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The story of a doomed genius (we’ve heard before)

Classic Rock magazine has a feature on the brief life of Tommy Bolin. Albeit most of us know the story, it is well researched and well written, with plenty of quotes from the contemporaries.

Having relocated to California, Bolin finally received what he had really wanted all along – the offer of a solo recording deal. But it didn’t stop there. Bolin received a phone call out of the blue, asking if he’d be interested in trying out for the job of guitarist with Deep Purple, which had just been vacated by Ritchie Blackmore.

Ex-Purple bassist Glenn Hughes recalls that Purple drummer Ian Paice “was a big Billy Cobham fan. I think he came up with [Tommy’s name]. He’d heard Spectrum, came over my house and played it for me, and Coverdale also heard it. We were blown away. I’ve always been interested in newer, cutting-edge artists, and I was also always into ‘the look’ as well – and Tommy looked bizarre.”

Bolin agreed to a tryout, which Hughes remembers fondly: “The first day, we were rehearsing at Pirate Sound. We only auditioned two people, Clem Clempson and Tommy. Clem didn’t get the gig, but not because of his ability as a guitar player. It was because to fill Ritchie Blackmore’s boots you have to be a character. When Tommy walked in and I saw him, I shouted across the room: ‘Whatever happens, you’re coming home with me!’ We were just peas in the pod together.”

Read more in louder.com.

Thanks to Gary Poronovich for the info.

Comment to “The story of a doomed genius (we’ve heard before)”:

  1. 1

    Has this article seen print? I do buy most issues of Classic Rock but I have not bought the latest issue with Jimmy Page on the cover.

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