Born August 1 in Sioux City, IA Tommy learned to play guitar at a very young age and was already in a few local bands before moving to Boulder, CO in his teens. There he played in a band called American Standard and later joined a band called Ethereal Zephyr. The band would shorten their name to just Zephyr and by their second album they were playing major venues opening for Led Zeppelin. Tommy left Zephyr in 1972 to start a fusion jazz-rock-blues band called Energy but before the band could release any material, Tommy had been recommended by Joe Walsh to replace Domenic Troiano in the popular James Gang band. Bolin would put out two records with this band: Bang! in 1973 and Miami in 1974.
After splitting from the James Gang following the Miami tour, Tommy started work on his first solo album and in 1975 released Teaser. The album is known for its broad range of styles in Bolin's playing spanning hard rock, jazz, reggae and Latin music, often blending these styles together within a single song. Around the same time that Teaser was released, Ritchie Blackmore had left Deep Purple and David Coverdale would reach out to Tommy to audition. He got the job and because of immediate obligations with Deep Purple, Tommy was never able to tour in support of Teaser. Bolin relocated with the band to Germany to help write the majority of the songs that make up Come Taste The Band released in 1975.
In 1976, Deep Purple broke up and Tommy got his solo band back together and released his second and final solo album called Private Eyes followed with a promotional tour opening for Jeff Beck and Peter Framption, On December 3, 1976 Tommy closed his opening set with his new song "Post Toastee" a song ironically about the dangers of drug addiction. Just hours after he posed for a final picture with Beck after the show, he was found dead of a an overdose of heroin, cocaine, alcohol, and barbituates. Tommy Bolin was only 25 years young. \m/ RIP \m/
This first clip is for our #1 follower - Paula. Thanks for the suggestion!
And this one just because it's so good.....