Ed Cassidy, famed drummer of rock legends Spirit, passed away in San Jose, Calif. on December 6 of undisclosed causes at the age of 89. Before he came to national attention with the quirky Los Angeles combo, Cassidy cut his teeth with jazz icons Roland Kirk, Art Pepper and Gerry Mulligan. In 1964, Cassidy formed a landmark rock band with singer Taj Mahal and guitarist Ry Cooder called the Rising Sons. By 1965, he’d moved on to forge the Red Roosters with his stepson, guitarist Randy California, singer Jay Ferguson and bassist Mark Andes. When they added keyboard whiz John Locke in 1967, they changed their name to Spirit and set the L.A. scene on fire with a series of “out there” jazz/folk/rock-inspired hits for Lou Adler’s Ode label that included “I’ve Got A Line On You, Babe,” and “Fresh Garbage.” Long before it became fashionable, Cassidy completely shaved his head and adopted the nickname “Mr. Skin.” Sundazed has always been thrilled to participate in the long-standing preservation of the catalogue of Spirit and will sadly miss a member of its extended family.