Friday, April 03, 2009

Private Eyes

Let's get back to some good rockin'. The last few posts have been a little on the laid back side so I'm going to visit one of my fave rock records.

Tommy Bolin was a helluva talented guitarist who died from a drug overdose at the age of 25 in 1976. Truly one of the most overlooked musicians of the last 40 years. A stint in the James Gang, Zephyr, Deep Purple and a couple outstanding solo albums. This guy had guitar moxie. He played in Moxy too. Born in Sioux City, IA, on August 1, 1951, he switched from drums and piano by age 13 and began playing the guitar in earnest. At age 16 he was expelled from school for his long hair. Gotta love that. It's unfair that this man doesn't get more recognition for the work he did in the short span of years he had. He was one of the most versatile guitarists of his time. He could play it all, and he did play it all. Psychodelic-blues with Zephyr, Rock n' Roll with the James Gang, Hard Rock with Deep Purple, Jazz with Alphonse Mouzun,, Fusion with Jan Hammer and Billy Cobham, and that's only half of it. Unfortunately the rock n roll lifestyle caught up with Bolin and he couldn't shake the heroin monkey on his back. On December 4, 1976, after opening a show for Jeff Beck the previous night in Miami Florida, Tommy was found dead of a heroin overdose.

Private Eyes is the second solo album by Bolin and also his last. It's a Great album that I play the piss out of. When Deep Purple broke up in 76, Bolin wasted no time and went right into the studio and began recording this album. Ironically the best song on the album is the nine-minute in your face rocker "Post Toastee" which merges a long jam section with lyrics concerning the dangers of drug addiction. One listen to this album and you will find it hard to believe that this music is over thirty years old and it will make you wonder what other music would have emerged if Tommy had lived to continue making music. It also will make you wonder why most music today can't be better. This album should be heard and owned by anyone that considers themselves a fan of music of any kind. May Tommy rest in peace.

Sweet Burgundy
Post Toastee
Buy It

Funny Toon