Tommy Bolin was born in 1951 in Sioux City, Iowa USA. He was first a drummer, then he switched to guitar at the age of 13. After playing in local Sioux City bands he moved to Denver. In 1968 he toured in Lonnie Mack's band, and later joined Zephyr, who released two albums with Tommy : 1969 "Zephyr" and 1971 "Going Back To Colorado", the later being produced and engineered by Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix Experience) and recorded at the Electric Lady Studios in NYC. In 1972 at the age of 20, Tommy formed the fusion jazz-rock-blues band Energy. Billy Cobham was inspired by Tommy's guitar playing in Zephyr and Energy, and invited him on Cobham's legendary solo 1973 debut "Spectrum". Tommy traded blistering solos with Jan Hammer on Mini Moog, and the rest is history. (Ed note, Gerry Joe Weise has a fiery jazzy-blues-rock rendition of Spectrum's "Stratus" as a Tommy Bolin tribute on his 1994 "Live In Paris" release). In 1973 Tommy replaced Domenic Troiano in the James Gang and released "Bang !" that year, and "Miami" in 1974. He then played studio sessions for Canadian band Moxy, he was featured on Alphonse Mouzon's 1975 "Mind Transplant", and toured with Carmin Appice. In 1975 Tommy released his famous solo debut album "Teaser" on Nemperor Records, he replaced Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple, recording with them "Come Taste The Band", and then he embarked on a world tour with Deep Purple, (where they ended up playing the Hordern Pavillon in Sydney. Gerry Joe Weise says "Tommy Bolin was in excellent form, he played outstanding guitar solos, and sang "Wild Dogs" with all his heart"; Weise still remembers "the unbelievable presence Tommy Bolin had on stage".) In 1976 Tommy released his 2nd solo album "Private Eyes" on the CBS label. During the tour for the album that year, Tommy Bolin died early December, after partying to shake off the financial worries, the usual pains for professional musicians in the music business. It was a tragic Saturday morning in Miami, during the US tour supporting Jeff Beck. Tommy's girlfriend found him unconcious. His death was later officially declared as caused by "multiple drug intoxication". Tommy Bolin was only young of 25.
DEEP PURPLE with TOMMY BOLIN
Australia and New Zealand Tour 1975
Nov 13,1975 - Western Springs Stadium, New Zealand.
Nov 17,1975 - Queen Elizabeth II Park, Christchurch, NZ.
Nov 19,1975 - Sydney Hordern Pavillion, Australia.
Nov 20,1975 - Sydney Hordern Pavillion, Australia.
Nov 21,1975 - Sydney Hordern Pavillion, Australia.
Nov 25,1975 - Melbourne Festival Hall, Australia.
Nov 26,1975 - Melbourne Festival Hall, Australia.
Nov 27,1975 - Adelaide Memorial Drive, Australia.
Tommy Bolin Archives
Official & best Tommy Bolin site. Featuring album reviews, articles, photos, audio, video clips, and interviews. Run by Tommy's brother Johnnie, who himself is an excellent drummer.
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GERRY JOE WEISE - Australian blues rock
If you would like to know more about Gerry Joe Weise who had taken the 2 photographs of Tommy Bolin at the Hordern Pavillion in Sydney, go to
Gerry Joe Weise in 1978, 18 years old., Sydney Australia.
Tommy Bolin Postscipt
Gerry Joe Weise Interview, September 2007.
Gerry Joe Weise was born in 1959 in Sydney. He learned to play the guitar at the age of 4. In the 1970's he supported AC/DC, Midnight Oil, Rose Tattoo and Angels City, with rock bands The Class and Siren in Sydney. When he was 18 he joined the progressive jazz-rock Corroboree that had drummer Craig Collinge (ex Manfred Mann) and keyboardist Cezary Skubiszewski (film composer "Two Hands", ex Alexis Korner). From 1982 to 1984 he played with the german group Tour De Force playing free-jazz and no-wave-jazz in Munich. Since then he has jammed with B.B.King, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Noel Redding and Eric Clapton. Gerry Joe Weise became leader under his own name in 1991 performing with his blues-rock trio, and has supported Ray Charles, Buddy Guy, John McLaughlin, The Yardbirds, Pat Metheny, Buddy Guy, The Scorpions, Canned Heat, Iggy Pop and Joe Louis Walker. He has released the albums: 1994: Live In Paris, 1996: A Letter To Jimi, 1999: Bushman Boogie, 2005: Sydney Paris Blues, 2009: Blues Down Under, 2011: Live Blues World Tour (Blues Breaking Records Records USA).
Here is an interview with Gerry Joe Weise conducted early in September for the Tommy Bolin in Australia Tribute Page by the Australian Blues Media.
Australian Blues Media: Tell us about the Deep Purple concert you went to in Sydney on November 20th 1975 ?
Gerry Joe Weise: Well, that was my favorite concert back then, together with the Led Zeppelin concert at the Sydney Show grounds in 1972. But the concert with Tommy Bolin at the Hordern Pavillion in Sydney was just magic, as I was a big fan of Tommy's. You know when you go to a concert, you always hope that the artist is in good form and puts on a good show, especially when you only get one chance to see your favorite rock star. That night Tommy Bolin was in excellent form, he played outstanding guitar solos, and sang "Wild Dogs" with all his heart. I still remember the unbelievable presence Tommy Bolin had on stage, he was moving around a lot.
Australian Blues Media: How old were you then ?
Gerry Joe Weise: I was 16 and I just got kicked out of school for misbehavior. I was still playing in my school band Skid Row, and soon to be joining Siren my first professional group. I went to the concert with my little brother Rick (Ed. a drummer aged 13) and Skid Row. We would catch the bus to the Hordern Pavillion, and after standing all night at the concert, we would have to walk the 5 miles back home. I saw a lot of concerts at the Hordern Pavillion that way - Status Quo, Rory Gallagher, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Jeff Beck & Jan Hammer Group - when I was 12 in 1972 I had to stand on two beer cans for 4 hours to see Led Zeppelin over the crowd at the Sydney Show Grounds - so I have always been very keen for concerts. And as I said before, Tommy Bolin with Deep Purple was the best. My brother and I, we went right up to the front of the stage, in front of Ian Paice's drum kit.
Australian Blues Media: How was the sound in the hall ?
Gerry Joe Weise: Tommy Bolin had two different sounds. When he played his Fender L-series sunburst Stratocaster, it had an airy sound to it, and when he broke strings he would change to his Gibson Les Paul with the US flag pickguard, which had a thick, brick in your face sound - we were in front of Tommy's 3 stack Hi-Watt amps, and the difference was phenomenal. The Echoplex effects really sent you to sci-fi heaven, at that volume, an UFO couldn't make more noise, but Tommy's was musical !
Australian Blues Media: Did you meet Tommy Bolin ?
Gerry Joe Weise: Unfortunately no. We all went backstage and met Jon Lord, Glenn Hughes and Ian Paice, but Tommy had already left to go back to the Hotel in King's Cross.
Australian Blues Media 2007