Tommy Bolin Memorial Jam

Date: Thu, 14 Sep 95 23:09:46 EST
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. 

     Full Circle
     Moldy Fig
     Sleeping Dogs
     JRZ System
     The Sugar Bone Express

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

     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.

[ Home | Index | search ]