Tommy Bolin

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 2000 (The 2001 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?

Tommy Bolin @ Wikipedia

Tommy Bolin Videos

Will Tommy Bolin be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


25 comments so far (post your own)

the only song from him i know is "teaser"

Posted by Brian on Monday, 10.19.09 @ 15:41pm

Here we have a guitarist who, if he had lived, would've probably been one of the greatest ever. He worked with the likes of Alphonse Mouzon, Billy Cobham, Leland Sklar, Jan Hammer, Dr. John, and Albert King...just to name a few. He replaced legendary guitarists with the James Gang and Deep Purple, not only holding his own but putting his own signature on those bands.

Yet some people would have you believe that his true calling...a band who greatly influenced him...was COVEN?????? Does this NOT make sense to anyone else...????

Posted by Gitarzan on Tuesday, 10.20.09 @ 18:43pm

Gitarzan, As covered in the Coven thread. Tommy Bolin's brother DEFENDS Jinx and Coven..Since they were best friend with Bolin. If it were NOT true, his OWN BROTHER would NOT defend Jinx or Coven. But he speaks VERY highly of of both. and WILL defend them. That is ALL the proof I need, Since HE told pretty much what was told in Coven thread.

Your stretching " Yet some people would have you believe that his true calling...a band who greatly influenced him...was COVEN?????? Does this NOT make sense to anyone else...????"

No one has EVER said they were the reason he picked up a guitar.
Tommy has his influences just as many musicians and artists do. And COVEN were one of them. IF it were not true, I don't think his brother would say such. Since it DID come from many of their conversations together.
The Sex Pistols cite both Bowie and Alice Cooper, I certainly do not hear them in the music of Sex Pistols. Spoiler NYC cite Johnny Cash as a influence, I do not hear any Cash in their music or lyrics, but I do hear Social Distortion.

Posted by A.R. on Wednesday, 10.21.09 @ 14:45pm

I can somewhat vouch for that. I recall a huge fuss on the Tommy Bolin site that had something to do with he playing Coven. Johnnie Bolin set the record straight, he did seem to be pretty defensive, and cleared up that confusion real fast.

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 10.21.09 @ 15:16pm

I can live with the fact that he laid down tracks for them, took pictures with them, and eventually befriended them. But we're talking about one of the premier rock guitarists ever at the time he collaborated with them...if anything, he would've influenced THEM!!! Anything else makes absolutely NO sense.

My love for music was influenced by Elvis, Buddy Holly and the Beatles at a very early age. Harrison, Hendrix, Clapton, Beck, etc..., made me want to play the guitar. Even though there have been guitarists that I've really liked over the years and tried to emulate, my core influences remained the same. Bolin's style and love for rock/jazz/blues fusion remained the same over the years...he very rarely deviated from it. Right up until his death his style of playing remained largely just got better.

So, once again and did Coven influence his approach to music, because I honestly never heard much of a change in his style. If they did, SOMEONE must know specifics so we can hear it for ourselves.

Is that asking too much...????

Posted by Gitarzan on Wednesday, 10.21.09 @ 17:41pm

A.R.-understand one thing about my point of's not what I read in a book or interview, or what someone told me. It's what I HEAR...!

Posted by Gitarzan on Wednesday, 10.21.09 @ 17:45pm

If you say " Laid down tracks " to his brother, you will be corrected. When listening to Coven's " Black Swan " song there is a difference, a " Heavy " difference from the blues/jazz/ that Tommy was noted for. I remember seeing in a post on the Coven thread that you said " If Black Swan predated Black Sabbath then yes Coven were heavier " or something to that effect. Black Swan IS Tommy Bolin on guitar. There was a BIG difference in his playing on that album. What Matt Flash spoke of on that thread, I can say.. pretty much the story his brother tells.

Posted by A.R. on Wednesday, 10.21.09 @ 18:13pm

God no - Coven has managed its way onto another artists board. I am begging you all - please stop. I would accept Coven into the Hall if it would just stop all your balthering about the importance of this band.

Footnote - look it up in the dictionary.

Posted by Dameon on Wednesday, 10.21.09 @ 18:15pm

And to be perfectly honest Gitarzan, I wouldn't be surprised if " Black Swan " was written about Tommy, with lyrics like " Protect you when you fly " among various others, Since Jinx and Steve were Tommy's best friends, again confirmed by his brother.

Dameon: This has to do with Bolin's connection with Coven. As confirmed by his brother.

Posted by A.R. on Wednesday, 10.21.09 @ 18:31pm

"Laid down tracks", played with them...same thing (GEEZ!!!!). I've heard "Black Swan" (not a half bad song) and I can tell it's Tommy Bolin...just go listen to "Post Tostee" after you listen to it. It doesn't take a "trained ear" to tell!

I really don't care who his friends were...I don't get wrapped up in stuff like that. I care about his music, what I was fortunate enough to witness and what I've heard from him...he was pretty distinct (from my point of view, anyway). I got a lot out of his playing, but was I influenced by, not really. Did I think very highly of him...absolutely! he was one of those rare players that, if you're really into guitar, can recognize him after a few notes.

I don't consider his work with them or friendship any sort of influence (unless it was personal and not musical). Like I said brilliant of a musician as he was, I'd thing just the opposite can be said.

Posted by Gitarzan on Wednesday, 10.21.09 @ 18:46pm

Bolin never played anything "Heavy". His time with Purple produced a rhythm and blues, funk album. Nor did Coven(psychedelic pop band) ever play metal.

Posted by Dude Man on Wednesday, 10.21.09 @ 18:47pm

Like I said Gitarzan, his brother is very defensive when it comes to Jinx and Coven. People have used " Laid Down Tracks " and he corrected them. It's not a term he likes it seem's concerning Coven and Tommy.

Dudeman, Compared to his time with James Gang, Deep Purple, Zephyr, Energy..and others, Black Swan is HEAVY. Don't like the term, deal with it.

Posted by A.R. on Wednesday, 10.21.09 @ 19:26pm

And Dudeman, Gitarzan even called the track HEAVY when he heard it, it's on the Coven thread.

Posted by A.R. on Wednesday, 10.21.09 @ 19:33pm

"Black Swan" is no heavier than "Post Tostee" or "Teaser"...YOU might think it is, but it really isn't! I never heard Bolin play anything too (Darrell Abbott, Zakk Wylde, Kerry King, etc...those guys are/were HEAVY players) heavy. His playing wasn't unlike Randy Rhoads (I never thought he was too heavy) or recently, Tom Morello.

Posted by Gitarzan on Wednesday, 10.21.09 @ 19:36pm

So I don't get anything thrown back in my face...he's by no means the "heaviest" guitarist I've ever heard, but he could rock hard. Satisfied...????

Posted by Gitarzan on Wednesday, 10.21.09 @ 19:39pm

This guy can PLAY he is just to many things ROCK ON!!!!

Posted by mrxyz on Wednesday, 10.21.09 @ 23:14pm

Alright, what's going on here??!!!

It was my required duty to watch the Phillies make it back to the World Series, but now I'm back, at least for a week.

I get here, and I find the Coven people are breaking out of their page and running amok here (of course, it is Halloween, so I guess they should get a little slack). All of a sudden, Tommy Bolin is the centerpiece of the known rock universe? No doubt Mr. Bolin would be happy about this, if he knew what was going on here.

Good guitarist, as it were...

So what's up with one and all?

Posted by Cheesecrop on Thursday, 10.22.09 @ 17:47pm

Cheesie...I'll take a time-out from my "R&R Legends guitar lesson" to answer...

You have to admit...the Rockies gave the Phils a better series than the Dodge-ballers...and how did the Eagles lose to the Raiders?????

My Broncos are still kickin' it, though! Everyone a Mile High is still walking around scratchin' their noggins (me included)...

Posted by Gitarzan on Thursday, 10.22.09 @ 17:52pm

Out here in Philly it's crazy. As I write this, the city is cheering the Phillies, but mourning the loss of the Spectrum, which opened back in 67. Everybody played the Spectrum whe you hit Philly. I saw Def Leppard there myself.

While all the attendant hype is going on, the Phils are tearing up October, and rattling the wake, so to speak. Springsteen got done playing 4 shows recently, and the next big thing on the bill is a triple-header show: Hall & Oates, Todd Rundgren, and the Hooters, w/tickets shoved back to 1967 prices ($8.00 tops!).

The Halloween weekend will be unreal. Pearl Jam is closing the place out, and the final show is Hallowwen night. Across the street, the Phils & Yankees will be playing game 3 of the Series.

The next day, it's N.Y. vs Philly:

Eagles vs Giants (football)
Phillies vs Yankees (baseball - potentially)

This place is gonna go nuts!

Posted by Cheesecrop on Thursday, 10.22.09 @ 18:02pm

Cheese, it's mostly Gitarzan's fault. He invited them here. Though it hasn't been all bad, either. So far, so civil.

Posted by Philip on Thursday, 10.22.09 @ 18:06pm

Right now, it's all o.k. With Halloween coming up, they'll start casting spells and mumbling incanations.

For the record: an open letter to all the Coven fans -

I'll vote Yes for Coven if you can get this Jinx Dawson chick to start casting spells against the Yankees (or Angels, though right now it looks like the Yanks are coming). Maybe make Jeter & A-Rod slump, force C.C., A.J., & Pettitte to throw a few extra wide ones off the plate, etc.

Remember, I've always been pretty nice to you on this site (and don't anybosy else out there start saying I'm sucking up - we're talking World Series here).

Posted by Cheesecrop on Thursday, 10.22.09 @ 18:17pm

I should be purged...boiled in oil...tarred and feathered....

Hmmm...actually, that doesn't sound so bad!!!!

Posted by Gitarzan on Thursday, 10.22.09 @ 18:22pm


Posted by GISSELLE on Friday, 07.2.10 @ 18:39pm

Woah, back up fella's. Were you guys included in Tommy Bolin's circle?? I think not. I KNOW FOR A FACT that as soon as Tommy was to return from his solo tour he was going to JOIN Coven.

I know for a FACT that Jinxie and Steve Ross kept Tommy off of drugs, and knew when to cut him off the many times he stayed at COVEN House. Where he was the happiest.

I know for a FACT how much damage was done to Bolin, as when he was touring with Deep Purple, he complained constantly about how his arm kept going numb on him.

Jinxie and Steve Ross kept Tommy alive as long as they did, and they knew when he went on tour, he would never come back. I know for a FACT that Jinxie and Steve went to Bolin's manager and tried to talk him out of conducting this tour.

Unless you guys were there, you have NO REASON to bash or to disrespect Jinxie and Steve.

I Know for a FACT that Jinxie got Tommy the Deep Purple gig, as she kept suggesting to Jon Lord she knew someone whom could fill Blackmore's shoes. I know for a FACT that Jinxie and Lord dated off and on for MANY years..

Guess what?? I WAS there, I know for fact what is said was true.
What does that say about you? can you say you were there with Tommy in his most private and darkest hours? Was it personal to him?

Posted by C.C. on Tuesday, 07.19.11 @ 18:04pm

His best shot is as a sideman. Zephyr and the James Gang have no shot.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Thursday, 11.17.11 @ 12:03pm

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