Salient. Official Newspaper of Victoria University Students Association. Volume 40, Number 3. March 14, 1977.
Not so sweet — Private Eyes Tommy Bolin
Not so sweet
Private Eyes Tommy Bolin
It seems that too many great musicians dispatch themselves to the Land of Nod just as they are 'peaking' in their careers e.g. Jimi Hendrix, Gram Parsons, Janis Joplin, Nick Drake. The list goes on. Included in this list is Tommy Bolin, and with his death last year from an heroin overdose, there passed from our ears a truly great guitarist and songwriter as I feel is witnessed by the release of Private Eyes late last year (to follow up his first album 'Teaser').
There are eight tracks on the album (produced by Bolin and Dennis Mackay, written by Bolin and Jeff Cook) all of which demonstrate Mr Bolin's unique guitar (lead and accoustic) playing style, and showcase the talents of his superb backing band. The saxophonist is a relative unknown in Godzone, as with the keyboards and bass, but the drumming position is filled jointly by Messrs. Berge and Appice (Bobby Berge having played with Buddy Miles and Carmen Appice with Jeff Bed: and KGB).
Perhaps the best number on the album is the last on side one, entitled rather strangely "Post Toastee" a nine minute classic exhibiting some burning guitar solos and soothing saxa phone breaks. It also encompasses some fine reggae riffs from Bolin's versatile guitar.
A sound album, (probably the last from one of America's best leads), Botin having started in a group called Zephyr, and progressed to have done session work on Billy Cobham's Spectrum album, and played lead with the James Gang and superstars Deep Purple, before they split midway through last year How sad to see Tommy Bolin depart this world.