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Well-known member
Mar 29, 2018
The West Coast of the East Coast
Spirit was an American rock band founded in 1967 and based in Los Angeles, California. Their most commercially successful single in the United States was "I Got a Line on You". They were also known for their albums, including their self-titled debut album, The Family That Plays Together, Clear, and Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus.

The original lineup of the group evolved from a Los Angeles band, the Red Roosters, which included Randy California (guitars, vocals), Mark Andes (bass), and Jay Ferguson (vocals, percussion). With the addition of California's stepfather Ed Cassidy on drums, and keyboard player John Locke, the new band was originally named the Spirits Rebellious (after a book by Kahlil Gibran), but the name was soon shortened to Spirit. Before returning to his native state, California previously played with Jimi Hendrix as a member of Jimmy James and the Blue Flames in New York City's Greenwich Village in 1966.

The band capitalized on the success of their first album with another single, "I Got a Line on You". Released in November 1968, a month before their second album, The Family That Plays Together, it became their biggest hit single, reaching number 25 on the charts (number 28 in Canada). The album matched its success, reaching number 22. In December, they appeared at the Denver Auditorium, with support band Led Zeppelin,[2] who soon after interpolated parts of Spirit's song "Fresh Garbage" in an extended medley based around their cover of Bob Elgin and Jerry Ragavoy's "As Long As I Have You" (initially popularized by Garnet Mimms) during their early 1969 concerts. Spirit also appeared with Led Zeppelin at two outdoor music festivals in July 1969. Jimmy Page's use of a theremin has been attributed to his seeing Randy California use one that he had mounted to his amplifier.[3] Guitar World magazine stated that "California's most enduring legacy may well be the fingerpicked acoustic theme of the song 'Taurus', which Jimmy Page lifted virtually note for note for the introduction to 'Stairway to Heaven'."[4] 'The Independent noted the similarity in 1997.[5] In 2014, Mark Andes and a trust acting on behalf of Randy California filed an unsuccessful copyright infringement suit against Led Zeppelin in an attempt to obtain a writing credit for "Stairway to Heaven".[6][7] Page denied copying "Taurus",[8] and the suit was unsuccessful.[9]

Original lineup
Later members
Following Sardonicus, many musicians passed through the group's ranks. Most of them did not make a huge contribution to the group's sound, but some did. The most important of the later group members are listed here:
  • John Arliss - bass (1971)
  • Al Staehely - bass, lead vocals (1971–73)
  • John Christian Staehely - guitar, vocals (1971–73)
  • Stu Perry - drums (1972–73)[14]
  • Scott Shelly - guitar, vocals (1973–74)
  • Donnie Dacus - guitar, vocals (1973-74)
  • Steve Olitski - keyboards (1973–74)
  • Steve Edwards - guitar, vocals (1973–74)
  • Barry Keene - bass (1974–76)
  • Benji - keyboards (1975)
  • Matt Andes - guitar, vocals (1976, 1995–97)
  • Larry "Fuzzy" Knight - bass, vocals (1976–79)
  • Terry Anderson - vocals (1976–77)
  • Scott Monahan - keyboards, bass, vocals (1985–88, 1990–95)
  • Dave Waterbury - bass, vocals (1985–88)
  • Mike Nile - bass, vocals (1988–93)
  • George Valuck - keyboards (1990–95)
  • Steve "Liberty" Loria - bass, vocals (1993–97)
  • Rachel Andes - vocals (1995–97)
  • Walter Egan - bass, vocals (1997)

1968 Spirit
1969 The Family That Plays Together

1969 Clear
1970 Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus
972 Feedback
1975 Spirit of '76
1975 Son of Spirit
1976 Farther Along
1977 Future Games
1981 The Adventures of Kaptain Kopter & Commander Cassidy in Potato Land
1984 The Thirteenth Dream/Spirit of '84
1989 Rapture in the Chambers
1990 Tent of Miracles
1996 California Blues
2005 Model Shop


A lot of people only know them for their one hit "I Got A Line On You" that sounds an awfully like Traffic.

If you dig deeper you're into territory that your ears will reward you with...a band with so much talent. Their timings, key changes and their heavy jazz influences are spectacular and most of the material sounds fresh, like it was recorded yesterday. Some of it is pure psychedelic Rock. Enjoy!


Well-known member
Mar 29, 2018
The West Coast of the East Coast

One of my favorite songs by them. Where else can you hear Deep Purple, Santana, Yes, Primus and the Doors all wrapped into one song???

Listen to how they bring it back and how they go out. BRILLIANT!

Hey...if you hear Stairway To Heaven...more power to you. Both albums were recorded at almost the same time on different continents. I think it's just a solid coincidence. Randy went one way with a few chords and Jimmy went another.