“BUZZ” Newspaper Article Aug- Sep 2013 (#30-tBc)
Welcome back to another installment of “Dr. Rock’s Remember When?”
Occasionally I get asked where I am from; well I was born in Sioux City, Iowa, I went to School in Jackson, MS. But graduated from Sioux City West, and then promptly moved to Phoenix, AZ. I lived in Des Moines, Iowa about 15 years & I have been in St. Paul about 14 years now.
Having grown up in Sioux City our Local Hero was Tommy Bolin who left that town & made something of himself in the ‘music biz’ in 1979 The Bolin Family lived across the street from us on 25th Pierce St. Now Sioux City is kind of a depressing place, & when Tommy ended up in ‘Deep Purple” ‘it gave me the idea “Then I can get out of this town too”
So when people ask me where I am from I tell them “Sioux City, Iowa the Home of Tommy Bolin” usually I hear “Oh, the guy in “T-Rex” I say “No, the other guy, Teaser” Now I own “Mr. Zero’s: Music Shop” & we have sponsored the “The Annual Tommy Bolin Fest” held in Sioux City, Iowa for the past now, it’s held the 1st week of August to honor Tommy’s birthday. So in 1st part of this ‘2 Part Article’ I’d like to cover the 1st half of the some 50 plus releases pertaining to Tommy.
Tommy Bolin: Thomas Richard Micheal Bolin; 1 Aug 1951was born in Sioux City, Iowa, his parents were Rich & Barbara, & 2 brothers are, Johnnie & Pudge. Tommy was a Catholic of half Syrian & Swedish heritage He grew up on 2740 Clark St on the north-west side of town. Tommy died of a massive drug overdose in a hotel in Miami on 4 Dec 1976.
>>> Not To Be Confused with:
Marc Bolan who was born (Mark Feld) on 30 Sep 1947 in Stoke Newington, London, England & died 16 Sep 1977 in Barnes, London, Marc’s father Simeon Feld was a Russian/Polish Jew & his mother Phyllis Atkins an Irish Christian. Bolan once declared “he, if anything he was Jewish”.
Marc was originally was influenced by Gene Vincent. Marc was a teen model, before becoming a Solo artist from 1965-67 releasing 5 singles, before joining “John’s Children” in 1967 this band released 1 single. He then became Marc Bolan & formed ‘Tyrannosaurs Rex’ in 1968 through 1970 releasing 4 LPs & 5 Singles. Around Jun ’70 Marc recorded “Ride A White Swan” & shorted the band’s name to “T-Rex” & released 8 LPs & a whopping 32 Singles from 1970- 1977. Ironically Marc died only 9 months after Tommy Bolin (to add to the confusion) in a auto crash, he was the passenger in the auto being driven by Gloria Jones, the auto hit a fence, then a tree on the way back from Morton’s Pub in Berkley Square, low air pressure in the tire was listed as the cause of the accident.
Tommy Bolin or Tom as he preferred to be called then, was influenced by Elvis he started off playing drums, but soon switched to guitar & keyboards. At the age of 13 Tom was playing guitar in the garage band “The Miserlous”. He was then asked by Brad Miller to join “Denny & The Triumphs” in early 1965. Tom was using a Mosrite Surf Guitar at this time. This band consisted of the lineup listed below:
*Denny & The Triumphs: 1965 (summer)
Sioux City, Iowa
Denny Foote: Bass
Tommy Bolin: Guitar
Dave Stokes: Vocals
Brad Miller: Lead Guitar
Brad Larvick: Drums
Steve Bridenbaugh: Keyboards
George Larvick Sr. managed ‘The Triumphs’ at some point Denny was fired & George Larvick Jr. stepped in & took over the band. George changed the name of the band to ‘A Patch Of Blue’ after seeing a Sidney Poitier film of the same name. George Sr. made several recordings (reportedly up to 5 shows) of this band. In 1999 a 2-CD set was released. My Uncle Jeff has said “You should have seen/heard Tommy play the solo on Tom Jones “It’s Not Unusual” man, did he really shine on that one” At this time Tom was using a Gretsch Country Gentlemen & a blue Kustom Amp.
*A Patch Of Blue: 1965 (fall)- 1967 (summer)
Sioux City, Iowa
“A Patch Of Blue: Live” Larvick Recordings-1999 (CD only)
A 2 CD recording containing 28 songs from 2 separate concerts in Correctionville & Sioux City, Iowa in 1967.
George Larvick: Bass & Vocals
Brad Larvick: Drums
Brad Miller: Guitar
Tommy Bolin: Guitar
Steve Bridenbaugh: Keyboards
Dave Stokes:Vocals #1
Mike Schwarte: Vocals #2
Tom was eventually fired from ‘A Patch Of Blue’ for turning up his guitar too loud to upstage the other band members. Tom was recruited to play in the Sioux Falls band ‘The Chateaux’ as mainly a Keyboardist and 2nd guitar player to John Bartle.
*The Chateaux: 1967 (fall)
Sioux Falls, SD.
Bob Ellison: Vocals & Bass
John Bartle: Lead Guitar
Tommy Bolin: Keyboards & Guitar
Bobby Berge: Drums
David Napier: Saxophone
One night in Dec ’67 Tom took off with a friend to move to Denver to stay with former band mate Brad Miller. David Napier: “The 1st time I heard of that Bolin kid was he didn’t show for a gig, I got a call from Ellison to fill in, boy was Bob pissed”
Bolin had moved to Denver & happened upon the local band ‘Crosstown Bus‘ rehearsing in a basement, Tom asked if he could sit in. Eventually Tom & Jeff Cook formed ‘American Standard’ named after the toilet manufacturing company. It is also about this time that Tom went back to being called Tommy.
*American Standard:1968 (spring)
Jeff Cook: Vocals
Tommy Bolin: Guitar
Terry Knieff: Bass
Michael Lothamer: Drums
Tommy had met John Feris in Cincinnati, after backing Lonnie Mack, earlier in the year of ‘67, the 2 moved to Boulder & formed ‘Ethereal Zephyr’ Candy & David were in ‘Brown Sugar”’the 2 bands united & became ‘Zephyr’ with Chamberlain on drums at 1st, then later replaced By Berge of ‘The Velaires’. Tommy at this time was using a Gibson SG to quote “Get that sound”.
*Zephyr: 1968- 1971 & 1973
“1st Album” Probe/ABC-1969 (LP, 8Track & CD)
“Going Back To Colorado” WB-1971 (LP, 8Track, Cass & CD)
“Live @ Art’s Bar & Grill” TBA-1996 (CD only) 2 May 1973 reunion concert.
Tommy Bolin: Guitar
John Feris: Organ
Candie Givens: Vocals
David Givens: Bass
Robbie Chamberlain: Drums #1
& Bobby Berge: Drums #2
“ZEPHYR”: Purple Pyramid- 2014 (CD only) Boxset re-mastered 1st album, 2nd CD is “Live Cuts: 1969-73” & 3rd CD “19 Jun 1973 in Boulder @ Tulagi’s
There was a Promo Video shot for a 3 min. version “Hard Chargin Woman” as well as footage of ‘Zephyr ‘on “Turn On TV” from 1970, performing “St. James Infirmary”
This is around the time Barry Fey became a real influence on Tommy’s life, right up until his death. This is also about the time Tommy met Mike Drumm who worked at a recordstore & helped Tommy buy a reel to reel tape recording deck so Tommy could record his demos. ‘Zephyr’ toured & performed on the same bill as bands like Led Zeppelin & Jimi Hendrix Experience. Their 2nd LP was produced by the legendary Eddie Kramer. In mid ’73 the band reunited for several concerts.
Bolin & Berge left ‘Zephyr’ in May ’71 to form ‘Energy’ a Jazz-Rock-Fusion band. This band was not able secure a record deal, while they did not release an LP while they were together several CDs have been released of their musical efforts. Jeremy Steig was the Flute player in the band originally, Steig had an LP titled “Energy” in 1970 on Capitol Records, & this is where Bolin took the name from. At this time Tommy was using a 1962 Gibson EMS-1235 Les Paul Double Neck , owned by Joe Walsh, with Hi Watt Amp Heads & Sound City Bottoms.
*Energy: 1971- 1972 & 1974
Boulder, CO.- Sioux City, IA.
“The Energy Radio Broadcasts 1972” TBA-1998 (CD only) 2 separate radio broadcasts from Denver.
“Energy” TBA-1999 (CD only) 2 demo recording sessions & a soundtrack recording.
“Tommy Bolin & Energy: Live” in Boulder 1972 & Sioux City 17/18 Dec 1972 TBA-2003 (CD only).
“Glen Holly Jams: Vol 1” TBA-2004 (CD only) Jam sessions @ Glen Holly Studios from 1972- 1974.
“Raw” PPR-2014(Jan-2014: CD only) more Jam Sessions from 1972- 1974.
“Live at Ebbets Field” 1974 TBA-1997 (CD only) Reformed “Energy” concert 3 Jun 1974.
“Live at Ebbets Field 1974 Vol. 2 (Alternate Takes)” (CD only) reformed “Energy” concert 4 Jun 1974.
Tommy Bolin: Guitar & Vocals
Bobby Berge: Drums
Stanley Sheldon: Bass
Tom Stephenson: Keyboards #1
Jeremy Steig: Flute
Gary Wilson: Vocals #1
Jeff Cook: Vocals #2
Max Carl Gronenthal: Keyboards & Vocals #2-3
Russell Bizzet: Drums #2
Archie Shelby: Percussion
When Tommy left the ‘James Gang’ in mid ’74 he re-formed ‘Energy’ & played a few shows before he began work on his 1st solo LP.
While Tommy was struggling to make ‘Energy’ successful he got a call from Billy Cobham formerly of: ‘Mahavishnu Orchestra’ to be the guitarist on Cobham’s 1st solo LP “Spectrum” This LP lead the way for Jazz Fusion music embraced by the likes of; Jeff Beck.
*Billy Cobham: 1973
“Spectrum” Atlantic- 1973 Oct (LP, 8Track, Cass & CD).
“Rudiments: The Billy Cobham Anthology” WEA-2004 (CD only) “Spectrum” Out-Take “All For One”.
Billy Cobham: Drums
Tommy Bolin: Guitar
Jan Hammer: Piano- Synthesizer
Lee Sklar: Bass
Shortly after Tommy’s work on “Spectrum” Joe Walsh who frequently jammed with Bolin in Boulder, suggested Tommy to be the new guitar player in ‘James Gang’. Tommy literally breathed new life into the band, writing almost all the materiel for 2 studio LPs. As Tommy entered the ‘James Gang’ he was using a Fender Tele-Strat, something his roadie Dave Brown came up with, a Telecaster neck on a Stratocaster body, Tommy actually had 2 of these, a Brown one & a White one.
*James Gang: 1973- 1974
“Bang” Atco-1973 Sep (LP, 8Track, Cass & CD) ”Must Be Love” #54 on Billboard 6 Apr 1974.
“Miami” Atco- 1974 Jul (LP, 8Track, Cass & CD).
“Snapshot” TBA/ Cleopatra-1999 (CD & LP) James Gang Demos.
Jim Fox: Drums
Dale Peters: Bass
Roy Kenner: Vocals
Tommy Bolin: Guitar & Vocals
There is video footage of ‘James Gang’ from Don Kirshner’s “Rock Concert” 23 Feb 1974: Walk Away, The Devil Is Singing Our Song, Ride the Wind, Funk #49 & Standing In The Rain.
While Tommy was still in the ‘James Gang ‘in Jul ’74 as a favor to Jim Fox, Tommy played on The “Rainbow Canyon” LP. Tommy ended up leaving ‘James Gang’ because of personal & musical differences; it was Bolin’s intent to re-form ‘Energy’
*Rainbow Canyon: 1974
“Rollin in the Rockies” Capitol-1974 Aug (LP & 8Track) James Gang: Jim Fox project w/ Tommy on: “The Invisible Song” . A 45 Single was released of this song.
Between bands Tommy was hanging in L.A. working on demos for his own Solo LP (Teaser) Bolin did some session work for ‘Coven”’ Tommy sited this band as an early influence on him, there is some discrepancy on Bolin’s involvement on these recordings from; he was asked to join the band to he was just hanging out partying. Tommy was also working with Mike Finnegan in Aug 1974 & Dr. John in Dec 1974 at this time.
“Metal Goth Queen-Out of the Vault” 2008 (CD only)
Tommy on “Black Swan” 1974
*Alphonse Mouzon: 1974 (Dec)
Bolin had sat in & jammed with Mouzon & Coryell in Boulder sometime in late ’74, leading to Mouzon booking time @ Glen Holly Studios in Oct ’74. With Bolin & Sheldon, a CD was released of this session.
“Mind Transplant” Blue Note-1975 (LP, 8Track, Cass & CD).
“Tommy Bolin & Alphonse Mouzon Fusion Jam” (1974 Oct) TBA-1999 (CD only) the rehearsal session for “Mind Transplant”.
Alphonse Mouzon: Drums, Vocals, Keys
Tommy Bolin: Guitar (solo 2, 3, 7, 8, 9)
Jerry Peters: Keyboards
Henry Davis: Bass
Tommy happened to be in NYC when Roland Paquin, who was the former manager of ‘James Gang’ & now the current manager of ‘Moxy’ recommended Bolin to record Lead Guitar on 6 songs in the place of Earl Johnson. Tom Stephenson also plays Keyboards on this LP.
“1 (black)” Polydor 1975 (summer in Can) 1976 Mercury (US) (LP, 8Track & CD).
In Jun ’75 Tommy was hired to fill in for the recently departed Ritchie Blackmore in ‘Deep Purple’ Tommy’s contract allowed him to have solo LP at the same time, Bolin wanted a solo career but, Tommy could not resist the status & money that “Purple” offered him. Tommy recorded 1 studio LP & 1 Concert LP & a world tour before the band broke up in Mar ’76 as Lord & Paice did not want to continue the band & Coverdale was unhappy with Bolin’s behavior. While Tommy was in “Purple” he began using Dave Brown’s Gibson Les Paul Standard with the American Flag Pickguard, as he wanted to set himself apart from Blackmore.
*Deep Purple: 1975- 1976
“Come Taste The Band” WB-1975 Oct (LP, Reel, 8Track, Cass & CD) the only studio LP with this lineup.
“Last Concert in Japan” WB/Purple 1977 Mar (LP, Cassette & CD) official LP released after Tommy’s death.
“On The Wings Of A Russian Foxbat”
THBWM-1808 Bootleg LP of 27 Feb 1976 Long Beach. The Original Radio Broadcast of the “King Biscuit Flower Hour”
Smoke On The Water
This Time Around
Not Fade Away
“Days May Come and Days May Go” (The California Rehearsals Vol. 1) DPR-2000 (CD only).
“1420 Beachwood Drive” (The California Rehearsals Volume 2) DPR-2000 (CD only) Bolin’s audition part 2.
“This Time Around: Live in Tokyo” DPR-2001 (CD only) complete 15 Dec 1975 Tokyo concert.
“King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents: Deep Purple in Concert” KBFH-1995 (CD only) 27 Feb 1976; Long Beach, CA.
“On the Wings of a Russian Foxbat” Live in California ’76 (1995) (CD only) Import version of: 27feb76 concert.
“Deep Purple: Extended Versions” BMG-2000 (CD only) 26 Jan 1976; Springfield,Mass.concert. ”Come Taste The Band: 35th Anniversary Edition” EMI Import- 2010 Remixed & Expanded (4 bonus tracks)Version of this LP (CD only)
“Last Concert In Japan: Remaster” Friday Music- 2012 (CD only)
A VHS (only) “Rises Over Japan” contains video footage of; Smoke On The Water, You Keep On Moving, Burn, Love Child & Highway Star, & is now on DVD.
“Phoenix Rising” Eagle Rock- 2011 (DVD/cd & Blu-Ray)
When Tommy would go home to Sioux City to visit, after spending time with his family, Tommy would call up his childhood musician friends & they would play one-off or several gigs under the name ‘The Gassers’ 1 concert CD was released from these shows. Tommy was using a tobacco sunburst Fender Stratocaster with a small headstock around this time.
*The Gassers: 1975 & 1976
Sioux City- Sioux Falls
“Live at the Jet Bar” 24 Nov 1976 TBA-2004 (CD only).
Johnnie Bolin: Drums
John Bartle: Guitar #1
Roger Rothwell: Bass, Guitar
Archy Shelby: Percussion
George Larvick: Bass #2
Scott Isaacson: Bass #3
Butch Porter: Guitar #2
Mark Craney: Drums #2
Barry Fey was able to get Bolin signed as a solo artist in Apr ’75 with Nemperor Records. Tommy began sessions for his 1st solo LP in Jul- Oct ’75 ”Teaser” was originally planned to be “A” side with Vocals & the “B” Side Instrumental. Tommy began his tour for “Teaser” in Apr ‘76; unfortunately Bolin was dropped from his record label in May ’76 when he nearly fell of the stage (due to intoxication) at a show in NYC. Fey managed to get Bolin signed to Columbia Records sometime in Jun ’76 then recording began for Tommy’s 2nd solo LP “Private Eyes” Bolin was using an Ibanez Explorer (which was stolen from a bingo hall here in MPLS in 1980).
*Tommy Bolin Band: 1974 & 1976
“Teaser” Nemperor/CBS-1975 Nov (LP, 8Track, Cass & CD).
“Private Eyes” CBS-1976 Sep (LP, 8Track, Cass & CD).
“Whips & Roses: 1 & 2” -2006 (CD only) Master Alternate Recordings for “Teaser” remixed with other tracks.
“Teaser Deluxe” 2011 (CD only) Remixed from the master tapes with a bonus track.
“Teaser: Definitive Collector’s Edition” (5 CD Boxset) 429 Records-2012 (CD only) the Entire “Teaser” Sessions.
“Naked” TBA-2000 (CD only) 2 CDs of 36 acoustic demos.
“Naked II” TBA-2002 (CD only) a 3rd CD of 18 acoustic demos.
“Tommy Bolin Band Live” TBL- 1994 (CD only) 9 song concert compilation.
“First Time Live” 28 Apr 1976 Calif. TBA-2000 (CD only) “Teaser Tour”.
“Alive on Long Island” 22 May 1976 2003 (CD only) “Teaser Tour”.
“Live in Albany 19 Sep 1976” TBA-2001 (CD only) “King Biscuit Flower Hour” broadcast (w/ B.O.C.).
“Live In Albany” 20 Sep 1976 & 16 Nov 1976 New Orleans TBA-2004 (CD only) Soundboard concert recording.
“Live at Northern Lights Recording Studio” 22 Sep 1976 TBA-1997 (CD only) radio WBCN broadcast.
“In His Own Words” (5 Interviews from Sep- Nov 1976) TBA-1997 (CD only) An in depth interview with Tommy telling his own story.
“Live in Miami at Jai Alai: The Final Show” 3 Dec 1976 TBA-2002 (CD only) Tommy’s last concert performance.
The Tommy Bolin Band consisted of:
Norma Jean Bell: Saxaphone
Mark Stein: Keyboards #1
Reggie McBride: Bass #1
Narada Michael Walden: Drums #1
Bobby Berge: Drums #2
Jimmy Haslip: Bass #2
Johnnie Bolin: Drums #3
Max Carl Groenthal: Keyboards #2
Mark Craney: Drums #4
When Tommy died he was working on material for a 3rd solo LP (“Whips ‘N Roses”), Bolin was in negotiation to open for ‘Fleetwood Mac’ on their upcoming “Rumors” Tour, 1 song “Faded Satin Lady” from the 3rd LP was released by: Max Carl Groenthal on “Whistlin In The Dark” 1979 Chrysalis. Bolin was using a 1974 black Fender Stratocaster at this time. Tommy had left behind some 60 reels of unreleased recordings, many of these were released on The Tommy Bolin Archives Series By: Mike Drumm & Johnnie Bolin, the titles are listed below:
“Fever” Miller Music-1997 (CD only) an 11 CD Bootleg Boxset an all encompassing collection on Tommy’s career.
“The Ultimate: Box Set” Geffen-1989 (LP, Cass & CD) a 2 CD Retrospective Boxset of Tommy’s career.
“From the Archives Vol. 1” Rhino-1996 (CD only) an out-takes compilation.
“The Bottom Shelf” TBA-1997 (CD only) another out-takes collection (vol.2).
“From the Archives Vol. 2” TBA-1998 (CD only) a 3rd out-takes collection.
“Come Taste the Man” TBA-1999 (CD only) a sampler CD of the many “Tommy Bolin Archives” CDs.
“Come Taste The Man: Vol.2” TBA-2000 (CD only) a 2nd sampler of the many “Tommy Bolin Archives” CDs.
“The Ultimate Redux” :SPV-2008 (CD only) a 3CD retrospective boxset of the “Archives” series.
“Whirlwind”: Cleopatra-2013 (CD & LP) a brand new collection from the “Archives” series.
“1997 Tribute Concert”: TBA-1998 (CD only) Glenn Hughes & Johnnie Bolin Concert Tour CD.
“Mister Bolin’s Late Night Revival”: Rainbow-2010 (CD only) re-workings of unreleased Tommy demos.
“Great Gypsy Soul”: 429 Records-2012 (CD only) a guest tribute CD with other famous guitarists playing along with Tommy’s recorded tracks.
There are currently 4 books (2 in English & 1 in Japanese & 1 in French) on Bolin. Tommy Bolin “Touched By Magic” 2008
& Deep Purple: “Gettin Tighter” 2008
As well as these Authorized Websites
www.TBolin.Com & www.TommyBolin-official.com & http://www.TommyBolin.org & http://www.rocklegendmerch.com/
Dedicated to: Johnnie V. Bolin, Greg Hampton, Mike Drumm, Willy Dixon & Brad Miller for keeping Tommy’s music alive all these years ….
This is an Excerpt from My Book On: Tommy Bolin “Post Toastee” (Copyright 2014 MrZERo Inc.)
c/o Mr. Zero’s Inc.
1744 Lexington Ave. N.
Roseville, MN. 55113