Author Unknown (submitted by Tim & Teri Martin)

As he promised to do when he joined Deep Purple last summer, guitarist Tommy Bolin recently assembled his own band to back him on a solo tour. But what Bolin, or the rest of Purple, couldn't have known at the time was that he'd put together such a tight group that now that their tour is over, they've decided to remain together as a working band. Bolin, encouraged by the good vibes onstage and the fantastic reviews the tour got, has made a firm commitment to the group, which obviously clouds his future with Deep Purple.

“I just said, ‘Look, I'll be available at the end of the month’,” explains Bolin, indicating his willingness to at least record one more album with Deep Purple. “I still really don’t know where I stand. Since the tour, they haven’t called me, they haven’t written me a letter, and somehow I feel maybe the management was using me, you know, because if you care about a person you do those things.”

While his future with Purple — and the very existence of that band — is in limbo, Bolin is wasting no time in establishing himself as a solo performer. After Deep Purple’s British tour, Bolin returned home to Los Angeles to organize former Mahavishnu Orchestra drummer Narada Michael Walden, ex-Vanilla Fudge keyboardist Mark Stein, Rare Earth bassist Reggie McBride, and an ex-Mother of Invention, saxophonist Norma Jean Bell, into a red-hot rock & roll band that is now not really Bolin’s band, though he will write all of the music for the group’s first two albums together.

“I’m not saying it’s my band,” explains Bolin, “but I have a couple of things to prove to people. That’s why I told them they first couple of albums I want to be ‘Tommy Bolin.’ That’s not out of selfishness. It’s just that I owe people.

“The musicians respect the band. They say ‘We know where you're coming from,’ and it’s cool. And it’s not a guitar band either. People were coming expecting to hear a guitar band, and it’s a band.”

The Bolin Band’s one month tour, which opened in LA at the Roxy and closed at the end of May at the Bottom Line in New York, was showered with sold-out houses, and rave reviews in nearly every city. [ARCHIVES NOTE: the first Tommy Bolin Band show was on April 28, 1976 at the La Paloma Theater in Encinitas, California, a suburb of San Diego. The band’s two inaugural sets are are available on the Tommy Bolin Archives release Tommy Bolin: First Time Live.]

Right after the tour, the new band went into the studio in LA to cut an album, technically Bolin’s follow-up to Teaser. Again, Bolin will record old and new material, with the lyrics again written by Jeff Cook and John Tesar. In concert. the band occasionally performed one new song, “Don’t Let Your Mind Post-Toastie Like A Lot Of My Friends Did.” [ARCHIVES NOTE: “Post Toastee” was only performed once by this lineup, at the last night at the Bottom Line in New York.]

“The new album will be a bit more bizarre and a bit more straight,” is the guitarist’s ambiguous assessment. “I mean, the instrumental pieces are weirder, they’re more advanced, and the other tunes are just nice rock & roll.”

ARCHIVES NOTE: Tommy Bolin historian Tim Martin pointed out with the submission of this article that Tommy’s Private Eyes album was recorded so quickly because Tommy was still hoping to rejoin Deep Purple. This article is unique in establishing that Deep Purple had not definitively broken up after Deep Purple’s Empire Theatre show in Liverpool on March 15, 1976.