over for Bogert in Vanilla Fudge and is the only non-original member who has played for both bands. The 2012 line-up was Jim McCarty, Carmine Appice, Jimmy Kunes, Pete Bremy and Randy Pratt.

In early 2016, Carmine Appice announced on his Twitter and Facebook pages that Cactus was coming out with a new album at the end of May that year, Black Dawn.[4] In early June, Jim McCarty was interviewed on a podcast show, and he said that due to some complications, the release date of Black Dawn had been held up and should hopefully be out by early July. However, he has also stated that it will definitely be out by September, when the band will be touring for the album, the first show of which will be called the Cactus CD Release Party. McCarty has also revealed that the album contains eight brand new songs as well as two never before heard songs by the original band that had recently been unearthed by Carmine Appice.[5]


Studio albums


of Release

TitleUS Top 200Label
1971One Way... or Another#88
1972'Ot 'N' Sweaty#162
2006Cactus VEscapi
2016Black DawnSunset Blvd Records

Live Albums

  • Tokyo Nights (2014)


  • TKO Tokyo: Live in Japan (2014)

Compilation albums


of Release

1996Cactology: The Cactus CollectionRhino
2004Barely Contained: The Studio SessionsRhino Handmade
Fully Unleashed: The Live Gigs
2007Fully Unleashed: The Live Gigs Vol. 2
2010Ultra Sonic Boogie: Live 1971Purple Pyramid
2013Cactus/One Way... or AnotherHear No Evil
Restrictions/'Ot 'N' Sweaty



of Release

1970"You Can't Judge a Book by the Cover"Atco
1971"Long Tall Sally"
"Token Chokin'"
Bringing Me Down

None of the above listed singles charted in Billboard.


  1. ^ "Cactus discography". RateYourMusic. Retrieved 2017-05-29. 
  2. ^ "Interview - Randy Pratt - For Bass Players Only". For Bass Players Only. 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2017-05-29. 
  3. ^ "Seminole County Sheriff's Office - Donald F. Eslinger, Sheriff". Retrieved 2015-11-03. 
  4. ^ "CACTUS ROCKS". Retrieved 2017-05-29. 
  5. ^ Barone, Paolo. "Jim McCarty’s resurrected ’70s band Cactus plays the Magic Bag". Detroit Metro Times. Retrieved 2017-05-29. 


External links

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