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The energy of break on through

Break on Through is the title of a short film about rock climbing for which Tommy Bolin together with his early band Energy wrote and recorded quite a Mahavishnuesque soundtrack. One can clearly see here why just a year later Billy Cobham tapped Bolin to step into John McLaughlin’s shoes, so to speak.

Filmmaker Bob Carmichael writes in his commentary to the film:

[…] This was the Golden Age of Free climbing we were just brushing up against. Remember we were just coming out the 60’s in Boulder and spirituality was part of the culture of climbing. I lucked out to find a kid in Boulder named Tommy Bolin who was just starting his career as a guitarist. He went onto play with Zephyr, James Gang, and Deep Purple. His band then was called Energy and they put together a great interpretation of climbing. Tommy died at 27 years old of an overdose. He is a revered American Guitarist.

Thanks to Jörg Planer for bringing this to your attention.



5 Comments to “The energy of break on through”:

  1. 1
    John Doe says:

    The characteristic Tommy Bolin sound.

  2. 2
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Tommy played totally on feel …” is what Martin Birch once said about him und you can hear it on this lovely track. That is not to say that Ritchie played without feel, but his solos consisted of more than just feel, a composite of technique, art, sheer cleverness, experience coupled with good ears, a penchant for Ding the unexpected AND feel.

    Just as no one sounded like Ritchie, no one sounded like Tommy, those stuttering bursts of notes he played. What set Tommy apart when he played jazz rock was that he had no real jazz background to speak of, just like Jeff Beck all he had was good ears and an ability to play along to whatever he heard. Ritchie probably had more of a solid jazz guitar upbringing than Tommy.

  3. 3
    augusto says:

    I would like Tommy to play in Purple more happily and not as a bored bore.

  4. 4
    uwe hornung says:

    He sounded on CTTB less bored than Ritchie did throughout the Stormbringer album – though even a bored Blackmore can still be brilliant, see his solo in Holy Man! CTTB is a vibrant, gung-ho album.

    Live, Bolin had inspired gigs with Purple and bland ones. Aping trademark Blackmore runs wasn’t his thing at all though. Chalk and cheese.

  5. 5
    Juraj Bublik says:

    Amazing,the nature,climbing and music.

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