“Don’t let your mind Post Toastee,
like a lot of my friends did”
From: Rik L. Schwinden’s book
“BUZZ” Newspaper Article: Jul- Aug 2011 (#5-E)
1. Sioux City Iowa: 1951
Thomas Richard Micheal Bolin was born in Sioux City, Iowa on Wed. 1 August 1951 to Richard & Barbara Bolin and lived on 1113 Court Street Sioux City, Iowa Richard worked at the local meat packing plant, Barbara worked at her father’s corner market. There were 4 Bolin boys Tommy, Bobby in 1953, Johnnie 17 August 1954 & Rick “Pudge” in 1957. Tommy began performing at an early age as an Elvis imitator on the local TV show “Canyon Kid”.
2. Patch of Blue: 1965- 67
In 1963 Tommy was in a garage band ‘The Miserlou’s’ when he was discover by guitarist Roger Rothwell & Local Guitar Legend Bob Dawdy of ‘The Velaires’. Tommy was recommended to the Local band ‘Denny and the Triumphs’ in 1964 who soon broke up and became ‘A Patch of Blue’ in 1965, put together by the recently deceased George Larvick, this band of young high school kids performed all over the mid west area, until the band fired Tommy for being too loud. Tommy then went to Cincinnati sometime in 1967 and played with the band ‘Ginger People’ with John Ferris as well as sitting in with blues legend Lonnie Mack.
3. Zephyr: 1968- 1971
In Fall 1967 Tommy left the band he was with as Keyboardist, ‘The Chateau’ from South Dakota and left for Denver which at that time the “mid west” answer to New York and San Francisco. The first band he was involved with was in ‘Cross Town Bus’ in 1967-68 where he met his girlfriend of the next 8 years, Karen U. Then Tommy formed a new band in late 1968 ‘Ethereal Zephyr’ later shorted to ‘Zephyr’ in 1969 they were signed to ABC-Probe Record Label & put out their first LP that same year. In 1970 ‘Zephyr’ added Drummer Bobby Berge, and in 1971 put out their 2nd LP “Going Back to Colorado” on Warner Bros. the band broke up in mid 1971 however did get back together from time to time in 1973 to play limited shows. There is a CD of a 1973 concert “Live at Art’s Bar & Grill”
4. Energy: 1971- 73
Tommy was quoted as saying when asked; “My favorite band I was in?, Energy” in 1971 after ‘Zephyr’ broke up Tommy went to New York, and played the local jazz scene with such greats as, Jeremy Stieg, Tony Williams, Don Alias & Gene Perla. Which lead to the formation of ‘Energy’ with former band mates Bobby Berge, Jeff Cook of ‘Crosstown Bus’ and Stan Sheldon & his Cousin Tom Stephenson. Touring where and when they could, unfortunately ‘Energy’ did not put out a record however there are 3 CDs available of this progressive jazz- blues band. (Pink Floyd fans should check these CDs out)
5. Billy Cobahm: 1973
In May 1973 Billy Cobham & Jan Hammer left the ‘Mahavishnu Orchestra’ to work on the LP “Spectrum” they needed a new ground breaking guitarist. Cobham had remembered Tommy from ‘Zephyr’ playing festivals together. So Billy called Tommy & asked “Would you like to do my solo record?” Tommy said “Who’s this again, I thought it was a joke” coincidentally this LP lead the way for Jeff Beck to go Instrumental Jazz Fusion & lead to Tommy’s audition for ‘Deep Purple’. The “Spectrum” LP came out on Atlantic in 1973 (Van Halen fans should listen to the song”Quadrant 4”).
6. James Gang: 1973- 74
In August 1973 ‘James Gang’ was looking for a new guitarist as Joe Walsh had split sometime earlier & the 1st replacement was not working out. The guys in ‘James Gang’ asked Walsh if he knew of anyone who he could recommend. Walsh said “Yea, my friend Tommy Bolin, he just did the “Spectrum” record.” The band brought Tommy in and recorded “Bang” 1973 Atco Records Tommy co-wrote 8 of the 9 songs on the LP made up of unreleased ‘Energy’ material. Note for the album cover Tommy’s head is super imposed onto Dominic Troiano’s body. In 1974 saw the 2nd ‘James Gang’ album with Tommy “Miami” this time Tommy co-wrote the entire LP. By late 1974 Tommy had grown disillusioned with the band naming musical differences and egos as the problem Tommy split in Aug 1974.
7. Alphonse Mouzon: 1975
In December 1974 Tommy teamed up with former ‘Weather Report’ Drummer Alphonse Mouzon To create what I personally feel is the greatest recorded album of all time “Mind Transplant” (Rush fans You Need To Hear This Record for the drumming) this is an unbelievable fusion jazz record it came out on Blue Note in 1975.
8. Moxy: 1975
While Tommy was recording demos for his 1st solo record that would eventually become “Teaser” he was asked to fill in for the recently departed guitarist from the Canadian Band ‘Moxy’ Tommy added is lead guitar work to 5 of the 8 tracks on the LP. “Moxy” came out on Mercury records in 1975.
9. Teaser: 1974- 75
Since ‘Energy’ disbanded in 1972 Tommy had been working on songs for his 1st solo outing starting the project in July 1975. It would eventually come out on Nemporer Records in late 1975. Working with a host of guest musicians like: Prairie Prince, Carmine Appice, Glen Hughes, David Sanborn, Phil Collins etc. A stellar piece of work, originally Tommy wanted Side #1 to be Vocal and side #2 to be Instrumental. So unfortunately one of the best tracks was left of the LP “Crazed Fandango” ‘Teaser’ came out within a month of Tommy’s 1st LP with ‘Deep Purple’.
10. Deep Purple: 1975- 76
Ritchie Blackmore had enough in 1974 with ‘Deep Purple’. So the newer members hungry to keep the band alive went in search of as new guitarist. David Coverdale had remembered a great guitar player form a record he liked “Spectrum” it just so happened Tommy lived up the street from one of ‘Deep Purple’s’ Roadies. So they brought Tommy in June 1975 and the band clicked with Tommy straight away. I asked Ian Paice about Tommy “He sure liked the camera didn’t he” Tommy really wanted to focus on his solo career but could not pass up the money the band offered, even though Tommy would have preferred the band take a new name, the band got to work right away & recorded “Come Taste The Band” in Switzerland it came out on Capitol Records in 1975. a 2nd LP was released with Tommy shortly after his death in 1977 “Last Concert in Japan” on Purple Records, this was from the 15 December 1975 show on the tour of Japan. I once asked David to do an interview on Tommy for my book, Coverdale to me “New book on Tommy, oh cool… no comment” ‘Deep Purple’ called it quits in March 1976.
11. Solo Band: 1975- 76
At last Tommy is free and established to pursue his solo career. So Tommy puts together the 1st ‘Tommy Bolin Band’ in April 1976, with Jan Hammer, Michael Narada Walden & Mark Stein of ‘Vanilla Fudge’ & set out on the road to promote ‘Teaser’ even though it was released a year earlier. Tommy has a revolving door of musicians in ‘The Tommy Bolin Band’ including his younger brother Johnnie Bolin, and the only main stay Norma Jean Bell on Saxophone. Tommy enters the studio to record his 2nd and final studio record “Private Eyes” in June 1976 comes out in August 1976.Tommy embarks on his 2nd solo tour landing the radio show “The King Biscuit Flower Hour” 19 September 1976 Tommy and the band are schedule to open for ‘KISS’ on the “Rock N Roll Over Tour” on 2 December 1976 when Tommy cancels due to health reasons. Tommy does land the opening slot for guitar contemporary Jeff Beck on 3 December 1976. At an after show party, then to his room at the Newport Hotel, Tommy seemed to be in okay, and in decent spirits and having a few drinks.
12. Death: 1976
On 4 December 1976 just after 7 A.M. Thomas Richard Micheal Bolin was pronounced “dead” in Miami, Florida from Alcohol, Barbiturates, & Opiates. The coroner’s report shows fresh needle tracks, but not signs of long term usage. Tommy is buried in Sioux City, Iowa in Calvary Cemetery. Karen made sure Tommy was buried with a souvenir he had been given years earlier the very ring Jimi Hendrix was wearing when Jimi died. Tommy did have some songs written like “Faded Satin Lady” “Blues Gonna Take Me Away” & “Down In Dungeon” for what would have been his 3rd solo LP perhaps entitled “Whips and Roses” due out in early 1977.
13. Tommy Bolin Archives: 1996
There have been about 36 CDs of material, Live, Demos & Out-takes, released of Tommy’s music since he passed away 4 December 1976 on various labels many through the Tommy Bolin Archives out of Denver, CO. The 5 most recent:
1. “Teaser Deluxe” 2011 Samson
2. “Come Taste The Band” by: Deep Purple 2010 EMI
3. “Mister Bolin’s Late Night Revue” 2010 Rainbow Foundation (I worked on the music video for the song “Jump Back” on this CD)
4. “Whirlwind” 2013 Cleopactra
5. “Zephyr: Boxset” 2014 Purple Pyramid
14. My Book: “Post Toastee; Sioux City Blues”
This information is taken from my book with Johnnie Bolin, which is in progress on Tommy R. Bolin due out August 2016
Mr. Zero’s Roseville 55113: $ells Tommy Bolin; Posters, CDs, Postcards, T-Shirts, LPs, Guitar Picks, Buttons, Photographs
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“BolinFest 2011” Tickets @ $old @ Mr. Zero’s $10.oo
Saturday 30 July 2011 in Sioux City, Iowa @ Ickey Nickle
“BolinFest 2012” Sat 4 Aug 2012
In Sioux City, Iowa @ Icky Nickle
“BolinFest 2013” Sat 3 Aug 2013
In Sioux City, Iowa @ Icky Nickle
“BolinFest 2014” Sat 2 Aug 2014
In Sioux City, Iowa @ Icky Nickle