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Died On This Date (December 4, 1976) Tommy Bolin / Rock Guitar Great

Posted by themusicsover on December 4, 2009

Tommy Bolin
August 1, 1951 – December 4, 1976

tommy_bolinTommy Bolin was an up-and-coming rock guitarist in his early 20s when he got the call to play  in the post-Joe Walsh James Gang.  Up until that point, he had be playing around with various musicians in the Denver area, most prominently, in a band called Zephyr.  After two albums with the James Gang, Bang! and Miami, Bolin left to do session work.  In 1975, Bolin recorded his first solo album which found him backed with by a stellar line up of musicians.  That list included Phil Collins, Glenn Hughes, David Sanborn and Jan Hammer.  It was around that time that he got the call to join yet another band, Deep Purple.  The end of 1975 found the release of both Bolin’s first album, Teaser, and his Deep Purple album, Come Taste the Band.  Bolin soon hit the road with Deep Purple, but reports began surfacing that his growing dependency on heroin was hindering his guitar playing.  Following the Deep Purple tour, Bolin went to work on his second album, Private Eyes.    What followed was a tour that found him opening for Peter Frampton and Jeff Beck.  On December 3, 1976, Tommy Bolin performed one last show in front of Beck.   The next morning, his lifeless body was found in his hotel room.  Cause of death was presumed to be the result of heavy drug and alcohol usage causing his throat muscles to close up, thereby suffocating him.  He was just 25.

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Private Eyes - Tommy Bolin

2 Responses to “Died On This Date (December 4, 1976) Tommy Bolin / Rock Guitar Great”

  1. dhoff25 said

    Dec. 4 Is also the day Zeppelin officially broke up in 1980.

  2. Harry said

    The Deep Purple album is “Come Taste The Band”, not “Come Taste The Blood”

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