TOMMY BOLIN – In And Out Of Deep Purple

TOMMY BOLIN - In And Out Of Deep Purple
  • 7.7/10
    TOMMY BOLIN - In And Out Of Deep Purple - 7.7/10


Sonicbond Publishing
Publishing date: October 9, 2020

User Review
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Much More Than a Replacement Player

The year was 1975, Ritchie Blackmore had just quit Deep Purple and the band was thinking of calling it a day when they auditioned a young player that really sparked with them; Tommy Bolin. The album Come Taste the Band was the only release by Deep Purple to have neither Ritchie Blackmore or Ian Gillan , making it stand out as what a lot of people felt was not really a Deep Purple album at all. Sonicbond Publishing has released a new book titled Tommy Bolin – In and out of Deep Purple by author Laura Shenton (Cozy Powell – Dance with the Devil) in which the author makes a strong case for why Tommy Bolin should not be viewed as just a Blackmore replacement, but as a strong musical force in his own right.

Teaser_Bolin_original_promo_photo for Teaser on Nemperor Records. - Tommy Bolin Archives
Original promo photo for Tommy Bolin – Teaser on Nemperor Records. – Tommy Bolin Archives

The Book

The writing takes the form of a well written college paper as it starts with a strong argument, backed up with written interviews, reviews and quotes from musicians (Deep Purple members to fusion legends Billy Cobham and Alphonze Mouzan) who also worked with Tommy Bolin before his untimely death at the age of 25. The book ends with a strong closing statement backed up by more quotes about the effect Tommy Bolin had on bands he’d played in, albums he’d recorded on and lives he’d touched in his short musical career. For those not familiar with Bolin, he was an up and coming guitarist who previously to joining Deep Purple had written and recorded 2 albums with the James Gang (Bang and Miami), played guitar on Billy Cobham’s legendary disc Spectrum and secured his own record deal to release Teaser.

Tommy Bolin - Teaser album cover
Tommy Bolin – Teaser album cover 1975 Nemporer Records.

Final Words

To a long time fan of Tommy Bolin since the release of his Private Eyes album on Columbia Records, this was a quick and interesting read if a bit clinical in it’s approach. There’s a wealth of great quotes from the people in and out of Tommy’s life including Glen Hughes, David Coverdale and John Lord to name a few. The author asks readers to not judge this musician based on how well he replaced legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, but instead to listen to his works in and out of Deep Purple and see the big picture. Tommy Bolin was a bright, rising star when he tragically died of a drug overdose after the first gig in his 1976 tour, leaving a void in the world that was just waking up to his charm and talents. Who knows where his career would have led to, but one thing is for certain; Tommy Bolin was much more than a replacement player.

Tommy Bolin – In and Out of Deep Purple gives a lot of great info, pointing readers towards more Tommy Bolin music, and it’s well worth the effort to read the book and discover more about this lost soul who touched many lives in his short time on Earth.

More Tommy Bolin

Tommy Bolin never shied away from filling big shoes, from replacing Joe Walsh in the James Gang to Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple. One thing he always did was bring his own material in as can be seen by his writing credits in both bands being dominant. Mötley Crüe fans might remember their 1999 cover of Tommy Bolin’s song “Teaser”, so it’s worthwhile to listen to the original where you can find it. Included below is a link to The James Gang’s performance on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert from Feb. 2nd, 1974. Tommy Bolin’s music is well worth a look if you aren’t already a fan, and a re-look to those who forgot about this lost talent.


  • Bryce Van Patten

    Bryce is an audio engineer and a graphic designer here at Metal Express Radio. From the day he purchased his first album (Machine Head by Deep Purple), he has had a passion for heavy music, which has influenced his whole life. Bryce is from the great Pacific Northwest in USA, and has played in metal bands like Babylon, Holy Terror, The Wild Dogs, Warhead and Egypt through the 80s. He had his first interview for the Portland, Oregon publication The Rock Rag with guitarist Paul Gilbert in his Racer X days. Then he was honored to get to have drinks, and talk for an hour with the legendary Dan McCafferty of Nazareth for his second interview. In 2013, he spent an amazing hour talking to Andi Deris of Helloween, which was the high point of his heavy metal journalism.   In the year 2001, he formed Man in Black Music Publishing. They released recordings by several local bands, and in the spirit of the old Metal Massacre compilations, he created a 2-album series called The Defenders of Metal. The albums featured classic styled Metal bands from all around the world, with bands from Australia to England, and from Argentina to Russia. Currently, he is the producer/creator/vocalist of the Metal band The Black Tuesdays.

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