Michael Bloomfield

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Michael Bernard "Mike" Bloomfield (* 28. July 1943 in Chicago , Illinois ; † 15. February 1981 in San Francisco , California ) was an American blues - guitarist .


Born in Chicago, he was already a guest in the blues clubs on the Chicago South Side when he was 14. Here he regularly got into jam sessions with his idols such as Muddy Waters , Otis Spann , Howlin 'Wolf . He also met like-minded whites like Nick Gravenites and Charlie Musselwhite , with whom he would later play again and again.

In the mid-1960s he played with The Butterfield Blues Band , he was also involved in their first album of the same name . He worked for Bob Dylan and his album Highway 61 Revisited and appeared with him at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 , where the folk audience, however, upset about the electrically amplified rock band. In 1967 Bloomfield co-founded the group The Electric Flag , which broke up a year later. With Al Kooper Bloomfield played one side of the record Super Session in 1968 , on the other side Stephen Stills could be heard alongside Al Kooper. The record reached number 12 on the US LP chart. A year later Bloomfield and Kooper reached number 18 with The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper . Both albums were therefore more commercially successful than the albums of the Butterfield Blues Band and Electric Flag.

In the late 1960s, he retired to San Francisco , where he occasionally appeared with his old pals as Bloomfield and Friends and recorded a few records. During this time he lived mainly from the production of soundtracks for porn films, but he also provided the soundtrack for Haskell Wexler's Medium Cool in 1969 and was involved in the music for the film Steelyard Blues in 1973 with Paul Butterfield and Nick Gravenites . In the mid-1970s he switched to more traditional acoustic blues . In the late 1970s, he increasingly struggled with health problems and drug addiction. He died of a heroin overdose on February 15, 1981 in San Francisco.

Mike Bloomfield was in the list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time of the Rolling Stone Magazine added ranked 42nd In a list from 2003 he was ranked 22nd.

In January 2014, a comprehensive retrospective was published under the title From His Head To His Heart To His Hands , consisting of three CDs plus a DVD.


  • Siegfried Schmidt-Joos and Wolf Kampmann: Rock Lexicon . rororo-Verlag, Reinbek 2008, ISBN 978-3-499-62133-8 (p. 192f)
  • David Dann: Guitar king: Michael Bloomfield's life in the blues , Austin: University of Texas Press, 2019, ISBN 978-1-4773-1877-5

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Joel Whitburn: The Billboard Book of Top 40 Albums . New York 1995, ISBN 0-8230-7631-8 , p. 38
  2. 100 Greatest Guitarists. In: Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 11, 2016 .
  3. 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time - David Fricke's Picks. Rolling Stone , December 2, 2010, accessed August 8, 2017 .