Tommy Bolin: the story of a doomed genius

The early 1970s was a great time for guitar heroes. Ritchie Blackmore, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and their peers were at the top of their game, but most adhered to a style rooted in the blues. Moreover, in the wake of Jimi Hendrix’s death, almost all the six-string gods came from England.

American Tommy Bolin, a native of Sioux City, Iowa, was a notable exception. Best described as the David Bowie of the guitar, Bolin jumped from one playing style to the next – making each one his own, before quickly discarding it for the next.

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