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Felix Pappalardi

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Felix Pappalardi Biography

Felix A. Pappalardi Jr. (December 30, 1939 – April 17, 1983) was an American music producer, songwriter, vocalist, and bass guitarist.

As a producer, Pappalardi is perhaps best known for his work with British psychedelic blues-rock power trio Cream, beginning with their second album, Disraeli Gears. Pappalardi has been referred to in various interviews with the members of Cream as "the fourth member of the band" as he generally had a role in arranging their music. He also played a session role on the songs he helped them record. He also produced The Youngbloods' first album.

As a musician, Pappalardi is widely recognized as a bassist, vocalist and founding member of the American hard rock band/ heavy metal forerunner Mountain, a band born out of his working with future bandmate Leslie West's soul-inspired rock and roll band The Vagrants, and producing West's 1969 Mountain solo album. The band's original incarnation actively recorded and toured between 1969 and 1971. Felix produced the band's albums, and co-wrote and arranged a number of the band's songs with his wife Gail Collins and with Leslie West.

Pappalardi was forced to partly retire because of partial deafness, ostensibly from his high-volume shows with Mountain. He continued producing throughout the 1970s, and released a solo album and recorded with Japanese hard rock outfit Blues Creation. In May 1973, the British music magazine, NME, reported that Pappalardi was playing bass on, and producing former Stone the Crows singer, Maggie Bell's debut solo album, Queen of the Night. In reality he did neither, as the album was eventually produced by Jerry Wexler, and William Salter and Chuck Rainey played bass.

Pappalardi was shot and killed by his wife Gail on April 17, 1983 in their East Side Manhattan apartment. Gail was subsequently charged with second-degree murder. She claimed it was an accident, was found guilty of the lesser criminally negligent homicide and sentenced to sixteen months to four years in prison. She was released on parole in April 1985. Pappalardi is interred next to his mother at Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, New York.


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