ZEPHYR (The Bathtub Album) 1969

SIDE ONE
‘Sail On’ (Tommy Bolin, Candy Givens) – 7:22
‘Sun’s a Risin’ (Bolin, David Givens) – 4:45
Raindrops’ (Dee Clark) – 2:40
‘Boom-Ba-Boom’ (D. Givens) – 1.20
‘Somebody Listen’ (D. Givens, C. Givens, Bolin, John Faris) – 6:10

SIDE TWO
‘Cross the River’ (C. Givens, D. Givens) – 4:43
‘St. James Infirmary’ (Joe Primrose) – 5:15
‘Huna Buna’ (C. Givens, Bolin) – 2:26
Hard Chargin’ Woman’ (Bolin, Robbie Chamberlin, Faris, C. Givens, D. Givens) – 8:40

PERSONNEL
Candy Givens – lead vocals, harmonica. Tommy Bolin – guitar, backing vocals. John Faris – organ, piano, flute. David Givens – bass, backing vocals. Robbie Chamberlin – drums, backing vocals

Bill Halverson – production, engineering
Alden Spillman & William Shepard – cover design

DAVID GIVENS REMEMBERS – 2013

“We were going to drive to LA to make our first album. ABC had signed us to a two album deal, we’d interviewed producers, we had songs, and we were ready to go. Candy and I had a ‘69 Ford Econoline “Super Van” and John Faris had a ‘67 flat front van with the engine beneath the seats.Naturally we left late. There were a lot of moving parts.

We had to go to Denver to pick up Robbie at his parents home on the way out. We headed into the mountains west of Denver a little after noon on a bright September day. Once we hit the road, everything was cool. 1-70 wasn’t completed yet and we wound up over the passes and along the Colorado river all afternoon.

We had decided to stop by the Grand Canyon on the way as most of us had never seen it. We were pushing pretty hard, trying to get there before dark, but it was out of the question and we didn’t get there until way after sunset. It was past tourist season and there was no one around. The moon had already set as we pulled up to an overlook and it took us a while for our eyes to adjust before we could see anything. Gradually, it came into view, lit only by the Milky Way and the stars burning in the black sky. The canyon was grey, not even a little color, but we could see all the way across. We were suitably awestruck for a few minutes and then Robbie produced an M-80 (a very loud and powerful firecracker). He and I lit it and I pitched it over the cliff as far as I could. It went off after a few moments with a huge boom and then to our collective amazement, the echos started coming back from the myriad of rock walls before us. It sounded like what you hear when you hold a seashell to your ear with the volume on 10. It seemed to last for a couple of minutes before it gradually subsided. Probably just a few seconds in reality, but it was such a surprise and so huge that it seemed much longer.

We flipped out for a few minutes and then loaded up and headed for LA. We pulled into the parking lot of the Hollywood Hawaiin Hotel and Apartment Suites on the corner of Yucca and Grace in Hollywood, California, our home for the next month or so in the afternoon of the next day. 1950’s Hollywood, very gracious, very kicked back, lots of tall palm trees. Candy and I had one bedroom apartment near the pool, the others shared two bedroom apartments. We were getting our first taste of the star treatment and we liked it quite a bit.

The first day we were there, we ran into Miles Davis and his incredibly beautiful woman in the parking lot. We waved and said, ‘Hi Miles’. He was looking at this unruly group of long haired youngsters and must have had a laugh, but he was cool and said, ‘What’s happening’ in his gravelly voice before they got into his bright red Ferrari. We were in heaven. The next afternoon, we drove over to Wally Heider Recording. It was one of the top studios in LA at the time, famous for recording numerous hit records starting in the 50’s when they specialized in big bands. In our day, it was used by Cream, CSN, Tom Jones and a lot of others. It was known for its state-of-the-art sound quality. It looked like the inside of an engineering firm – no art, no colored lights, no fuzzy anything, not even any plants. This place was made strictly for work.

We were supposed to work with Bill Halverson, a legendary engineer and producer who has worked with everyone in Hollywood. Bill had come to Colorado to see us play and we had all hit it off. Unfortunately, even the legendary masters of Hollywood don’t always make good choices. Bill was working all day at Heider’s doing his day job, recording whatever came his way, either in the studio or in their studio truck for remote recording. After hours, he was bringing us in to work for another six or seven hours.

We recorded everything we knew in the first two days – we were a live band, hadn’t spent more than a few hours in a studio in our lives. We liked it, our road crew liked it, Bill didn’t like it. We threw it all out and started all over from scratch. He started educating us on how records were made in Hollywood. We’d asked our record company if we could do a live album, but they rejected the idea because we hadn’t ‘earned’ it. So we learned to punch in, learned to sing with headphones on, learned to overdub to a pre-existing track.

Every so often, Bill would cut an ‘acetate’, a lacquer plate with a stereo groove cut on a lathe that we could take home and play on our portable record player in our apartment. We were occasionally kicked out of our scheduled studio time when Steve Stills or Eric Clapton wanted to work and this pissed us off no end, but we shut up and continued to work. We were happy with the results. We were diligent, we worked hard. We recorded basic tracks which Bill edited down to acceptable lengths and then we started overdubbing vocals, guitar solos and B3 solos. Tommy and Candy performed take after take.

We had fun, Tommy, Candy and I sang backup vocals together. And then we mixed it. Bill was falling asleep at the console night after night and the resulting mixes lacked focus, to say the least. We were not happy with the results. And for forty some years, I’ve been angry about it. Then, earlier this year (2013), producer Greg Hampton called me up to discuss his idea that we should fix the album and re-introduce Zephyr. He fixed the mixes and now, for the first time, you can hear what we heard before everything went wrong. I’m happy with the reults”.

David Givens 2013

ZEPHYR Remixed 2013 plus additional recordings

CD1 1st ALBUM REMASTERED

CD2 LIVE
‘Sail On’ (Live 2 May 1973)
‘Hard Charging Woman’ (Live 2 May 1973)
‘Uptown (to Harlem)’ (Rehearsal Studio 1971)
‘Jam Cats’  (Rehearsal Studio 1971) (Live July 3, 1969)
‘Guitar Solo/Cross the River’ (Live July 3, 1969)
‘Rock Me Baby’ (Live in Denver, 1971)
‘Cross the River (Instrumental Section)’ (Live in Denver, 1971)
‘Jam’ (Live in San Bernadino, 1971)
‘I Can’t Find a Way (To Say I Love You)’ (Live)

CD3 LIVE AT TULAGI’S
‘Repent Walpurgis’ (Live at Tulagi’s, 1973)
‘Boom Ba Boom/Somebody Listen’ (Live at Tulagi’s, 1973)
‘Sun’s a Risin’ (Live at Tulagi’s, 1973)
‘Huna Buna’ (Live at Tulagi’s, 1973)
‘Sail On’ (Live at Tulagi’s, 1973)
‘Cross the River’ (Live at Tulagi’s, 1973)

WHAT THE FANS THOUGHT...

THIS IS WORTH IT FOR THE LIVE STUFF

WOW, with all the deluxe editions of classic rock reissues from the 60s,70s and 80s this sure is one that is not just another HEY LETS RIP THE FANS OFF deal, this is the real deal if you like Tommy Bolin, in fact if you are a Bolin fan this is a must for your collection. First off, the remastering is very well done for the debut album, second, the live discs are awesome and I have never heard any of these live recordings before so these are really great to have all in a nice box with a nice booklet and a couple of goodies, as for the box itself it says limited to 1.000 but I'm not so sure as this box set seems to NOT be available on a lot of web sites so as another person said that reviewed this you may want to grab this fast, anyway the 3 discs here display a young Tommy Bolin and what a great live sensation he was, he really does a lot live on these live recordings and listening to these makes me feel almost like I was actually there over 40 years ago, I'm not a history buff on his first band Zephyr and I have had this debut album with Tommy on it on cd for about 15 years or so but this box set here is the way to go, the remastering is just fantastic here and the discs just crank like the old viynl did so I am very pleased I got a copy of this, I never get tired of anything coming out of the vaults by Bolin I have not heard yet.....

AWESOME – JUST WISH THEY COULD HAVE RECORDED MORE ALBUMS

Zephyr was a great, great band and had huge potential. Unfortunately, their debut album is the apex of their recorded material and it's a shame that their enormous talent wasn't captured in additional releases. That being said, I've listened to this album, first on vinyl and later on CD, hundreds of times over the past 44 years (yikes!) and it's still fascinating and thoroughly entertaining. Candy Givens had an incredible vocal range, and when I 1st heard this album she made a Janis Joplin-like impression on me. Tommy Bolin (Sioux City, IA native) made an indelible impression on guitarists then and to this day...and it started with THIS album. I was fortunate to see them live right after the release of this and they were fantastic! That's why it is especially awesome that this Deluxe Edition is available to provide "live" versions for the first time. Interestingly, this is a limited, numbered edition (mine was labeled 998 of 1000 so I got real lucky) so there aren't many out their. If you can't get this you should for sure get your hands on the studio-only CD and give it a listen. You will definitely be impressed.

A WELCOMED AND REMASTER FOR THIS CLASSIC ALBUM

Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra have reissued the debut album by ZEPHYR, it's claim to fame a young Tommy Bolin on guitar and the paint-peeling vocals of Candy Givens (who also plays a mean harmonica). There are some who criticize her talent and range, usually using the adjectives "screaming" and "screeching." It's ironic that when male vocalists have a similar range and style, say for example Robert Plant or Rob Halford, it become's "wide, powerful and soaring." 'Zephyr' was originally released in 1969 on the ABC/Probe label, also home to the U.S. versions of THE SOFT MACHINE's first two albums. The album was also previously available on CD on One Way Records in 1992, and BGO Records in 1999. This newly remixed and remastered version comes in a mini-LP sleeve within a small box with an informative booklet containing lengthy notes by bassist David Givens, Candy's husband, along with two discs of live material in their own gate-fold cardboard sleeve. Givens discusses the reasons for remixing the album in his notes, so if you want the original mix, hold on to your old CDs, if you're lucky to have them. Normally I'm not a fan of remixing older albums, but in this case I feel the remix has greatly improved it. Givens explains the reasons behind it in the booklet. The Boulder, CO based group also featured John Faris on keyboards and flute and drummer Robbie Chamberlin, who was replaced by Bobby Berge before the recording of their second album Going Back To Colorado in 1971. After this release Bolin left to go solo and was replaced by Jock Bartley (later in Firefall) for 1972's Sunset Ride. In 1973 the band with Bolin reunited for a number of concerts, the recording of which makes up the bulk of the live material. ZEPHYR is a strong debut album that rewards repeated listens. Although Bolin's presence seems to garner most of the attention, the rest of the band are on top of their game as well. Candy Givens is a more nuanced singer than she's given credit for, and blows a mean harp as well, while Faris is no slouch on the keyboards, whether playing tasty piano or growling Hammond organ. The rhythm section is more the adequate throughout, it's easy to hear why they were one of Denver's top groups and a band that impressed the groups they supported, making sure they didn't miss their set...

In 1997 the Tommy Bolin Archives released the Zephyr Live CD recorded at Art's Bar & Grill in Boulder on May 2, 1973. Two cuts from that CD are on the first live disc, "Sail On" and "Hard Charging Women." From a 1971 rehearsal we get "Uptown (To Harlem)" and "Jam Cats." The earliest live recrdings come from a July 3, 1969 show at Reed's Ranch, a version of Procol Harum's "Repent Walpurgis" dedicated to the recently deceased Brian Jones and "Guitar Solo/Cross The River." Next up is the blues staple "Rock Me Baby" with vocals by band friend Otis Taylor, and an instrumental section excerpt from "Cross The River" featuring Tommy's brother John as a second drummer, both recorded at the legendary Ebbets Field club in 1971. Rounding out the disc are a "Jam" recorded in San Bernardino, CA 1971 and "I Can't Find A Way (To Say I Love You) from a mystery venue. The third disc was completely recorded June 19, 1973 at Tulagi's in Denver during the reunion tour. Amazon has the song titles listed above...

Bill Halverson... Producer

David Givens Remembers...

“He thought Jimi Hendrix sucked, that he was just making noise... um... Hello... HENDRIX???”

I learned a lot from Bill Halverson. He was a mainstream Hollywood engineer when we worked with him in late ‘69 and he introduced me to 16 track recording, use of outboard gear, editing, and mixing as well as working as a musician/producer in the studio. He also taught me what happens when you take on a project that you don’t comprehend, what happens when you put your loyalty to your paycheck ahead of your ethical responsibilities, and what happens when you try to apply old methods to new opportunities - no good in any case, I assure you.

You can trace the loss of both Tommy and Candy to Bill’s failures and here’s how: ZEPHYR had it going on, people loved what we were doing and we were on top of the world when we left Boulder for L.A. in the autumn of ‘69. We ranged in age from 18 to 21 and none of us had spent any time to speak of in a recording studio. We had asked the record company to record us live - the correct idea still, in my opinion, since that’s what we did and what we understood. However, the record company demanded that we make a studio album. Halverson was responsible for the project, he was the adult supervision, for which he was very well paid and he failed. We recorded everything we knew in the first two sessions - the same way we recorded our demo at Summit Studio and according to Bernard Heidtmann, our road manager and long time close friend, it was beautiful and complete.

Halverson wanted to spend more dollars in the studio; he knew the record company had set a budget of $150,000 (1969!) and he wanted Wally Heider’s to get as much of it as they could. So, he tossed all of our recordings and put us to work building up tracks in the classic L.A. studio style - record the rhythm section with a pilot vocal, then go back and add solos, backup vocals, and finally lead vocals. We had no experience doing this and Bill was no teacher. He was so accustomed to working with session cats who understood the process that he assumed we’d just be able to do it. We weren’t. Both Tommy and Candy performed take after take to the point of physical and especially creative exhaustion. We ended up keeping tracks because Candy or Tommy had managed to get through a piece without making irreparable errors after 20 or 30 or 50 takes, when we should have been keeping tracks for what they said to the listener. Bill’s idea of teaching us was to make us listen to recordings he had made of Tom Jones jamming with the L.A. studio cats! Told us he was a PRODUCER, when in truth, he was a trombone playing, old school big band loving, ENGINEER who pretty much despised what we were up to. He told me he thought Jimi Hendrix sucked, that he was just making noise - HENDRIX! Wish he’d said that when we were interviewing producers. His big idea was to get Candy to make an album of standards. That’s very nice, but that’s not what we were there for and as it turned out, Candy suffered the most. If you listen to the Summit Studio demo (all first takes), you hear her doing what she did - some of it was over the top and some was subtle, but she was in control. Remember, she was singing with a very loud band - Tommy played with four hot-rodded Fender Twins with all dials on 10 - and if you mix the music to sound like what she was hearing on stage, what she was doing makes perfect sense. If you mix her way up front, as they did in those days and Halverson did on the record, she sounds like an idiot.

On top of all that, Halverson was working a full day of sessions at Heider’s before we ever arrived at the studio in the evening and he was usually pretty toasted by the time it was our turn. He actually fell asleep behind the console on a number of occasions. I’ve told the story of me and Tommy and Candy wheeling him around the control room in his big chair laughing our heads off as he lolled back and forth.

Halverson never created a way to capture the magic we could create and we were the ones who had to come home with our tails between our legs to face the people who had supported us and wanted to know why we hadn’t come through for them. None of us, particularly Tommy, Candy, and I, could ever hold our heads up as we had before we made a record with Bill Halverson. I understand that it was a character builder for me, but for Tommy and Candy, it amounted to taking a very public beat down when they needed all of their pride and strength to pull off the task they had set for themselves. And it was not their fault, they did what was asked of them and Halverson threw it away because he was too stupid to recognize what he had and/or he was too venal to let us get away without spending a hundred grand. When we were finishing up the album and we had come to realize that it wasn’t going to be what we had expected, I asked Bill what he had thought he was getting when he decided to work with us and he told me “Another Cream”. We were what we were and certainly not another anyone or anything else and yet that’s all he saw. Love us or hate us, we had created something unique that should have been nurtured and cultivated.

Sadly, Bill’s still getting paid from that album, Tommy and Candy are dead, and I’ve never gotten a cent from the record despite the fact that I wrote and arranged the majority of the music and it continues to sell steadily to this day after 40 years.