Drummer Ed Cassidy of the ’60s classic rock band Spirit died today in San Jose, California.
He was 89 years old.
Cassidy – whose clean-shaven head was as distinctive as his utterly unique yet always propulsive drumming style – began his professional music career in 1937, and over the years he played in Dixieland bands, show bands, country bands and even the San Francisco Opera. He performed with jazz greats Art Pepper, Julian Cannonball Adderley, Roland Kirk, Lee Konitz and Gerry Mulligan. And in the mid-’60s, he formed the Rising Sons with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder.
Shortly thereafter, he co-founded Spirit with his step-son Randy California.