A MAGIC TIME
by Bobby Berge
My time with Zephyr was a great experience. I hooked up with the band through Tommy Bolin, who I had become friends with in Sioux City Iowa in 1966. Tommy was around 15 when I met him. I was amazed at how well this young guy could play. We were in different bands, but used to get together all the time and jam on Cream and Hendrix tunes.
After Tommy had moved to Denver to help initiate Zephyr, I received a call from him, and he invited me to come out to Boulder to audition to be the band’s new drummer. I was very excited, and even though I hated to leave my girlfriend, I immediately loaded my drums and all the my belongings that could fit into my 1964 Chevy convertible, and headed to Boulder! The audition went well, and we all hit it off. I was impressed with everyone’s playing and loved the raw high energy and musical power of the band. I guess they liked me because I was invited to join.
1970 was a magic era of change, both socially and politically. A true time of revolutionary thinking. I remember Zephyr playing for a number of student protest rallies on the CU campus. It all was a real eye opener for me. However, I was mainly interested in the revolution of music, and for me, there was no more revolutionary band than Zephyr!
It was fantastic playing at the outdoor mini-Woodstock type concerts that were common in that era. There were huge crowds of people having fun, dancing, with some running around naked, just having a hell of a good time. Looking back, I’m proud to have been part of that era. It was a time when people weren’t afraid to show each other love. Things have changed a lot since then.
It was great getting the chance to fly all over the country playing at big concerts with all the biggest bands of the day (see David Givens piece). Also, the opportunity to record at Electric Lady Studios in New York City was amazing. However, shortly thereafter, pressures drove the band to break up.
When I was called about the prospect at playing in a Zephyr reunion show at Art’s Bar & Grill, I was more than eager to regroup for what turned out to be a very extraordinary evening of music. I thought everyone played great, and really clicked. I’m proud of the fact that it was an exceptionally good night for myself as well. Indeed, I have always felt this was one of the best performances of Zephyr.