Tommy Bolin was the go-to-guy for a number of Hard Rock acts of the 1970s. A guitar prodigy, he played in bands backing blues men Lonnie Mack and Albert King. He later joined the James Gang, replacing Domenic Troiano (who himself was Joe Walsh's replacement) before going on to his highest-profile gig: replacing Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple. Bolin former his own band after that, and was making serious inroads on the Hard Rock circuit before succumbing to a drug overdose in 1976. His playing was an intense combination of inventive, aggressive riffs and a dramatic blend of dazzling Blues Rock and Jazz Fusion licks. His mixture of technical ability and visceral flash greatly influenced the Sunset Strip hair Metal players of the '80s.