Jerry Goodman – The Mahavishnu Orchestra
With his buffed physique, aggressive attack and lightning speed; Goodman was among the first electric violinists to bring real rock attitude and volume to an instrument more associated with delicacy and nuance. I saw him stand on stage and slug it out for two hours with John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, and Jan Hammer at the Roxy in 1974. For that reason alone he earns his spot on this list.
David LaFlamme – It’s A Beautiful Day
Epic Track – “White Bird”
David LaFlamme was born to a Mormon mother and was a classically trained violinist. He formed the band “It’s A Beautiful Day” with his wife Linda LaFlamme. They were contemporaries of Santana, Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead during the 1960’s “Summer of Love” but failed to achieve their deserved level of popularity due to terrible management. They did manage one classic song, “White Bird”. LaFlamme’s soaring violin lines and vocals were vital to the drama and beauty of this epic track. For many rock fans “White Bird” was their first exposure to the electric violin as a viable rock music instrument. Ironically, LaFlamme is now best known as the obnoxious, overbearing restaurant violinist on the T.V. show Frasier.