Givens, now a Sandusky resident, met or played with many famous musicians during the band’s heyday.
Jimi Hendrix was a nice guy, he says. So were Jethro Tull members Martin Barre and Glenn Cornick, although “the flute player” (e.g. Ian Anderson) was less easy to be around. Members of Zephyr went on to play with acts such as Firefall, Gram Parsons and Carole King, but the band’s best-known former member was legendary guitarist Tommy Bolin, who went on to play with the James Gang and Deep Purple, and who made solo records before his death, at age 25, from a drug overdose in 1976. Bolin still enjoys a cult following on the Internet.
“Tommy was really a talented, gifted person,” Givens said. Once, in a music store, Bolin picked up an acoustic guitar and began to play.
A small crowd attracted by the sounds soon gathered around Bolin. “He was an amazing guitar player,” Givens said.