Date: Thu, 14 Sep 95 23:09:46 EST From: Scott_McIntosh@URMC.Rochester.edu Subject: Tommy Bolin Memorial Jam SUBJECT: Report on the 1995 Tommy Bolin Memorial Jam REPORTED BY: Scott McIntosh, Miami, Florida The 2nd annual "Siouxland Jam" was held on September 9, 1995 in Sioux City, Iowa. This year, the Jam was renamed the "Tommy Bolin Memorial Jam", and was hosted by Siouxland Jam Productions and Tommy's younger brother, Johnnie Bolin. John is in the band called "Chill Factor", who played at the Jam and who have a CD due out this fall called "Some Like it Cold". The headliner this year was "Crow", who had several hits in the late '60's and early '70's, such as "Gone Gone Gone" and "Evil Woman". In addition to their own material, they did lots of covers from the '60's and '70's -- including "Hush" (by you-know- who). Despite the fact that Crow was playing, that there were 9 other bands, and that the weather was sunny, cool and dry after a long, hot, sticky Iowa summer -- the crowd turn-out was a little disappointing. But those that did show up were big fans and had a great time. There was plenty of beer, barbeque, and Bolin. Surrounded by flowers, Tommy Bolin memorabilia were on display near the stage. The centerpiece was an encased T-shirt that had been made in the '70's by Michael Cotton and Prairie Prince of "The Tubes". A favorite of Tommy's, it's a detailed sketching of Tommy's face taken from the cover of the "Teaser" album. The line up, stretching from Noon 'til Midnight, consisted of groups from Minneapolis, MN, Omaha, NEB, and Sioux City, IA. INCLUDING: Full Circle Moldy Fig Stinger Sleeping Dogs JRZ System The Sugar Bone Express Chill Factor (WITH JOHNNIE BOLIN ON DRUMS) Crow Savant In addition to original music, most of the bands did covers of Bolin's material -- not surprisingly from his two solo albums -- but I heard an excellent version of "This Time Around", from Deep Purple's "Come Taste the Band". The group with the most notable Bolin covers was "JRZ System", from Omaha. In addition to a tight, well-done medley of Bolin tunes, they did an instrumental version of "Gettin' Tighter" by Purple, and performed a couple of Alphonse Mouzon covers, including the title cut from the (recently re-released) Mouzon album "Mind Transplant". This young three-piece power trio only does instrumental music, and they totally wailed on "Mind Transplant". In fact, their version of that song can be found on their current self-titled CD. I hadn't conceived that it was even POSSIBLE to cover an Alphonse Mouzon/Tommy Bolin song that features such complicated syncopated rhythms, and mind-bending guitar riffs -- but they nailed it. "Chill Factor", featuring Johnnie Bolin on Drums, is the group that currently "carries the torch" for Bolin's music. John Bartell, the guitarist and lead singer, played co-lead guitar with Tommy in their REALLY early days in Sioux City, Iowa. He and Johnnie Bolin have been teaming up for a number of years, and in the late '70's and early '80's were in the group "D.V.C." (named after the greek letters that stand for speed, accuracy and power -- although probably not in that order). Mr. Bartell has the ability to sound just like Tommy in both his singing and his guitar playing -- especially on the songs from the solo albums. Johnnie Bolin adds punch with his double-bass power drumming. The only disappointment was that they didn't have time to let him loose on an extended drum solo (no time -- too many bands). I remembered his solos with "D.V.C." and had looked forward to that treat....maybe next year! After their set, Johnnie and his girlfriend Terry came on stage with their first baby -- "Bobby Vane". If you've seen the baby picture of Tommy in the liner notes of "The Ultimate", then you have an idea of what this kid looks like. It was nice to see Johnnie having fun on stage with his new family, especially considering that it has been a tough couple of years for him. All at once, he lost his father, Richard; his mother Barbara; and his younger brother "Pudge" (Rick) -- in that order. Johnnie had moved back to Sioux City to be with his family when they started to become ill. He currently lives in the family house with Terry and Bobby Vane. I told Johnnie about the Deep Purple Home Page, and he wanted a couple of important pieces of information to be known to Tommy Bolin fans across the globe: 1) NEW RELEASES! Over the next 5 years, there definitely will be 3 Tommy Bolin CD's released by Rhino Records! Although I didn't have time to find out what songs will be included (because I was bein' lame and NOT thinking), they do have most of them identified, and Johnnie is very much looking forward to making them available. 2) Do NOT send ANYTHING to the "Official Tommy Bolin International Fan Club", whose P.O. Box address is associated with the "Tommy Bolin Band Live" CD that was released earlier this year (without the permission of the Bolin estate). It is also currently associated (I think) with that 15-CD bootleg from Japan. The person who ran that fan club assembled Tommy's music illegally, took the money, and ran. At any rate, that particular fan club is now defunct -- which explains why they never answered anyone's letters! I happened to have a copy of the "Tommy Bolin Band Live" CD with me (which includes some songs with Johnnie on drums). Despite his legal issues with the production of that CD, he was gracious enough to autograph it for me anyway! He's a nice guy! 3) For information on these new releases, the official word regarding any other future releases, Tommy Bolin T-Shirts, gigs by the "Chill Factor", or any other official information, you should direct your inquiries to Siouxland Jam Productions. Although they won't act as a new "fan club", they do encourage correspondences and interest from Tommy Bolin fans: Siouxland Jam Productions P.O. Box 80102 Sioux City, Iowa 51108 (712) 252-6107 (Ask for Chuck, Don, Phil, or Cleo) 4) Next year, around the same time, there will be another "Tommy Bolin Memorial Jam". This one will be bigger, and will observe Tommy's birthday (family and friends always have sponsored gigs around August 1), and will also observe the 20th anniversary of Tommy's death (has it been THAT long?). The producers hope to get some big name headliners, and rumor has it that Paul Shaffer (from "Letterman") is a huge Bolin fan and may be involved somehow (he almost got involved THIS year). Although a bit premature, when the time comes you may want to have jotted down this number: TICKET MASTER in Sioux City, Iowa: (712)252-2434. Or call Siouxland Jam Productions (see above). A final word: All in all I had a blast at this Jam. I happened to have a full arsenal of Tommy Bolin CD's with me, and I "Saved the Show" by providing them to the sound guy to play between bands! He played my stuff from Zephyr, James Gang, the solo albums, and the new bootleg-turned-CD, "Deep Purple: On the Wings of a Russian Foxbat". Next year's Jam should be a lot of fun. And it's great to be surrounded by fellow fanatics! Hope to see you in '96! Scott McIntosh Miami, Florida September 12, 1995
Dave Hodgkinson 17 September 1995.
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