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Graham Bond

On 28/10/1937, Graham Bond was born in Romford, England. His full birth name was Graham John Clifton Bond. He was adopted from a Dr Barnardo's home and was educated at the Royal Liberty School in Gidea Park, London.
In 1960, he played his first jazz gig with the Goudie Charles Quintet. He would stay with the group for a year.
He would gain nationwide attention when he became the jazz saxophonist for the Don Rendell Quintet. Afterwards, he joined the Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated for a brief period.
After leaving Blues Incorporated he formed the Graham Bond Quintet. He played the Hammond Organ and he recruited Ginger Baker on drums, John McLaughlin on guitar and Jack Bruce on double bass. The group would later become known as The Graham Bond Organisation. John McLaughlin would be replaced by Dick Heckstall-Smith on saxophone.
In 1965, The Graham Bond Organisation released the album "There's A Bond Between Us". It is considered the first recording of a Mellotron on rock music.
Bond would struggle with substance abuse problems, as did others in the band. There was also ongoing bickering between Baker and Bruce. Bond asked Baker to fire Bruce from the group. Baker would leave soon afterwards to form Cream with Bruce and Eric Clapton. The Graham Bond Organisation would continue as a trio with Jon Hiseman on drums. Bond's health would deteriorate though and the band split up in 1967.
After the break-up of the band, Bond suffered from manic episodes and intense depression which were heightened by heavy drug use.
Bond moved to America and recorded two albums. He also performed session work for Harvey Mandel and Dr John amongst others.
In 1969, he returned to England. There he formed the Graham Bond Initiation with his new wife Diane Stewart.
In 1970, he released the album "Holy Magick". Both Graham and Diane were interested in magick. The following year he released the album "Put Our Magick On You".
He played saxophone in Ginger Baker's Air Force and also was briefly in the Jack Bruce Band.
In 1972, he joined Pete Brown to record "Two Heads are Better Than One".
In 1973, Bond's finances were a mess, the drug addiction took its toll and he suffered a nervous breakdown. In the same year, he recorded an album with the John Dummer Band.
Graham's band and marriage both collapsed at nearly the same time. He formed Magus with singer Carolanne Pegg and bassist Pete Macbeth. The disbanded at the end of 1973 without recording. Also during that period he played live with singer/songwriter/guitar Mick Lee, but they never recorded.
On 08/05/1974, Bond died under the wheels of a tube train at Finsbury Park Station in London. Most sources cite the death as a suicide.

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
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