The second album released by the band in 1969's Summer of Love, it furthered their reputation as one of the most inventive and creative groups in the early 70's, and resulted in the hit I've Got A Line On You. The band was true family - Ed Cassidy had become Randy California's stepfather in 1965, and the entire group and their families shared a big yellow house in Topanga Canyon, California. The rural setting provided creative inspiration for Spirit, as well as contemporaries Canned Heat, Neil Young, and Buffalo Springfield. Produced in the 1969's Summoer of Love--after Ed Cassidy had become Randy California's stepfather--THE FAMILY furthered Spirit's reputation as one of the most inventive and creative groups in the early 70's, and resulted in the hit I've Got A Line On You. The family's big yellow house in rural Topanga Canyon, California also provided inspiration.
"The Doors were all right -- but for many rock fans in the late 60s, the band that really mattered was Spirit". This quote by Jim Washburn of the LA Times voices the opinion of classic rock fans the world over. Spirit, the legendary California group featuring Randy California, First broke on the scene with their incredible first album featuring a remarkable assortment of jazz, rock and blues. Over the years the band continued to perform in various arrangements until Randy California's death in 1997. The band retains a loyal following and new releases have made Spirit more popular than ever.
"The Doors were all right - but for many rock fans in the late 60s, the band that really mattered was Spirit". This quote by Jim Washburn, Los Angeles Times is the common opinion of classic rock fans the world over. Strongly influenced by Jimi Hendrix, the legendary California group first broke on the scene with a ground-breaking first album released in 1968, featuring a trademark mix of jazz, blues and rock forays. Over the years the band continued to perform in various arrangements until Randy California's death in 1997. The band retains a loyal following and new releases have made Spirit more popular than ever.
One of the first bands to typify the late 60's California sound, Spirit has long remained an exciting and innovative example of just how wide the rock spectrum can be. From Ed Cassidy's status as the oldest working drummer in Rock and Roll (Cass recently edged out Ringo Star and Ginger Baker in the Reader's Poll in England's New Musical Express for best drummer of all time), to Randy's tenure as a 15 year old guitarist with Jimi Hendrix, Spirit has an incredible history and a wealth of stories. Randy California, stepson of 60's Jazz drummer Ed (Cass) Cassidy, played with Jimi Hendrix, who gave him the nickname, for three months in New York, Soon after the band was formed, Spirit's musical accomplishments became legendary. The original band played together until 1971. Between 1971 and Randy California's accidentaly death in 1997, Spirit released several additional albums with varying lineups. In some of the latter work, Randy California performed all the parts except for cameo appearances by other members. REFLECTIONS OF SPIRIT In 1965 jazz drummer Ed (Cass) Cassidy was playing gigs with Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal in a group called the Rising Sons at the Ash Grove in Los Angeles. It was here that Cass and Bernice Pearl met and were soon married. A year later Cass took the family with him to New York City when he went to play some jazz gigs. With high hopes they loaded up the 'ol yellow Chevy which they called "The Yellow Submarine" and headed across America. When they arrived in New York City Cass discovered that stepson Randy's guitar had been lost in shipping. Randy went to Manny's Music to replace his guitar. He was only 15 when he met Jimi Hendrix. "Jimi was playing a Stratocaster in the back of the store and our eyes met and there was instant spiritual contact" recalls Randy. With the boldness of a teen, Randy asked Jimi (not knowing who he was) if he could play that guitar. Jimi complied and was so impressed he invited Randy to play with him at his gig in the Village that night. The Marquee read "Jimi James & The Blue Flames." For the next three months, five sets a night, Randy played in the band. "It was an incredible experience," says Randy. "A lot of people don't know this about Jimi, but he was one of the most gentle and generous people I've ever known." To distinguish Randy from the other Randy in the band, Jimi started calling him Randy California and the name stuck. After three months Jimi was ready to go to England to put together another band and he invited Randy along. His parents refused to let him go...he was only 16 years old! This was right before the Jimi Hendrix experience. Jimi never forgot the friendship.