American blues-rock star and also known as the member of MORE, Joe Bonamassa, was the latest interview guest of Kylie Olsson’s YouTube channel and talked about lots of things from the holy grail of the Les Paul to the late star and his old-time buddy Tommy Bolin.
You may already know that Thomas Richard Bolin was one of the most talented guitarists of his era and played in lots of bands, such as Zephyr, The James Gang, and Deep Purple. Unfortunately, Bolin died from an overdose of heroin, alcohol, cocaine, and barbiturates at the age of 26. In his latest interview, he wanted everyone to take care of themselves and mentioned his plans to be around for a long time.
One of his oldest friends Joe Bonamassa was asked how he obtained Tommy Bolin’s legendary Les Paul guitar and what his first reaction was when he heard the sad news. While Joe called the death of Tommy a ‘tragic’ case, he also claimed that Bolin’s career was about to explode before his death.
Here is what he said about Tommy Bolin and his legendary Les Paul guitar:
“I have this thing called ‘Guitar Safari.’ I’m not very good at many things in my life, but I’m a damn good guitar hunter.
I ran into a guy about seven or eight years ago in Sioux City, Iowa; he comes to my show, he goes, ‘Hi, my name is Johnnie Bolin, and my brother was Tommy Bolin.’
Now, the people who are into Deep Purple and rock, know Tommy from his work, not only the great records he made as a solo artist but he was in Deep Purple after Ritchie Blackmore left. He played on one Deep Purple record and he toured with Glenn, and Jon Lord, and David Coverdale and everything.”
“But he tragically died after his 25th birthday, and he was such a great… His career was about to explode!
And he also played on one of the best fusion records of all time, in my opinion, called ‘Spectrum’ by Billy Cobham. So he was the fold with [keyboardist] Jan Hammer, and it was Lee Sklar on bass.
And it was basically – Tommy Bolin and Lee Sklar laid it down for Billy Cobham and Jan Hammer to do a fusiony type of thing. And he was the guitar player on ‘Stratus.'”
You can watch the whole interview below.
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