Ed Cassidy was a one off. Probably the oddest candidate for Rock stardom ever minted. Cassidy came to the party late in life but made the most of his visit and had remarkable staying power.
Cassidy is most famous as the bald drummer in the legendary 60’s rock band Spirit. Cassidy formed Spirit in 1967 with his step-son guitarist Randy California. In an era when flowing locks was the default fashion statement for all rockers, Cassidy was a striking anomaly with his shaved head and black attire. Prior to Spirit he was a member of another legendary L.A. outfit The Rising Sons (1964); a band that sported two young guitar toting visionaries; Taj Majal and Ry Cooder.
Cassidy was born in 1923. He served in the Navy during World War II. After his discharge from the armed services, became a fulltime musician during the golden age of Jazz and rubbed musical shoulders with a host of legends during the 1950’s. These included, Art Pepper, Julian Cannonball Adderley, Roland Kirk, Lee Konitz and Gerry Mulligan.
Spirit was an adventurous and extremely musical concern. The band is best represented by their most famous song, “I Got A Line On You”. A tune that maintains its power and hipness quotient over 40 years after its release. Cassidy died in San Jose on December 6.