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The plan was for the Vanilla Fudge rhythm section of bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice to join with guitar god Jeff Beck and his singer Rod Stewart in a supergroup of sorts in the fall of 1969. The plan was derailed when Beck had an automobile accident that incapacitated him for the next 18 months. Stewart then joined pal Ron Wood in the revamped Faces (and pursued a somewhat lucrative solo career), leaving Bogert and Appice to find alternates for their dream band. They recruited guitarist Jim McCarty from Mitch Ryder's Detroit Wheels and The Buddy Miles Express, and singer Rusty Day from Ted Nugent's Amboy Dukes.
This line-up managed three albums (Cactus, One Way… Or Another, and Restrictions) before interband troubles led to Jim McCarty quitting at the end of 1971. Shortly afterwards Rusty Day was fired from the group. The fourth and last Cactus album ('Ot 'N' Sweaty) featured original rhythm section Bogart and Appice joined by Werner Fritzschings on guitar, Duane Hitchings on keyboards and Peter French on vocals.
After Cactus' dissolution in 1972, Bogert and Appice finally joined with Beck to form Beck, Bogert & Appice. After one studio album (the self titled Beck, Bogart & Appice) and one live album (Live In Japan, 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 New Cactus Band, led by Duane Hitchings, released one album (Son Of Cactus) and featured no 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 New Cactus Band soon disbanded.
In the late 70s Rusty Day formed a new version of Cactus in North Florida, where he had relocated. This version of Cactus featured Steve Dansby on guitar, John Sauter on bass, and Gary Moffatt on drums. There are no known studio recordings from this era, though live recordings do circulate.
After a long hiatus Cactus unexpectedly emerged in June 2006 with two appearances in New York City: a radio appearance on 92.3 Free FM, and their first show since 1972 at B.B. King's Blues Club in Times Square. This show was a warm up for the gig which sparked the reunion, an appearance at the Sweden Rock Festival in Norje, Sweden. The 2006 version of Cactus sees original members Carmine Appice, Tim Bogart, and Jim McCarty reunited and joined by Jimmy Kunes on vocals. Randy Pratt joined the band in NYC and Sweden on harmonica.
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