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Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story Paperback – December 13, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0578003177 ISBN-10: 0578003171

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Greg Prato (December 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0578003171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0578003177
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #769,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The truth is definitely stranger than fiction - Greg Prato brings to light the sad and compelling truth, revelations, and recollections of those that were directly involved with one of the great talents of music history. Tommy Bolin was a musical genius." --Greg Hampton (Whips and Roses and Teaser Deluxe producer)

"Touched by Magic will give you the true feel of a cult hero. A story people should know, and finally get to learn about it." --Stone & Double T, WXRX, Rockford, IL

"Touched By Magic:  The Tommy Bolin Story will give fans the journey into Tommy Bolin's life they always wanted to take." --Keith Roth, The Electric Ballroom Radio Show  

"This 252-page book is a remarkable achievement and hits every target whilst paying respectful justice to the memory of one of the world's greatest guitar stars." --blogcritics.org

"A tragic book, but one well worth reading." --curledup.com

"It's an absolute blast and I rate it as essential for Tommy fans." --John Herdt, Webmaster and Producer, Tommy Bolin Archives

"Upon reading Greg's book, I found myself, once again, immersed in the deep emotional impact that Tommy had on my life." --Glenn Hughes (bandmate of Tommy's in Deep Purple), glennhughes.com

"After reading 'Touched by Magic,' it seemed to me every interview 'takes you there' for the moment." --Johnnie Bolin (Tommy's brother), foreword of book

About the Author

Greg Prato is a Long Island, New York-–based journalist, whose writing has appeared in such renowned publications as Rolling Stone, All Music Guide, and Classic Rock Magazine. He is the author of several popular books, 'A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon,' 'Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story,' 'Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, 'No Schlock . . . Just Rock!,' 'The Eric Carr Story,' 'MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years of Music Video,' and 'Sack Exchange: The Definitive Oral History of the 1980s New York Jets.'

Customer Reviews

A truly great read about a much very talented musician.
Dana Bring
It seems to me, from all the people quoted in this book, like me, Tommy blew everybody away with his playing.
Curtis Brown
Thanks to Greg Prato for a very good book - and for keeping the spirit of Tommy Bolin alive!
Trond Valberg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By August Sanders on July 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
just finished the bolin book. while i'm thrilled someone has written a pretty thorough bio, two reservations. first and most seriously, "touched by magic" needs both an a proofreader and an editor. there are typos and mistakes all over the place. the sequencing, endless quotes and general organization of the book is almost comical. i realize this is a labour of love, and again thank the author for undertaking it, but the book would be a real contender (and taken seriously) if an editor could have it for a week. i also think a bit of critical distance from the person and music would not go amiss. not everything bolin touched or wrote turned to gold, and he was in the end what all drug addicts are, fearsomely self-centered and creatively limp. one caveat: i downloaded the book from amazon; if this version is different from the print edition, i hope the latter is an improvement.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Chapman on January 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
There is a reason why some artists develop a cult following that continues to grow exponentially some 33 years after they have left the mortal coil. In the case of Tommy Bolin, it is his musical artistry, in general, and his transformingly brilliant guitar playing majesty, specifically, that leaves more and more people year after year discovering what has been lost but should be found.

While I could not recommend this book more highly, if you are new to Tommy Bolin, you first need to listen to his 2 solo releases: "Private Eyes" (which can be had for a criminally low price, so what are you waiting for?) and "Teaser" (which costs a few extra shekels as it is only available as an import). However, just a gander at the guest artists that performed on "Teaser" lets you know that it is well worth the investment.

Greg Prato's "Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story" continues the discovery of an artist whose brilliance transcended his life. Bolin fans have been waiting for this book for literally longer than Tommy's life time. Because it is written from interviews with most of the important people in Tommy's personal and professional life, there is a "warts and all" feel to the book that is very much appreciated. And my takeaway from "Touched by Magic" is the realism that being fortunate enough to be brilliant at one thing (music) by no means bestows upon one competency at others (business management decisions, modifying addictions/lifestyle, etc.).

To his credit, Prato allows the interviews speak for themselves. The interviews reinforce to those who do not (or could not) remember how "matter of fact" casual recreational drug use was to many (if not most) of us who came of age in the 70's.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chris McBeth on February 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful...and haunting book. I was born in 1963 and it is very easy for me to say that Tommy Bolin was the most original and talented guitarist of my lifetime, right next to and along with Jimi Hendrix. This book tells the story of a brilliantly talented, very young lost soul who could make his guitar sing like no other man could but also battled the demons of drugs and alcohol; a battle which took his life at the age of 25. "Touched By Magic" is told through texts and remembrances by Tommy's friends and family with the occasional line by Tommy himself. It also includes passages from his "so-called" manager...note the "so-called". From his early teenage years to his shadowy death in a Miami hotel room in December of '76, "Magic" connects us with a genious for the ages. For anyone familiar with the name "Tommy Bolin", get this book NOW !! For someone un-familiar with his name, I think the book will be interesting but will certainly not be of the same importance. For these people, I say "Get some Tommy Bolin music...anything". Then you will KNOW !! Many thanks to Greg Prato for helping to keep Tommy's name (and music) alive. Through this book and his timeless music, Tommy will be forever "Touched By Magic".
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By james gallagher on April 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
i was a huge fan of tommy's during the deep purple years and his solo stuff and was always very interested in hearing the whole story of what happened to him.

i've read this book twice now and a lot of questions have been answered but i feel that a lot of what's been written in this book are only opinions given by people that were angry and shocked at his death. i'm 47, and when i look back at my life at 25, i was a lot like tommy,(minus the talent) and i guess i'm blessed to have made it through those years.

many of those interviewed here would have you believe that barry fey, (tommy's manager) is the devil. well, a few things evident are that he was a businessman and that he believed in tommy's God given gift. although some of the things he did were shocking!

i really feel for tommy's family and their loss! only God knows what he would have accomplished had he lived a full life.

i only became a tommy bolin fan when he joined deep purple but have discovered many other great things he did later. i'll read this book a few more times and maybe i'll have a different opinion then...but one thing i've gathered so far is that there were a lot of shenanigans going on around him late in his life! r.i.p. tommy
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Greg Prato is a Long Island, New York-based journalist, whose writing has appeared in such renowned publications as Rolling Stone, All Music Guide, and Classic Rock Magazine. He is the author of several popular books:

MUSIC:
'A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon'
'Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story'
'Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music'
'No Schlock . . . Just Rock!'
'The Eric Carr Story'
'MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years of Music Video'
'Too High to Die: Meet the Meat Puppets'
'The Faith No More & Mr. Bungle Companion'
'Overlooked/Underappreciated: 354 Recordings That Demand Your Attention'
'Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool'
'Punk! Hardcore! Reggae! PMA! Bad Brains!'
'Iron Maiden: '80 '81'

SPORTS:
'Sack Exchange: The Definitive Oral History of the 1980s New York Jets'
'Dynasty: The Oral History of the New York Islanders, 1972-1984'
'Just Out of Reach: The 1980s New York Yankees'

Also, Greg has been interviewed on such radio shows as 'Eddie Trunk Live,' 'The Ron and Fez Show,' 'Kick Out the Jams,' and 'The Electric Ballroom,' and has had his books heralded on such TV or radio programs as 'That Metal Show' and 'The Howard Stern Wrap Up Show.'

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