David Garibaldi on the cover of Drumhead Magazine
“TOWER OF POWER IS A LIFESTYLE.”
It was some time in 1972, either a birthday or Christmas, as I sat on my bedroom floor excitedly stripping the plastic wrap off a three-album set I’d gotten as a present. It was called, Fillmore: The Last Days and at 14, it was a very big deal to get a huge box-set like this.
There were many artists featured on this collection–recorded live during the last shows at the Fillmore West–that I was obsessed with: Quicksilver Messenger Service, Taj Mahal, Cold Blood, Santana and Hot Tuna, as well as several I was not familiar with or heard of. One in particular that I was shaken by before ever hearing a note of their music was thanks to Bill Graham’s ultra-cool introduction: “A bitch of a band from the East Bay.” I didn’t know what that meant yet, but I sure knew it meant something good. After one listen to that band’s only offering on the box set–“Back On The Streets Again”–I was addicted; I could not stop playing that one track over and over.
I didn’t know what kind of music it was and it confused and almost scared me as much as it excited me. There was a popping, insistent quality to it that made me want to move, and there was a brash, cocky feel to it that stirred a sense of finding buried treasure–they sounded like a gang of guys that might just be dangerous, and I wanted to be part of it. I felt like I’d discovered something no one else knew about and soon it was the only thing I listened to on that box set. Not long after that seminal moment, I procured both Bump City and East Bay Grease.
Fast forward 46 years. I’m standing behind the core reason I had that visceral reaction in my childhood bedroom, watching his hands and feet effortlessly produce that strange, magical, cooking sensation that so stirred my naïve teenage soul: David Garibaldi–Dominus Funkologist–is casually running through Tower of Power songs with assorted members of the band as they arrive one by one for soundcheck in the Fox Theater in Oakland for what will be two shows celebrating their 50th anniversary as a band.
Read the rest at Drumheadmag.com