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Forty Years
by Tom Fogerty, feat. Bill Vitt, drums
Bill Vitt (1949 to 2019) was an American drummer. William R Vitt was born in 1949 in Sacramento, California, USA. He moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s looking to find work as a session drummer and, in addition to working with producer Don Costa, also recorded early works with the likes of Eydie Gorme and Cathy Carlson. After moving back to the Bay Area of San Francisco at the end of the 1960s, he joined 'blues' guitarist Michael Bloomfield in the group 'Electric Flag' (soon to become the 'Michael Bloomfield Band'), and went on to drum as part of 'Sons of Champlin' from 1971 to 1972. He first met musician Jerry Garcia through keyboardist Howard Wales while taking part in jam sessions at San Francisco's Matrix club, and ended up joining the pair for their 1971 collaborative album "Hooteroll?". Following the closure of the Matrix, he, Garcia, Merl Saunders and John Kahn moved their jam sessions to Berkley club the Keystone. It was there that they recorded their performances for the 1973 album "Live at Keystone" (it was given an expanded re-issue in 1988 as two separate volumes - "Keystone Encores Volume I" and "Keystone Encores Volume II"). In 2012, 'Fantasy Records' again re-mastered the release as "Keystone Companions: The Complete 1973 Fantasy Recordings" - it also featured previously unheard tracks plus a different track sequence. During his career, he also worked sessions with artists such as the featured Tom Fogerty, plus Pee Wee Ellis, Ivan Neville, 'Sonny & Cher', Freddie King, 'The Coasters', James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, Chris Hayes, Nick Daniels, Eddie Harris, Tony Saunders, Billy Connors and Felton Cruise. Bill Vitt died in Novato, California, on July 16th 2019, aged 70. http://exclaim.ca/music/article/r_i_p_jerry_garcia_drummer_bill_vitt
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Vitt - http://jambands.com/features/2012/11/16/bill-vitt-remembers-his-keystone-companions-jerry-garcia-and-merl-saunders/
Posted: 12th August 2019
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† REST IN PEACE †
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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