Alphonse Mouzon | Interview

Interview with David  Streeten  |  21 July, 2015 
This was a brief interview and was just before Alphonse's appearance at the 2015 Bolin Fest.

You are playing at The 2015 Bolin Fest – that’s quite a coup for the organisers. Was it a straight forward decision for you? 

Yes it was time for me to play at the festival for Tommy Bolin because I got to know Johnnie over the years at NAMM and I wanted to show Tommy in heaven that I still cared about him. You’ve played with so many wonderful musicians and played across many musical genres.

Not looking to compare Tommy with anyone, but what stood out for you in regard to Tommy’s guitar playing and musicianship?

Tommy was a natural rock and blues guitarist who understood and could play Fusion Jazz. 

How do you see ‘Mind Transplant’ in the grand scale of your recording career? 

‘MIND TRANSPLANT’ is my best Fusion album/CD. It’s a Fusion classic as many people have said! ‘VIRTUE’ is my 2nd best Fusion album/CD. 

‘Golden Rainbows’ is often cited by Bolin fans as their favourite ‘Tommy’ time on the recording. Do you have any stand out tracks or moments from those sessions? 

I love all of the tracks Tommy is playing on. ‘GOLDEN RAINBOWS’ and ‘NITROGLYCERIN’ are standouts for me. 

Any funny moments/experiences you can recall? 

Tommy always used to called me ‘FONZIE’ in a high pitch voice that was funny. He always said, “If they can’t take a joke, fuck ‘em”. 

There is a great couple of photos of yourself and Tommy (attached here) outside, presumably in LA.  Again, any recollections or comment... 

Those photos of me and Tommy and my ‘Mind Transplant’ band were taken in Hollywood outside of the United Artists Record Company parking lot during happier times. 

Have you heard the ‘MOUZON/BOLIN’ jams?

Yes I have heard and have the MOUZON-BOLIN Jams and I like how we played. Not the best sound quality - but the music is awesome! 

Were you surprised when he joined Deep Purple? 

No I wasn’t surprised when Tommy joined Deep Purple. I was extremely happy for him. Tommy was a true rocker who could play fusion as well. 

Did you follow Tommy’s career after ‘Mind Transplant’? 

Yes I did follow Tommy’s career after he played on my ‘MIND TRANSPLANT’ album. We were and still are friends forever!! 

Any last thoughts you care to mention? 

I was devastated, heartbroken and angry when Tommy Bolin passed away. I thought someone in his camp could have saved him from his dismise - but no one did. I cried my heart out copious times over the passing of Tommy Bolin and still think of him or mention his name at least twice a week. 

Alphonse thank you so much for taking the time out for us, it’s a huge honour and privilege and I hope you have a wonderful time at the Bolin Fest!

Alphonse performing "Golden Rainbows" (from the 1975 album "Mind Transplant") at the Tommy Bolin Fest in Sioux City, IA. Saturday, August 8, 2015. On bass is Sam Irish, keyboards is Terry Brooks, and guitars by Jesse Christen & Craig Erickson.

The Tommy Bolin Memorial Fund was originally established by Johnnie Bolin in memory of his brother, in association with the Siouxland Community Foundation. The Ultimate mission is simple... To preserve the music, the memory and the legacy of Tommy Bolin.