Ambrose Mogg

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b. Andrew Morgan, 1 April 1941, Liverpool, England. Mogg, a catalyst amongst Merseybeat musicians, formed the Caterwaulers in the early 60s and enjoyed local success with ‘The Cat Came Back’ and other…
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b. Andrew Morgan, 1 April 1941, Liverpool, England. Mogg, a catalyst amongst Merseybeat musicians, formed the Caterwaulers in the early 60s and enjoyed local success with ‘The Cat Came Back’ and other feline songs. He refused to sign with HMV Records because of the picture of the dog on the label. However, his short time with Decca Records in 1963 was fraught with problems. Forced to use pugnacious session musicians, Jackie Russell, Gordie Setter and ‘Bulldog’ Drummer, Mogg’s desire to escape from the studio fast turned ‘Mean Dog Blues’ into a frantic rockabilly classic. Unfortunately for Mogg, the pressing plant was closing for its annual holiday and careless workers approved the record without a hole in its centre. Mogg raged at Decca, who cancelled his contract on grounds of insubordination, saying he should take lessons in manners from the Rolling Stones. A few weeks later, Mogg lost a leg at the Cavern when passionate fans pulled him first one way and then the other. He disappeared into the Catskill Mountains, while ‘Mean Dog Blues’ became a cult single although the drilling of the holes by collectors is rarely accurate. George Harrison referred to Mogg as an early influence in the biography The Quiet One written by Alan Clayson and Mogg’s sister Kitty appeared on UK radio during the years he was in exile. Mogg returned to Liverpool in 1989 with nothing in the kitty, but he is clawing his way back into the limelight with sterling work for the Merseycats charity. Music writer Pete Frame and Record Collector editor Peter Doggett have both lectured and written about Mogg’s standing in the music world. Mogg’s reappraisal has been largely due to the writer and broadcaster Spencer Leigh, who has been a major crusader of his work over the past two decades.