“The Doors were all right — but for many rock fans in the late 60s, the band that really mattered was Spirit”. Jim Washburn, LA Times.
One of the most chronically overlooked bands of the late sixties’ “underground” movement, Spirit never made it into Rock’s pantheon. (The reason could be their record company, which insisted the band complete a radio promotion tour, instead of performing in a little backwoods festival in upstate New York.) Led by Randy California, a guitar wunderkind who cut his teeth playing with Jimi Hendrix, this L.A. ensemble wove elements of jazz, blues, raga, and folk into a heady, melodic blend that often took surprising stylistic turns, mid-song.
The original lineup recorded four albums, garnering critical acclaim and one successful single, I Got A Line On You, before internal stresses fractured the band. Bassist Mark Andes and vocalist Jay Ferguson went on to form Jo Jo Gunne; California, drummer Ed Cassidy, and keyboard whiz John Locke carried on in various incarnations of Spirit
over the next 25 years, until Randy’s tragic drowning death in 1997 laid their remarkable musical spirit to rest for good.