Line Out Music & the City at Night

Thursday, December 6, 2012

RIP, Spirit Drummer Ed Cassidy

Posted by on Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Ed Cassidy is known best for being the drummer for '60s LA area band Spirit. And he was something of an exception... uh, he was in his 40s when Spirit formed. Cassidy was born in Chicago, in 1923, then drifted to California in the early '50s, and by the mid '60s he was a completely bald, middle-aged adult who played a double kick drum kit, with a bunch'a young long hairs. Prior to being a rock drummer he'd been a jazzbo playing with plenty of big names, but in the early '60s he was the drummer for the blues-based group the Rising Sons, which also included with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder. After the Rising Sons split he formed a group, the Red Roosters, with his step-sons, and it was this group that soon evolved into the mighty Spirit.

Spirit were a sike group which also trod all over jazz. Like... kinda not really, erm...MAYBE on paper you could argue they were "proto-prog," 'cause jazz is an integral element, but they weren't full of "fantasy," or strictly playing be-bop. Spirit's musical reach actually means their catalog is solid and FULL of variety. Their music is pyschedelic, expansive and they were for sure stringing together (sorta) concepts, but not really making concept albums... as their first LP, Spirit will attest... here, listen to the entire thing...

Their first four LPs, Spirit, The Family That Plays Together, Clear, and Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus are rock canon. Eventually the original group fragmented over direction, but in some shape Spirit continued with Cassidy's drumming a constant. He was still active playing in the last decade with Merrell Fankhauser. My math says Cassidy was 89 at the time of death, damn, boss... way to keep on.


Comments (7) RSS

Newest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
We are very sad about his passing. What a great icon. Family is selling his black 1957 Chevy to pay medical costs.…
Posted by a_cassidy on December 8, 2012 at 9:53 PM · Report this
We are very sad about his passing. What a great icon. The family is selling his black 1957 Chevy to help pay for medical costs. Please spread the word.…
Posted by a_cassidy on December 8, 2012 at 9:50 PM · Report this
Help get Ed Randy and Spirit into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sign the petition at…
Posted by realgreecer on December 7, 2012 at 3:50 PM · Report this
Keekee 4
Well said, Mr. Segal.
Posted by Keekee on December 7, 2012 at 1:03 PM · Report this
Freudian slip, clean up in aisle 2. We fixed that for you, @1.

Also, Spirit, at their best, were one of the greatest rock groups ever and Cassidy was phenomenal. RIP.
Posted by Dave Segal on December 6, 2012 at 9:16 PM · Report this
nipper 2
@1 Nice. Do you give a fuck otherwise?
Posted by nipper on December 6, 2012 at 7:44 PM · Report this
Ry CooDer. Glad you're saving all that $$ on copy editing.
Posted by maddogm13 on December 6, 2012 at 5:15 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Most Commented on Line Out

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy