Thursday, May 8, 2014

40 Year Itch: Death of an Eccentric Rocker

On May 8, 1974 one of the founder of the UK's R and B scene, Graham Bond,  was killed when he apparently threw himself under a London tube train at Finsbury Park station. Bond was aged 36. It took police two days to identify his body which was crushed beyond all recognition. 

Originally a jazz saxophonist, Bond was briefly a member of Blues Incorporated, a group led by Alexis Korner, where he played keyboards and met drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce, With Baker and Bruce, he formed  the Graham Bond Quartet, adding guitarist John McLaughlin. Bond's skills on the Hammond organ inspired the likes of Jon Lord ( Deep Purple) and Keith Emerson ( The Nice, ELP).
Lack of commercial success eventually led to Baker and Bruce's departure for Cream. 

By then Bond was dealing with an escalating drug habit, mental disorders and interest in the occult. He played with Dr. John and as a member of Ginger Baker's Air Force. 

In 1971 he released the wonderfully soulful and eccentric Two Heads Are Better Than One with Pete Brown. Bond had gotten close enough to taste stardom, acclaim and financial success but never actually experienced them. To learn more about Bond visit GrahamBond.Org

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