50 years before the release of “Kitchen Rock” by ex-Pretty Things member Wally Waller, there was another track that showcased his unique one-man band setup. Credited to The Marcus Hook Roll Band, this track, titled “Hoochie Coochie Har Kau,” stood out as more than just a B-side. It was a testament to Waller’s dedication and the unpredictable twists of the music industry.
Diving deeper into the song’s origins, Waller reminisces, “It was a bit of a dopey song. I had a girlfriend at the time who was crazy about Chinese food. We used to go down to ‘Chinatown’ in London, to an authentic Chinese restaurant called ‘Lee Ho Fook’ – it was the first Chinese restaurant in the UK to be awarded any Michelin gold stars. Anyway, the chorus of the song was just some of my favourite items from their menu!”
Serving as an EMI producer, Waller collaborated with The Marcus Hook Roll Band, a group on the brink of transforming into the iconic AC/DC. However, a commitment to their Australian management team, ‘Alberts’, presented a challenge: the inability to assign the B-side publishing to EMI. Undeterred, Waller rose to the occasion, single-handedly crafting the song at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. This track was meant to accompany “Louisiana Lady”, a song penned by the hit-making duo Vanda/Young and performed by the band. Yet, in an unexpected turn of events, “Hoochie Coochie Har Kau” was flipped to the A-side upon its release on the ‘Stateside’ label in Portugal. Waller recalls this switch as “embarrassing.” Still, this narrative underscores the unpredictable trajectories music can follow, shedding light on the often untold stories that shape rock history.
For more of Wally’s iconic songwriting and recording, check out “Kitchen Rock” available on CD, LP and digital.