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Felix Pappalardi

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Felix A. Pappalardi Jr. (December 30, 1939 in Bronx, New York, USA - April 17, 1983 in Manhattan, New York, USA) was an American music producer, songwriter, vocalist, and bass guitarist of Greek ancestry. He was mainly known as bassist in legendary heavy blues rock band and hard rock pioneers Mountain in two periods (1969-72 and 1973-75) and producer of Cream, and also wrote, among others, the classic Strange Brew with wife Gail Collins and Eric Clapton for Cream. He was married to lyricist and artist Collins, who wrote the lyrics for several Mountain songs, and was also the artist behind the artwork to 5 of their 6 original albums. Leslie West had gotten to know the couple in 1965, after Pappalardi produced one of his early bands.

On April 17, 1983 Gail Collins Pappalardi "accidentally" shot her husband dead with a single bullet in the neck with the Derringer he supposedly had given her recently. According to Gail, Felix - a former army marksman - was giving her gun lessons when the gun went off, but it was well-known among close friends and colleagues (Leslie West, Corky Laing and his wife Frances Laing...) that the couple owned several guns, and that they both had been practising for years. She'd also put said Derringer to Frances' head in early 1983, threating to blow her brains out after West and Laing in late 1982 had said no to a reunited Mountain with Felix and Gail in the band.

Their marriage was a troubled, "open" one marred by drug abuse, depression, guns and violence (the crazed Gail actually beat her miniscule husband up) and constant affairs on both sides (they even shared lovers). When Pappalardi declared he was in love with a younger woman, Valerie Merians (the daughter of his Woodstock club owner friend Ron), and that they were going to marry and move in together, Gail saw her entire career - and life - falling apart, and took the ultimate decison to put a bullet in her husband's neck in their bed. The first number she called wasn't 911, but her lawyer's...

A travesty of a trial that made the headlines in New York Post and other media followed, where the jurors ended up feeling sorry for the weeping Collins. She was 2 votes from being aquitted, but was sentenced to a short time in prison for a minor crime. She walked already in 1985, and disappeard into oblivion until she in 2013 was found dead from cancer in a tiny, Mexican village, missed by noone.

Sites:Wikipedia , loudersound.com
In Groups:Mountain, Pompeii (3), The Devil's Anvil, The Flock, The Realists (3)
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