Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Elf - s/t 1972, "L.A.59" a.k.a. "Carolina County Ball" - 1974, "Trying to Burn the Sun" 1975, "War Pigs 72"

Blues based rock band Elf, was formed in upstate New York in 1967. The band was formed by vocalist/bassist Ronnie James Dio, guitarists David Feistein and Nick Pantas, keyboardist Doug Thaler, and drummer Gary Driscoll. The bands original name was The Electric Elves, which was later shortened to The Elves, and finally, Elf.

In 1968, Pantas was killed in a car accident. Following the accident, Doug Thaler moved to rhythm guitar and Mickey Lee Soule joined as keyboardist. In 1972, Thaler dropped out of the group. That same year, the group cut their self titled debut album produced by Ian Paice and Roger Glover and saw Dio credited under his real name Ronald Padavona.

The following year, Craig was recruited on bass so that Dio could focus on singing. At the same time, Feinstein quit and was replaced by Steve Edwards. This Lineup recorded two studio albums L.A/59 a.k.a. Carolina County Ball (1974), and Trying to Burn the Sun (1975). In 1975, Ritchie Blackmore recruited the entire band, minus Edwards to join him in his new band Rainbow, effectively ending Elf.

Ronnie James Dio went on to a successful career in Heavy Metal, fronting Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell, and his own solo project, Dio. Feinstein also found a career in metal, leading the bands The Rods for a number of years. Thaler went on to a career in music management, drummer Gary Driscoll was found murdered in his home in 1987, the case remains open.
In 2000, Dio spoke of the possibility of reuniting the band, but that never came to pass as he succumbed to stomach cancer in 2010.

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