John Cipollina

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John Cipollina

Berkeley, Alameda County, California, USA
Death 29 May 1989 (aged 45)
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered, Specifically: Ashes scattered in San Francisco
Memorial ID 11786 · View Source
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Rock Musician. A native of Berkeley, California, Cipollina was a founding member and lead guitarist for the musical group, 'Quicksilver Messenger Service.' The band formed in San Francisco, California, in 1965, when the folk singer and songwriter Dino Valenti decided he wanted to start a rock band. The author of "Get Together" Valenti added guitarist Cipollina, singer Jum Murray, bass player David Freiberg, drummer Greg Elmore, and guitarist Gary Duncan. Shortly after the band was put together Valenti spent sometime in prison for drug charges before rejoining his band later on. The band made there debut in 1965 while playing in and around San Francisco, California, as well as the West Coast. In 1967, the group who had already earned the following of such groups as Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead, were signed to the Capitol Record Label. In 1968, they released there self titled debut, "Happy Trails," and a follow up recorded live in 1969. In 1970, Duncan left the band and was replaced by British session pianist Nicky Hopkins, but he returned to the band a short time later. That same year they released another album, "Shady Grove." Following Duncan's return the group became a sextet and they released two more albums, "What About Me" and "Just For Love." Following the release of these two albums, Freiberg and Cipollina left the group, but were soon replaced by other musicians. After the release of two more albums, the group disbanded for good in 1973. In 1975, the band tried a reunion and were successful in a tour and releasing another album. In 1986, Duncan revived the group's name and had Freiberg join on background vocals. Known for his strange amp stick he toured with (it consisted of six Wurlitzer horns), and his famous Gibson SG guitar, Cipollina continued his career after leaving the group by being a member of other groups including Zero, the Frank Zovato Band, Copperhead, Raven, and Terry & The Pirates, but he was plagued by bad health during the 1980s, and he had to limit his work schedule. On May 29, 1989, while preparing for a show at the Chi Chi Club n San Francisco, California, Cipollina unexpectedly passed away from the effects of emphysema at the age of 45. Following the news of Cipollina's death, the evening turned into a tribute concert in his memory. The show ended up being lead by Cipollina's brother Mario (bassist for the group Huey Lewis & The News), and included a who's who of San Francisco area musicians. Cipollina's amp stick and guitar are on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Sadly in 1994, both Dino Valenti, and Nicky Hopkins also died. Recordings by 'Quicksilver Messenger Service,' include, 'Bittersweet Love,' 'Witches' Moon,' 'Worryin' Shoes,' 'Edward, The Mad Shirt Grinder,' 'Flashing Lonesome,' 'Heebie Jeebies,' and 'Holy Moly.'

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 14 Aug 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11786
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Cipollina (24 Aug 1943–29 May 1989), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11786, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered, who reports a Ashes scattered in San Francisco.