Johnnie Bolin


I grew up in the Midwest in the 50's. My Father, Richard Bolin, worked at a packing plant. My Mother, Barbara, worked at the hospital. They had busy full time jobs not related to music, so hardly the parents to raise 3 boys that made music their lives. My oldest brother, Tommy, was a guitarist, I am a Drummer, and my younger brother, Rick (Pudge), was a singer. We all started playing in bands after getting our first instruments. We performed at high schools, ballrooms, street dances, etc. Tommy left school and moved to Denver at age 16. He got in a recording band and was on American Bandstand at 18. He went on to play with concert bands -- James Gang and, one of the biggest bands of the 70's, Deep  Purple. I somewhat followed his path at the time. I continued to play around the Midwest. I got a very big break and joined his band in ‘76, playing Mile High Stadium in Denver. This changed my life. I tragically lost my brother later that year, but i continued on, moving to California, Miami, NYC, and, eventually, settled up in Minneapolis. I lived there for 12 years. At that time, I accepted a job with a touring band, Black Oak Arkansas, and traveled the States and overseas for 30 years. Playing, recording, and traveling were and are my life. I pretty much did a 360, and I am back in my hometown, Sioux City, Iowa... and  I am still beatin the “skins" after all these years.

Jim Summaria / Wikimedia Commons

You actually might want to call this show, The Lee Sides, as Johnnie and I have put together a must hear sample of these two remarkable British axe men who have cemented their place among the best.

First it started with The Beatles (who else?), then came Badfinger and The Raspberries, and then Cheap Trick and Big Star. They all had super melodies and hooks to keep you humming all day.

But for some reason the crunchy, jangly guitars and the driving backbeat never really came into its own. For some reason, radio never picked up on power pop leaving it to be found by a small cult of music nerds, who dug the harmonies and everything else about it.

Wikimedia Commons

Southern rock is one of America's tried and true musical genres. On this B-Sides with Bolin and Blumberg we cover the gamut from the 70's to present day.

The show starts off with three bands, Blackfoot and Lynyrd Skynyrd both from Florida, and Point Blank from Texas.

Blackfoot, which is still active, features Rick Medlocke, who is also a current member of Lynyrd Skynyrd quite possibly one of the top five bands in U.S. history. Meanwhile, Point Blank was produced by Bill Ham, best known for his work with ZZ Top.

Johnckarnes / Wikimedia Commons

One the of lost genres of rock and roll is British Pub Rock. It evolved as many music-lovers in England grew bored with the psychedelic and glam rock scene. 

Pub rock is a perfect name since the bands spent their nights playing in the London pubs. The two bands in this battle hail from the same area, Canvey Island. This was an oil refinery town on the border of the Thames River and the North Sea. It was a gritty and grimy place to live.

Beeld En Geluid Wiki - Gallerie: Toppop 1973

New York is home for a lot of great things: great restaurants, Broadway shows, and, of course, some of the finest rock and roll in the world.

On this B-Sides with Bolin and Blumberg, we take an in-depth look into hard rock the Big Apple way.

When the punk scene hit in the mid-seventies, New York and the world saw the emergence of the Ramones, a quartet from Queens. Their hard, fast and brief songs set the template for other punk bands from America and England. This show begins with of the band's earliest work.

When most people think of Australia, they probably think of kangaroos, koala bears and shrimp on the barbie. What many don't think of is great rock and roll. 

Great Aussie rock actually started back in the 60's with the emergence of The Easybeats, which broke into U.S. radio with Friday on my Mind. But it was in the 70's and 80's when the whole scene blossomed.

On this B-Sides, we take an in-depth look at the various styles of rock, which marked the diversity of great music from coast to coast.

Derek Redmond and Paul Campbell / Wikimedia Commons

Imagine what it would have been like to wake up Monday morning to the strains of Jimi Hendrix playing the “Star-Spangled Banner”? Well, that's how Woodstock came to a close after 3 days of peace and love.

On this hour of the B-Sides with Bolin and Blumberg, you get to hear the whole thing plus the remarkable performance of Joe Cocker doing the Beatles' “With a Little Help from my Friends” and The Jefferson Airplane waking up the crowd on Sunday morning with “Volunteers.”

Mark Goff / Wikimedia Commons

This week marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most beloved cultural events of the 20th century.  Woodstock marked the way people could celebrate, en masse, in a peaceful and joyful time together on this planet.

And the B-Sides is here to help you celebrate the universal karma that was three and a half days of peace and love.

Johnnie and I believe the event was so significant that we have dedicated two shows to Woodstock, its music and history.

There is likely nothing so visceral or gut churning as the 60's and early 70's primal rock and roll. 

On this edition of the B-Side, we bring this feeling to life with our 1st Battle of the Bands. The Rolling Stones face off against San Francisco's Flamin' Groovies with newly released versions of songs that have been in the Stones' repertoire for more than 50 years.

Freebird / Wikimedia Commons

Despite his early passing, Tommy Bolin not only remains a Sioux City treasure but also one of the best guitarists in rock and jazz history.  No less than Peter Frampton, Warren Haynes and Joe Bonamassa look to him as a model for their own distinguished careers.

In this special edition of the b-sides with Bolin and Blumberg, Tommy's short but prolific time in the spotlight is presented.  From his time in Zephyr through his last recording, Private Eyes, you can see his impressive evolution.