Author Topic: Randy California  (Read 443 times)

InnaGaddaDaVida

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1350
    • View Profile
Randy California
« on: October 31, 2016, 06:34:49 PM »
Randy Craig Wolfe (February 20, 1951 – January 2, 1997), known as Randy California, was a guitarist, singer and songwriter and one of the original members of the rock group Spirit, formed in 1967.

He was 15 years old when his mother Bernice Pearl and new stepfather, Ed Cassidy (later to become a founding member of the band Spirit, with Randy), moved to New York City in the summer of 1966 because Cassidy had a number of jazz gigs lined up. It was there, at Manny's Guitars, that Randy met Jimi Hendrix.  He played in Hendrix's band Jimmy James and the Blue Flames that summer. California, Cassidy and Pearl lived in an apartment building in Forest Hills (Queens), New York called the Balfour, whose other residents included future Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker, who cites California's blues-based guitar style as an influence on his own playing.

The stage name "Randy California" was given to him by Hendrix to distinguish him from another Randy in the band, Randy Palmer, whom Hendrix dubbed "Randy Texas".  When Hendrix and California were invited to come to England by Chas Chandler, former bassist of British Invasion band the Animals—who became Hendrix's manager and producer—Randy's parents refused to allow him to go, insisting the 15-year-old stay and finish high school.  By some accounts, Chandler wanted Hendrix as the only guitarist for the band and nixed California's going to England. Hendrix invited Randy anyway, so they could "go find Jeff Beck."

Together with Cassidy, songwriter/front-man Jay Ferguson, bassist Mark Andes (with whom California and Cassidy initially had formed a band called the Red Roosters) and keyboardist John Locke, California founded the band Spirit.

Spirit was invited to open for Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock.  However, band manager/producer Lou Adler—who, ironically, had been one of the founders of the rock festival movement two years earlier, as a partner (with Mamas & Papas lynchpin John Phillips) in the Monterey Pop Festival, where Hendrix premiered in the U.S.—opposed it because the band was busy promoting their latest album, Clear.

When Ferguson and Andes left Spirit to form Jo Jo Gunne due to the slow sales of Sardonicus, and then his dear friend Hendrix died, a depressed California left Spirit. He recorded Kapt. Kopter & The Fabulous Twirly Birds, which included California and Cassidy's version of Paul Simon's "Mother and Child Reunion" plus a slew of authentically Hendrix-like tracks (also featuring former Experience bassist Noel Redding, AKA 'Clit McTorius'). In 1972 the album was released at virtually the same moment as Jo Jo Gunne's first, eponymous album that featured "Run, Run Run" and a Spirit album called Feedback that was recorded by Cassidy and Locke (who were Spirit's jazz influences) and guitarist/bassist brother duo Al and John Staehely, who wrote and sang most of the material on the LP.

In 1974, California legally acquired the band name Spirit. From then on, he and Cassidy (who was the only musician who appeared on all Spirit albums) stuck together. That year, they signed with Mercury Records.

In December 1982, the original Spirit line-up re-formed and recorded several songs from their first four albums (as well as a few new tracks) live on a soundstage.

California drowned in the Pacific Ocean in 1997 at the age of 45 while rescuing his 12-year-old son Quinn from a rip current near the home of his mother, Bernice Pearl, at Molokai, Hawaii. He managed to push Quinn (who survived) toward the shore.

Here is some of Randy's Best:

Spirit-Fresh Garbage                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIV6qEnZf_0

Spirit-1984 and I Got A Line On You     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ0CzaeicMQ

Spirit-Nature's Way      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd1LS1XHluk

Randy California-Hey Joe     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvj6Lel85_I

Spirit-Taurus    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFHLO_2_THg

Randy California-Day Tripper(Beatles Cover)    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDZQfwWYFA0&list=PLsHdkIRu4ZHiiS2HZlQRF3ZfL6Gk2_YFU

Randy California-Downer     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNLctX4NSJM&list=PLsHdkIRu4ZHiiS2HZlQRF3ZfL6Gk2_YFU&index=1

Randy California-Devil       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcK_FhhCll8&index=2&list=PLsHdkIRu4ZHiiS2HZlQRF3ZfL6Gk2_YFU

Randy California-Rebel      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0a3fSvRxRkY&index=11&list=PLsHdkIRu4ZHiiS2HZlQRF3ZfL6Gk2_YFU

Randy California-Killer Weed       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUeG00OF9Io

Randy California with Robbie Krieger(Doors)Steve Howe(Yes)Andy Powell(Wishbone
Ash-All Along The Watchtower     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I857YKyPsGI

NJFIREFIGHTER

  • Admin
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2469
    • View Profile
Re: Randy California
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2016, 01:47:31 AM »
Very glad I got to see Randy once. Great performer and guitarist. Great show.
Champion of the Queensryche Board Wars :)

InnaGaddaDaVida

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1350
    • View Profile
Re: Randy California
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2017, 07:12:49 PM »
I Don't Want Nobody ~ Kapt. Kopter and the Fabulous Twirlybirds     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xmDni_JATw&list=PLWfrVaxzRC4li_w_h4W-YHByll35DCilK

Randy California (from Spirit)- "Fearless Leader" (1982)    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3pL2ogdTeo&list=PLWfrVaxzRC4li_w_h4W-YHByll35DCilK&index=15

Randy California- "Skull and Crossbones" (1982 Studio)    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU4Xhejmfdo&list=PLWfrVaxzRC4li_w_h4W-YHByll35DCilK&index=16


Eye9

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 787
    • View Profile
Re: Randy California
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 11:03:24 PM »
Those were pretty cool, Randy was a pretty good guitarist. Good stuff  8)