John Cipollina and Friends


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John Cipollina, iconic member of Quicksilver Messenger Service and a fixture of the San Francisco music scene from it's very beginning until his untimely death in 1989, was my friend. John was one of my guitar idols as a young musician and the day I met him in 1966 was a memorable high point in my life. We spent many years working together or just hanging out and I was fortunate enough to have not only called him a close friend, but to have recorded many of these moments for posterity.

JC, as many of his friends referred to him, never had a bad word to say about anyone, possessed a delightful appreciation for the macabre and would rather put together a collection of disparate talented musicians to jam with than just about anything else. John, by his own admission, would have died much sooner if not for his signature habit of wedging his cigarette in between the strings on the peg head of his SG while he played. I recorded Freelight at Bear West Studios and produced their promo shots around the same time. This band was a unique departure for John into jazz and it was a remarkable session, with Pam Tillis nailing every track the first time through. The very talented Jarrett Washington (on keyboards) died only a few years ago (2006, as I recall) and loved to "butcher Bach" as he would say while launching into some very impressive improvisational riffs. If John had an idol it was Link Wray and he spoke enthusiastically of him to anyone who would listen.

The John Cipollina Discography

The John Cipollina Memorial Page

All of this material was scanned and digitized from the original 35mm film.

This is a "work in progress" as I am still processing images from these events. Time has taken its toll on many of the originals and the cleanup and restoration process can be time-consuming.

Your life was too short, John. We all miss you.

If you came to this page directly, this is my home page link

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 11:30 AM
Updated Friday, August 23, 2013 11:30 AM
Autographed Happy Trails Album

Never a collector of autographs during all my years (decades) in the entertainment industry, I prevailed upon John to autograph a couple of albums one day when we were working on a recording in the editing suite at my home in Lucas Valley.

John was gracious enough to personalize two of my favorite albums: the 1st (black) Quicksilver album and Happy Trails.

Autographed 1st Quicksilver Album
John Cipollina Tribute Concert VIP Pass - 1989  
John Cipollina (Quicksilver Messenger Service, Freelight, Raven, Terry and the Pirates)
John Cipollina
Mario Cipollina, John Cipollina, Greg Douglass
Mario Cipollina
John Cipollina
Greg Douglass
Mario Cipollina, John Cipollina, Greg Douglass
Mario Cipollina and John Cipollina
Mario Cipollina, John Cipollina  
Greg Douglass

 

John Cipollina
John Cipollina
Mario Cipollina
Mario Cipollina
Mario Cipollina
  John Cipollina  
Mario Cipollina, John Cipollina
John Cipollina
Mario Cipollina
Day on the Brown
February, 1976
John and Mario Cipollina
  John Cipollina playing slide guitar  
John Cipollina, Mario Cipollina, Bill Gibson

John Cipollina
Greg Douglass
Bill Gibson
Day on the Brown
February, 1976

 

John Cipollina
Mario Cipollina
Day on the Brown
February, 1976

John Cipollina, Mario Cipollina
Freelight
John Cipollina and Freelight
Pam Tillis
Tim Timmermans
Jarrett Washington
Marin County, CA
1977
Free Light Promo Shot with John Cipollina, Tim Timmermans, Pam Tillis and Jarrett Washington The new Freelight slideshow gallery can be found here
John Cipollina
John Cipollina
August, 1977
John Cipollina
John Cipollina
Pam Tillis
Freelight at The Old Mill
1977
John Cipollina with Pam Tillis  
Pam Tillis

Pam Tillis
Freelight
1977

Pam Tillis
  Pam Tillis  
Jarrett Washington
Jarrett Washington
Freelight
1977
Jarrett Washington
Jarrett Washington
Tim Timmermans
1977
Jarrett Washington with Tim Timmermans  
Freelight Promo Shot
Freelight Promo Shots
Marin County Fairgrounds
1977
Freelight Promo Shot
John Cipollina
Jarrett Washington
Freelight rehearsal
1977
John Cipollina with Jarrett Washington  
John Cipollina snoting a bottle of Coke
John Cipollina fooling around
in his rehearsal studio
"Snorting" Coke...
then being "ashamed"
Terra Linda, CA
1977
John Cipollina being "ashamed"
     
© Copyright Warren Paul Harris 2007-2013

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