1939 - 1983
"Don't worry, Ma."
Felix Pappalardi is best known as the producer of the blues rock trio Cream. He was also known as the bassist in early American hard rock act "Mountain."
Pappalardi was born in the Bronx, on December 20th, 1939. He attended the university of Michigan, where he studied classical music. On returning to New York he became a part of the folk music scene in Greenwich Village, eventually moving into production.
It was his work with Cream in the late sixties that would really make Pappalardi's name. He walked in on the band during a recording session and was impressed. The next day he brought the band a song called "Strange Brew" written by him, and Gail Collins, his wife. He became their producer, and worked on all their records from that time. Strange Brew was one of Cream's first big hits. As well as producing he would contribute music (it is him blowing that trumpet in "Pressed Rat and Warthog").
After Cream broke up Pappalardi formed the hard rock band, "Mountain." He was forced to take a step back from performing in the late seventies, because Mountain's extraordinary volume had partially damaged his hearing. He continued to produce, however, and also recorded an album with "Creation." In 1979 Pappalardi finally released his first Solo Album, "Don't worry, Ma."
Felix Pappalardi was shot in the neck by his wife Gail Collins on the 17th of April, 1983, and died. He was 43. He had been having an affair with a younger woman, and his wife knew this. But she denied murder. Felix was "showing her how to use the gun" when it went off. A jury supported this claim, and Collins was sentenced to four years imprisonment for "criminally negligent homicide." After serving her sentence, Collins disappeared.