Thursday Throwdown ~ Canned Heat ~ A Change Is Gonna Come/Leaving This Town

Woodstock 1969

A Change is Gonna Come and Leaving This Town are the same song and not affiliated with Sam Cooke’s song or the latter one a Beach Boy’s.

It is a Canned Heat Jam created by band.

Bob “The Bear” Hite – vocals, harmonica
Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson – guitar, slide guitar, vocals
Harvey “The Snake” Mandel – guitar
Larry “The Mole” Taylor – bass
Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra – drums

Canned Heat was formed by Bob Hite and Alan Wilson with their shared love of not only the blues but the original artists that created it. The name Canned Heat came from Tommy Johnson’s 1928 “Canned Heat Blues”. And from their first self entitled album you could tell who their Mentor’s were.Together with their band-mates they managed to kick out 9 albums.

Unfortunately they also shared a love for drugs. But Wilson suffered from severe depression and after not succeeding an earlier suicide attempt by driving his car off the road near Hite’s home, a year after Woodstock Alan Wilson age 27 died on September 3, 1970 of a Reds overdose just weeks before Janis Joplin & Jimi Hendrix.

Wilson’s guitar work was exuberant and got the attention of many artists whom he got to work with. The list was the royalty of blues players. Sunnyland Slim, Son House and John Lee Hooker.

The original line up included guitarist Henry Vestine but just days after the release of CH’s 4th album Hallelujah and just two gigs before Woodstock he had a blow up with Larry Taylor and quit. After Alan Wilson died and Taylor and Mandall quit CH he returned.

Personally I would have been ramming my head into a wall for having missed that historic concert. But that’s the way it goes sometimes.

With other members coming on board Canned Heat forged on with another 10 or 11 more albums being released but sadly when the founder and front-man, vocalist, guitarist, song writer and producer Bob “the Bear” Hite died on April 5, 1981 at the age of 38 from a massive heart attack. This in my book concluded Canned Heat’s biggest and final chapter.

But man were they a mighty force. And they were one of the best Blues/Rock-Boogie bands to ever form and play.

Beyond phenomenal would best describe them.






Henry Vestine died in Paris at age 52 on October 20, 1997 of heart and respiratory failure.


Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra has kept Canned Heat’s memory alive. He, Taylor and Mandel are still performing…. hopefully until the end of time.


Complete Discography



Filed under 1960s Psychedelia, Blues, Entertainment, MUSIC, Music History, Rock-n-Roll, Song of the Day, Woodstock

6 responses to “Thursday Throwdown ~ Canned Heat ~ A Change Is Gonna Come/Leaving This Town

  1. I AM FED UP WITH THIS COPY RIGHT INFRINGEMENT BULL ON YOU TUBE. These record labels get their recordings viewed and make even more sales because of the recognition by sites like You Tube that let people display them. Generation after Generation.

    So screw you Warner Brothers for removing the first one placed.


  2. Rebecca Davis

    Thanks for remembering Canned Heat, especially so close to the anniversary of Blind Owl Wilson’s ascension to the heavenly realms! Great video, stills and photos here also.

    Fans of Canned Heat, and in particular Alan Wilson, will want to check out the tribute website established by his family. It’s at, and features great information, rare photos, video links, and more!

    Thanks again for featuring Canned Heat on your blog, and don’t forget to boogie.

    Rebecca Davis

  3. How could you not remember Canned Heat! LOL

    Always Jamming Rebecca, Thanks.

  4. I am at my wit’s end. CAN ANYONE ***PLEASE*** HELP ME?

    What I cannot fathom is that after looking around various discographies of Canned Heat on the internet that the song “Leaving This Town” is nowhere on their albums and it is only on the Woodstock soundtrack.

    Was this song ever released on a Canned Heat album???.

    Please help.
    Francois Moller
    Cape Town

  5. Well People it’s up on Daily Motion but not auto playing so you’ll have to click onto the player.

    Francois Moller

    “A Change Is Gonna Come/Leaving This Town” to my knowledge was never on an studio album. But the title is all one song. The lyrics should tell you that.

    The expanded 25th Anniversary Collection added “Leaving This Town” to the band’s collection of Woodstock performances and “A Change Is Gonna Come” was included on the director’s cut of the documentary film.

    From their biogrophy:

    The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Collection added “Leaving This Town” to the band’s previously released Woodstock performances. Unfortunately, the day before the release of the Woodstock movie, Warner Brothers shortened the film by twelve minutes, eliminating performances by Canned Heat and Jefferson Airplane, both non-Warners’ acts. Certainly, Canned Heat would have risen to much greater stardom if their dynamic performance had remained in the original film. It can, however, be seen in Woodstock, The Directors Cut, which was issued a few years later.

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