Tommy Bolin | Candy Givens | David Givens | John Faris | Robbie Chamberlin | Bobby Berge...
David Givens | June 2016
ZEPHYR was founded in early 1969 in Boulder, Colorado by a group of young (17-20) musicians who thought they could do just about anything. They played concerts, pop festivals, rock clubs, mountain tops, chicken coups, beaches, and just about anyplace else they could find electricity. In their original form, they made records for ABC and Warner Brothers, played on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and raised roofs all over North America including The Avalon Ballroom, The Fillmore West, The Fillmore East, The Whisky A-Go-Go, and a hundred others. Sometimes they opened the show for a big name, sometimes they were the big name. For three years, they were among the hottest live bands ever seen. But, their stars were crossed and they fell upon hard times. Tommy Bolin, the guitarist, left the band to become a guitar slinger for hire with the likes of Billy Cobham, Alphonse Mouzon, The James Gang, and Deep Purple. He died at 25 in 1976 by misadventure. Candy Givens, the singer, and her husband, bassist David Givens, kept ZEPHYR alive in one form or another until her death, again my misadventure, in 1984. They had been blackballed out of the major leagues by their former manager but they continued to write and record their own music and made a living working colleges, ski towns, bars, weddings, and dives all over The Rocky Mountain Empire. John Faris, organist and woodwinds man, played with Candy and David off and on for years before leaving for Los Angeles to look for fame and fortune - it didn't happen and he died broke back home in Cincinnati in 2006. Robbie Chamberlin, the drummer played around Colorado for many years until he was robbed of his skills by Parkinsons. Bobby Berge, Robbie's replacement, played with Tommy off and on until Tommy's death in 1976. He's home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota playing great and helping to keep Tommy's memory alive.
But, in spite of the rough nature of their careers, they left behind some great music, great memories in the minds of those who were there to experience them, and they are still remembered well into the 21st century for their brief, brilliant moment in the sun.
“We were like this pschychedelic blues band”
DISCOGRAPHY | Official releases
REMASTERED DELUXE ISSUES WITH BONUS TRACKS
I heard the first Zephyr album, and Tommy blew me away. That's when I really stood up and took notice – ‘God I want to play with this guy.’
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (As at June 2016)
Zephyr was a blues-based hard rock band formed in 1969 in Boulder, Colorado by guitarist Tommy Bolin, keyboardist John Faris, David Givens on bass guitar, Robbie Chamberlin on drums and Candy Givens on vocals. Although the charismatic performances by Candy Givens were originally the focal point for the band, it was the flashy guitar work of Tommy Bolin that the band is best remembered for. After Bolin left, he was replaced by Jock Bartley, and the band recorded the album Sunset Ride, their second for Warner Brothers Records. The album is still in print and is much loved by a small but loyal following. On Sunset Ride, Candy Givens displayed her gifts as a singer, composer, and harmonica player. The album was produced by David Givens who also authored the majority of the tunes. As a result of his stint with Zephyr, Bartley went on to a successful career with Gram Parsons and Firefall and drummer, Michael Wooten, went on to play for several years with Carole King. Various versions of Zephyr continued to play in Colorado until Candy's death in 1984. The release of "Heartbeat" in 1982 was promoted by a video that incorporated very early examples of analog computer animation combined with live action.
Other Zephyr members of note include trance blues maven, Otis Taylor, who played bass during the mid-1970s, Kenny Wilkins (Drums) and also later on as (guitarist), guitarist Zack Smith (founder of Columbia Records band Scandal), and blues guitarist, Eddie Turner, who played guitar in the last incarnation during the early 1980s. Candie and David, Tommy, and John Faris were all founding members of The Legendary 4Nikators, Boulder's oldest and best loved party band. Taylor and Turner were later additions to The Legendary 4Nikators - Taylor noted for playing motorcycle on stage during "Leader Of The Pack" and performing in a kilt and Turner for his renditions of Jimi Hendrix classics.
40 years after, Zephyr's music is still in print and continues to be played in the various media. YouTube has brought new eyes and ears to the band.
In 2014, record producer, Greg Hampton and David Givens collaborated on a project that resulted in the release of a limited edition boxed set that included a remastered version of the "bathtub" album, two albums of live material - mostly previously unreleased, and a booklet featuring liner notes by Givens and photos from his private collection. The remastered first album is an unqualified improvement over the original and the live material justifies the high esteem the band accrued with the audiences that witnessed their performances. The boxes sold out in less than a month.
ZEPHYR: Tommy Bolin | Candy Givens | David Givens | John Faris | Robbie Chamberlin | Bobby Berge ....
In January of 1969, five young, gifted musicians discovered that they could spontaneously and instinctively create a new kind of music that combined elements of blues, rock, folk, country, jazz, and psychedelic into a unique style. They formed a band, called it ZEPHYR, and took off on a brief but intensely productive musical and personal flight into the late 60’s, early 70’s big time music business. This site is here to tell the story of that trip.
I enjoy Zephyr’s music, but I also find it interesting to put the band in the context of it’s age, 1968 to 1971. In 1968 many of the popular bands in America that moved large numbers of albums were augmented in the studio by seasoned session musicians and arrangers. Only some of them could really cut it live, many could do a show but it wasn’t as good as the albums. To me Zephyr was on a short list that not only played great live, but also played all their own parts in the studio. There were some fantastic garage and surf bands in America that had stage shows that were close to their albums, but Zephyr played material that was levels up in sophistication, so their talent and experience elements were challenged further. All the members were talented, and frankly state of the art technically for rock bands of the day. They each came into the band with years of experience playing tough club gigs and learning and writing lots of songs. And perhaps most importantly, they all had a drive to fly into new frontiers, to get a rush, to surprise themselves along with us. They could also swing like crazy and knew how to write a good hook. It’s wonderful that the studio albums are getting a successful remastering job, and that David Givens is letting us into the live and rarities vault. Zephyr was one of the great American bands, I’m glad interest in them has increased year by year.
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