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 The Essential Tommy Bolin

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Tommy Bolin

Tommy Bolin is known as the journeyman guitarist, who, between the late 60's and mid 70's, played with a wide variety of different bands. Zephyr, a blues band in vain of Big Brother and the Holding Company, from 1969 to 1971, The James Gang, a southern rock outfit, from 1973 to 1974, and Deep Purple, from 1975 to his untimely death due to heroin addiction on December 4, 1976, at the young age of 25. Over his all too short career Bolin was known to be a very flexible guitarist, his style covering blues, hard rock, jazz, jazz fusion, folk, and acoustic rock, just to name a few.

In ...read more

Tommy Bolin is known as the journeyman guitarist, who, between the late 60's and mid 70's, played with a wide variety of different bands. Zephyr, a blues band in vain of Big Brother and the Holding Company, from 1969 to 1971, The James Gang, a southern rock outfit, from 1973 to 1974, and Deep Purple, from 1975 to his untimely death due to heroin addiction on December 4, 1976, at the young age of 25. Over his all too short career Bolin was known to be a very flexible guitarist, his style covering blues, hard rock, jazz, jazz fusion, folk, and acoustic rock, just to name a few.

In addition to his work with prominent hard rock outfits such as Deep Purple, Bolin, at the age of 20, also played on fusion drummer Billy Cobham's (formerly of the Mahavishnu Orchestra) solo project, appropirately called Spectrum.

From there he replaced Joe Walsh in the James Gang. After releasing two records with the band, he parted ways and went about making his first solo album, on which he sung with Brian Wilson's encouragement. Around this time, he replaced Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple, and his solo album Teaser and the Purp's Come Taste the Band were released simutaneously, thus Bolin only was allowed to play one song from Teaser each night while touring with Deep Purple, so the album sold poorly due to underpromotion.

It was now apparent Bolin had a severe heroin addiction. In 1976 he recorded Private Eyes, his second solo album. While the album was good, the tour proved disastourous, equipment failed and the cost of keeping a band on the road, along with a costly heroin addiction, had Tommy Bolin bumped down to a supporting act for Jeff Beck and Peter Frampton. The legendary final show included a fiery version of Post Toastee, off of Private Eyes.

Later that night Bolin was found dead in his hotel room. He had died from an overdose on heroin at the age of 25. « hide

Similar Bands: The James Gang, Deep Purple, Zephyr, Billy Cobham

LPs
Private Eyes
1976

4.3
8 Votes
Teaser
1975

4.3
11 Votes
Compilations
Great Gypsy Soul [Tommy Bolin and Friends]
01/01/2012

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