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Spirit Drummer Ed Cassidy Dead at 89
Ultimate Classic Rock ^ | 8th December 2012 | Sterling Whitaker

Posted on 12/08/2012 11:56:43 AM PST by the scotsman

'Ed Cassidy, the drummer for the classic rock band Spirit, died in San Jose, Calif. on Thursday (Dec. 6) of undisclosed causes. Notable for his shaved head (which inspired the nickname “Mr. Skin”), head-to-toe black wardrobe and massive drum kit, Cassidy was considered very influential on other drummers of the ’60s rock era. He was 89 years old at the time of his death.

Born on May 4, 1923 in a rural town outside of Chicago, Cassidy began his career at an early age in 1937, after his family moved to Bakersfield, Calif. He served in the Navy during World War II and thereafter held a series of jobs before returning to music full-time in the ’40s, working steadily in a succession of show bands, country and western acts, and big bands. He also worked on film soundtracks and played briefly with the San Francisco Opera.

Cassidy spent the ’50s working primarily in jazz in California, playing with such historically important performers as Art Pepper, Roland Kirk and Gerry Mulligan. He played with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder briefly in a band called Rising Sons before forming a new group, the Red Roosters, in 1965. That group comprised Cassidy, his stepson Randy California on guitar, Mark Andes on bass, and singer Jay Ferguson.

Changing their name to Spirit with the addition of keyboardist John Locke, that ensemble created a sound that was an amalgam of jazz, hard rock, and psychedelic influences. Signed by ’60s L.A. music impresario Lou Adler, the group released their self-titled debut album in 1968. They followed it up with ‘The Family That Plays Together’ later that year, which featured their highest-charting single, ‘I Got a Line on You'.

(Excerpt) Read more at ultimateclassicrock.com ...


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: edcassidy; spirit

1 posted on 12/08/2012 11:56:51 AM PST by the scotsman
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To: the scotsman

And that would definitely be nature’s way of telling you something’s wrong. Great group.


2 posted on 12/08/2012 11:58:32 AM PST by newheart (The greatest trick the left ever pulled was convincing the world it was not a religion.)
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To: the scotsman

Wow, he was already halfway through his forties when Spirit got hot.


3 posted on 12/08/2012 11:58:44 AM PST by Tau Food (Never give a sword to a man who can't dance.)
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To: the scotsman

“I Got A Line On You.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Bnl8PjES8


4 posted on 12/08/2012 11:59:34 AM PST by ConservativeStatement (Having an abortion is "progressive"?)
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To: the scotsman

I like Spirit a lot and saw them in concert a couple of times.

Tonight I’ll be playing ‘Watching The World Through Our Topanga Window’.


5 posted on 12/08/2012 12:01:21 PM PST by ansel12 (A.Coulter2005(truncated)Romney will never recover from his Court's create of a right to gay marriage)
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To: ConservativeStatement

Still have that song in my music library, right along with Blackfoot’s version...


6 posted on 12/08/2012 12:05:34 PM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: the scotsman

I found this live version a few weeks ago (thinking that “American Horror Story” really missed the boat by not using it on the show):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwsekg7aUZY

Ed Cassidy was Randy’s step-father, and Randy drowned while to rescue his son. Sad.

RIP Ed, you showed us hair did not make the man way before it was cool!


7 posted on 12/08/2012 12:15:33 PM PST by bigbob
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To: newheart

nice.


8 posted on 12/08/2012 12:15:49 PM PST by reagandemocrat
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To: the scotsman

Stairway to Heaven was ripped note for note from Spirit.

A really gifted, but unappreciated band.


9 posted on 12/08/2012 12:18:07 PM PST by AlbertWang
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To: the scotsman
I assume Ed Cassidy is the second from left. Wow, 46 years old ...
... back when you weren't supposed to trust anyone over 30.

RIP
10 posted on 12/08/2012 12:25:54 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: the scotsman

I have a recollection from the 70’s, of him getting out from behind his drum kit
and walking around the stage drumming on whatever was available.
It was pretty cool to watch.


11 posted on 12/08/2012 12:27:27 PM PST by kanawa (FB-- Save George Zimmerman from racial onslaught)
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To: the scotsman

I figured it must be the bald guy. He was the one who stood out in that group. I Got a Line on You. So long ago. RIP.


12 posted on 12/08/2012 12:31:17 PM PST by originalbuckeye
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To: onedoug

ping


13 posted on 12/08/2012 12:34:03 PM PST by windcliff
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To: AlbertWang
Stairway to Heaven was ripped note for note from Spirit. A really gifted, but unappreciated band.

The song in question is "Taurus," a very good, very mellow instrumental well ahead of its time.

Spirit was an opening act for LZ.

14 posted on 12/08/2012 12:35:29 PM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: the scotsman

Back when drummers knew how to hold drum sticks properly and play with heart AND skill.


15 posted on 12/08/2012 12:44:39 PM PST by llevrok (Obama's nation - Where young people go to retire.)
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To: the scotsman

16 posted on 12/08/2012 12:47:23 PM PST by BufordP (Chuck Norris doesn't check under the bed anymore. He wears Clint Eastwood pajamas.)
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To: the scotsman

Wiki says that Cassidy was a WWII vet (Navy).

This came up on Randy California: “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.[2] He played in Hendrix’s band The Blue Flame 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 (who Hendrix dubbed “Randy Texas”).”


17 posted on 12/08/2012 12:50:38 PM PST by ansel12 (A.Coulter2005(truncated)Romney will never recover from his Court's create of a right to gay marriage)
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To: the scotsman

What might sound like angels bowling now could be the sound of Ed Cassidy drumming.


18 posted on 12/08/2012 1:11:58 PM PST by equaviator (There's nothing like the universe to bring you down to earth.)
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To: the scotsman
Clear Spirit, 1969, was a superb album, coming out of the year that in my opinion was rock's greatest.
19 posted on 12/08/2012 1:40:04 PM PST by jobim (.)
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To: the scotsman

Thanks for the music. RIP.


20 posted on 12/08/2012 1:43:42 PM PST by OwenKellogg
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To: Drumbo

Ping


21 posted on 12/08/2012 1:59:19 PM PST by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (Learn three chords and you, too, can be a Rock Star!)
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To: AlbertWang

Yes, there are about ten notes on one instrument that are similar to the opening of Stairway to Heaven.


22 posted on 12/08/2012 2:05:01 PM PST by TigersEye (Who is John Galt?)
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To: the scotsman

Great, underappreciated band. Really got into “12 Dreams” in the early 70’s.

I had no idea he was so old!


23 posted on 12/08/2012 2:22:54 PM PST by MV=PY (The Magic Question: Who's paying for it)
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To: ansel12

I found them to be one of the most boring groups I ever saw. That said, the guy was one of the originals.


24 posted on 12/08/2012 3:21:38 PM PST by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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To: ConservativeStatement

Thanks. It’s been a “few” years since I heard that.


25 posted on 12/08/2012 3:23:19 PM PST by wizr (Keep the Faith!)
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To: LS

The only indoor concert that I ever left because it wasn’t working, was Hendrix, the cops were just keeping too tight a handle on things that night.


26 posted on 12/08/2012 3:35:31 PM PST by ansel12 (A.Coulter2005(truncated)Romney will never recover from his Court's create of a right to gay marriage)
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To: jobim
This one was my favorite.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

27 posted on 12/08/2012 3:47:53 PM PST by ansel12 (A.Coulter2005(truncated)Romney will never recover from his Court's create of a right to gay marriage)
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To: the scotsman

RIP.


28 posted on 12/08/2012 4:25:23 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: ansel12

I saw Hendrix twice. First time, he had just come off the Monkees’ tour and was awesome. Second time, about a year later, he was pretty drugged out and was mediocre. Vanilla Fudge blew him off the stage and people were screaming for the Fudge 10 minutes into Hendrix’s set.


29 posted on 12/08/2012 4:41:49 PM PST by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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To: ansel12

I saw Hendrix twice. First time, he had just come off the Monkees’ tour and was awesome. Second time, about a year later, he was pretty drugged out and was mediocre. Vanilla Fudge blew him off the stage and people were screaming for the Fudge 10 minutes into Hendrix’s set.


30 posted on 12/08/2012 4:42:05 PM PST by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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To: the scotsman
Spirit IMO was one of the best groups of the 60’s even though they didn't have AM airplay, they were played frequently on FM. Led Zepplin opened for Spirit late 60’s and early 70’s. I was privileged to have seen them in October 1991 in Mile Square Park, Orange County, California with Dr. Demento and the Doobie Brothers. If one wishes to see the impact Spirit had, just look at who all the members of the group went to play with after leaving Spirit. RIP Mr. Cassidy, you are with Randy and John now.
31 posted on 12/08/2012 6:01:46 PM PST by vetvetdoug
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To: blam; Perdogg

Thanks the scotsman.
He served in the Navy during World War II... returning to music full-time in the ’40s... briefly with the San Francisco Opera... spent the ’50s working primarily in jazz in California, playing with such historically important performers as Art Pepper, Roland Kirk and Gerry Mulligan. He played with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder briefly in a band called Rising Sons before forming a new group, the Red Roosters, in 1965. That group comprised Cassidy, his stepson Randy California on guitar, Mark Andes on bass, and singer Jay Ferguson. Changing their name to Spirit with the addition of keyboardist John Locke, that ensemble created a sound that was an amalgam of jazz, hard rock, and psychedelic influences.
Spirit was one of the few bands from late 1960s California that has held up for me. Sometime in the summer I found a used CD of 12 Dreams that replaces the LP (which is still on the shelf).


32 posted on 12/08/2012 8:09:13 PM PST by SunkenCiv (If you didn't vote for Romney, it's your fault.)
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To: the scotsman

RIP Mr. Skin! Thanks for the tunes!

Listening to Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus at this moment.


33 posted on 12/09/2012 11:00:46 AM PST by upsdriver
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