Formed in Long Island, New York in 1969, Cactus evolved through many different incarnations playing different styles of hard rock. The driving force for much of their long career has been drummer Carmine Appice, who originally came to fame with 1960s psychedelic band Vanilla Fudge, but left with bass player Tim Bogert in '69 to form Cactus, concentrating on blues rock with guitarist Jim McCarty and singer Rusty Day. The plan was for guitarist Jeff Beck to be in the original line-up but he was forced to withdraw following injury in a car crash. They went on to release three well-received albums together - Cactus (1970), One Way... Or Another (1971) and Restrictions (1971), but the line-up was already falling apart by the time of their fourth album 'Ot ‘N’ Sweaty' (1972) and the band went into hiatus as Bogert and Appice reverted to their original plan to link up with Beck (in Beck, Bogert & Appice). There was a shortlived New Cactus Band before Day put together another new line-up, which ran for four years. Day ultimately met a tragic end, when he was shot dead by unknown assailants in Florida in 1982. After an absence of more than 20 years, the seeds of a modern Cactus reunion were planted when Bogert, Appice, and McCarty were invited to make a radio appearance together in New York and perform at the B.B. King Blues Club in Times Square, New York in 2006. They recruited singer Jimmy Kunes and asked Randy Pratt to play harmonica with them. It resulted in a brand new album, 2006’s Cactus V and suddenly they were back in business. Bogert subsequently decided he didn't want to tour any more, McCarty pulled out for a while and then returned, and Pete Bremy joined to play bass. A live album Tokyo Nights followed in 2014, while the enduring strength of their earthy blues rock was proven once again when they wrote completely new material for their 2016 album Black Dawn and hit the road once more. Bogert passed away on January 13, 2021.

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