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Audio interviews

Spirit's Randy California (1981)

Interview by John Tobler, Rock's Backpages audio, 1981

Spirit's guitarist and guiding light discusses the belatedly-released Adventures of Kaptain Kopter & Commander Cassidy in Potato Land: about re-recording parts for the album why it wasn't originally released; about the album's concept and its influence on Devo. Randy also talks about meeting Jimi Hendrix and playing with him in NYC in 1966.

File format: mp3 File size: 14.6mb Interview length: 15' 14"; Sound quality: *****

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Interview by uncredited writer, World Countdown News, 1967

PLAY MUSIC with Love. Different backgrounds create new flavors. New ideas are always welcome. ...

Spirit: Whisky a Go Go, Los Angeles CA

Live Review by Pete Johnson, Los Angeles Times, 16 March 1968

FIVE COMPATIBLE first-rate musicians do not necessarily make a first-rate group, nor does excellent music always make excellent entertainment. ...

Spirit: The Family That Plays Together (Ode)

Review by Miles, International Times, 14 February 1969

From The Ergot Fields ...

Spirit, Kaleidoscope, Chicago Transit Authority: Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica CA; Procol Harum, Santana, Blue Morning, Aum: Rose Palace, Pasadena CA

Live Review by John Mendelssohn, Los Angeles Times, 17 April 1969

Spirit, Procol Play Concerts ...

Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin et al: Album Reviews

Review by uncredited writer, Melody Maker, 26 April 1969

Both sides of the great Elvis Presley, orchestral pop from the Brothers Ryan ...

Spirit, the Youngbloods, West, Blue Morning: Rose Palace, Pasadena CA

Live Review by John Mendelssohn, Los Angeles Times, 29 April 1969

SPIRIT, THE Youngbloods, West and Blue Morning appeared in rock concerts at the Pasadena Rose Palace Friday and Saturday nights. ...


Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, 7 February 1970

SPIRIT IS one of those fine American groups which came to light following the Indian summer of 1967, and which have never really gained the ...


Interview by Mark Williams, International Times, 12 February 1970

CTA, CANNED HEAT, Love & Flock are some of the more interesting American contemporary bands we've seen, or will be seeing, in Britain during the ...

Spirit: 12 Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus

Review by Nick Tosches, Rolling Stone, 4 March 1971

ANY ILLUSIONS that might still be clung to along the order of Spirit's being an Epic house organ anthropomorphization-of-eclecticism shuck, complete with baldpated, cerebral – ...

Spirit: The Whisky, Los Angeles

Live Review by Richard Cromelin, Phonograph Record, April 1972

THERE'S NOT MUCH Spirit left. That doesn't refer only to the departure of Jay Ferguson and Mark Andes and the retirement of Randy California. The ...

Randy of Spirit post

Profile and Interview by Rosalind Russell, Disc, 7 April 1973

RANDY CALIFORNIA isn't the state of the nation — it's the name of Spirit's lead guitarist. He's one of the two original members left from ...

Spirit: California Saga

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, 7 April 1973

ATTENTION PLEASE. For the next few weeks, Britain will have the chance of witnessing 'live' one of rock's most creative and significant guitarists. ...

Spirit: Mayfair, Newcastle

Live Review by Rosalind Russell, Disc, 7 April 1973

SPIRIT'S TOUR here has not been over-publicised, so it's all to their credit that they're managing to pull large crowds and have had no less ...

Spirit: Spirit of '75

Interview by Harvey Kubernik, Melody Maker, 26 July 1975

Drummer Ed Cassidy talks about the new-look Spirit – and explains why a band of '67 is still hunting the big-time ...

Spirit: Spirit of '76

Review by Bud Scoppa, Rolling Stone, 14 August 1975

FROM ITS CONCEPTION to its sonics, Spirit of '76 is this year's eccentric's eccentric record, and Randy California (last heard from as "Kapt. Kopter" on ...

America: The Titanic Might Be Sinking, But There Are Plenty Of Lifeboats Left

Essay by Max Bell, New Musical Express, 3 July 1976

BACK IN this very spot, Mick Farren pulled out his critical cudgels and delivered a sorely needed attack on the current state of rock'n'roll. ...

Spirit: Farther Along

Review by Max Bell, New Musical Express, 31 July 1976

How Kapt. Kopter kept coming back California, a bona fide genius guitar hero. Who says so? Max Bell says so. ...

Spirit: Spirit of the Sixties

Profile and Interview by Chris Charlesworth, Melody Maker, 18 September 1976

RANDY CALIFORNIA: re-formed Spirit after picking pineapples and advice from a fortune teller ...

Spirit: If You Value Your Life, On No Account Read This Headline...

Interview by Max Bell, New Musical Express, 30 October 1976

...because if you do you'll have to read the feature which is about RANDY CALIFORNIA of SPIRIT. He's a very far-out person. He says so. ...

Spirit: Future Games — A Magical Kahauna Dream (Mercury Import)

Review by Max Bell, New Musical Express, 19 March 1977

THE RETURN of Tab, Hunk and Dr. Sardonicus — more outrageously smooth than ever before. A new Spirit album is not only becoming a frequent ...

Spirit: Rainbow Theatre, London

Live Review by Max Bell, New Musical Express, 18 March 1978

DO YOU BELIEVE in magic? Me, I'm still dreaming, lost in the welter of sensory impressions that seeped into the Rainbow the minute Spirit dripped ...

Spirit: From The Time Coast — Randy California Interviewed

Interview by Steve Burgess, Dark Star, June 1978

ONE OF THE problems that your average culture hero doesn't suffer from is trying to sleep nights, it's the days that get slept through 'cause ...

Spirit: Spirit Live

Review by Paul Morley, New Musical Express, 8 July 1978

Goodbye To Rock And All That (For Another Year At Least) ...

An Appreciation Of The Career Of Randy California, Who Died On January 2nd, 1997

Obituary by Phil McMullen, Ptolemaic Terrascope, March 1997

SO, HE'S GONE THEN. If Nick hadn't metaphorically picked me up by the scruff of the neck and encouraged me to start writing the interviews ...

Randy California

Obituary by Max Bell, MOJO, March 1997

RANDY CALIFORNIA, THE GUITARIST AND songwriter of West Coast group Spirit, drowned after swimming off the Hawaiian island of Molokai on January 2. ...

Spirit: The Mercury Years

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, July 1997

California Dreaming ...


Sleeve notes by John Tobler, Sony Records sleevnote, 2000

THE TRAGIC AND unexpected death (from drowning) on the second day of 1997 of guitarist and vocalist Randy California effectively silenced Spirit, described by Billboard ...


Book Excerpt by Phil Hardy, Dave Laing, Faber Companion to 20th Century Popular Music, 2001

Mark Andes, b. 19 February 1948, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (replaced by Al Staehely, b. Texas); Randy California, b. Randolph Craig Woolfe, 20 February 1951, Los ...

Randy California

Retrospective by Johnny Black, MOJO, February 2004

Just turned 22, Spirit guitarist and figurehead Randy California stands on Chelsea Bridge, staring down into the grey waters of the River Thames. It's April 1973, ...

Spirit: Spirit of '76

Review and Interview by Paul Lester, Uncut, March 2004

1975 double concept LP from Randy California's hippie-era West Coast legends — available for the first time on CD with original vinyl's full gatefold artwork. ...

School of Rock: Monterey to Altamont

Guide by Barney Hoskyns, iTunes, 2008

BETWEEN 1966 and 1970, there was a seismic change in British and American pop. Within a few short years "pop" became "rock", and teenagers who'd ...

California Dreaming: The Wild and Tragic Story of Spirit

Retrospective by Max Bell, Classic Rock, 18 June 2014

Led by mercurial guitarist Randy California, Spirit were buddies of Jimi Hendrix and praised by Led Zeppelin. But their promise would collapse in blur of ...

see also Randy California

see also Jo Jo Gunne

see also Red Roosters, The


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