|Birth name||James Crespo Jr.|
July 5, 1954 |
Brooklyn, New York, USA
|Genres||Hard rock, blues rock|
|Associated acts||The Jimmy Crespo Project, Aerosmith, Rod Stewart, Meat Loaf, Billy Squier, Stevie Nicks, Stress|
|ESP Vintage Plus
Gibson Les Paul
James "Jimmy" Crespo jr. (born July 5, 1954 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American guitarist. He was the lead guitarist for Aerosmith from 1979 until 1984. He co-wrote Rock in a Hard Place with Steven Tyler, and has performed or recorded with Rod Stewart, Billy Squier, Meat Loaf, Stevie Nicks, Robert Fleischman, Rough Cutt, Renegade, Flame and others.
Early life and career
James Crespo Jr. was born in Brooklyn and raised by Puerto Rican-American parents (Jaime and Carmen) within a musical family and has one brother John Crespo. Crespo first took up the guitar at age 14. He joined his first band, The Knomes, shortly afterwards. During his teenage years he became an accomplished guitarist, drawing on the stylings of such artists as The Yardbirds, Cream, The Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix. Forming the New York club band Anaconda, Crespo drew the attention of industry figures, leading to session work with a number of high-profile artists such as Meat Loaf and Stevie Nicks before he was recruited as lead guitarist and songwriter by producer Jimmy Iovine for the major label RCA-signed band "Flame", who was fronted by the powerful lead vocalist Marge Raymond. Flame released two albums: their debut in 1977 Queen of the Neighborhood and in 1978 their second album entitled "Flame".
Returning to session work following the breakup of Flame, Crespo attracted the attention of Aerosmith's management following the departure of Joe Perry from the band in 1979. Invited to audition for the vacant lead guitarist position, Crespo was asked to join Aerosmith in October 1979. Contributing a guitar solo to the song "3 Mile Smile" for the already recorded Night in the Ruts album, Crespo commenced touring with the band soon after joining. The tour was hampered by the increasingly erratic state of the band's singer, Steven Tyler, at this stage heavily beset by drug addiction and suffering several on-stage collapses. Drummer Joey Kramer formed a band called Renegade during this time, and he recruited Marge Raymond to sing lead and front the band. Jimmy Crespo, Tom Hamilton and the late Bob Mayo completed the line-up. An album was recorded at the Power Station in NYC and was produced by Tony Bongiovi, but it has never been released. Renegade is somewhat of a legend in the music industry and the tapes are much sought after by fans. Tyler, after realizing that Renegade was buzzing the industry and about to take off, came back to fulfill his contractual obligation to CBS. Renegade is referenced in several Aerosmith autobiographies.
Despite the singer's troubles, including an incapacitating motorcycle accident in January 1981, Crespo and Tyler forged a songwriting and touring partnership. Crespo co-wrote six of the songs on Aerosmith's 1982 album Rock in a Hard Place with Tyler. Crespo performed most guitar duties on the album.
Charting at number 37 on the US Billboard chart, Rock in a Hard Place reportedly cost over $1 million in production costs, featuring a plethora of production and engineering staff amongst its credits. Xavier Russell said of it in Sounds: "As soon as the needle hit the wax, it melted and the speaker covers blew across the living room floor - Five Stars".
Subsequent tours from 1982 through to early 1984 saw Crespo team up with Rick Dufay, who filled in for the absent Brad Whitford. Commercial difficulties during pre-production of the band's next album coupled with singer Tyler's desire to reconvene with guitarist Perry saw Crespo exit the band in mid 1984, as the "classic" 1971–1979 Aerosmith lineup re-formed.
Following his time in Aerosmith, Crespo played on releases by Stress and spent several years with Adam Bomb, a Geffen Records-signed band. His work with Stress is documented in the bonus tracks added to the CD reissue of Killing Me Night & Day on Deep Shag Records. Crespo contributed guitar to the Adam Bomb album "Fatal Attraction" (Geffen 1985) before settling in Los Angeles with new wife Cynthia.
Crespo joined bassist Danny Sheridan and Bonnie Bramlett in their new band Bandaloo Doctors from 1987 to 1992 and returned to session work as well as touring and recording with Billy Squier for several years. From 1994 to 1996, Crespo was part of Rod Stewart's live band as lead guitarist.
Continuing to play as a studio musician, Crespo has also performed at some of Las Vegas' biggest casinos, whilst also engineering a rock amplifier simulator ("Rock Amp Legends by Jimmy Crespo") for Nomad Factory. He is working on a new album The Jimmy Crespo Project. wit Crespo performs with the HitMen All Stars featuring former members of Aerosmith, Boston, Dire Straits, Journey, Fleetwood Mac & Night Ranger. see http://www.hitmenallstars.com/Hit_Men_All_Stars/home.html for show schedule.
Currently[when?] Crespo is working on a project with the drum legend Carmine Appice. Crespo is also writing and recording original material for a solo project.
- Flame LP RCA (1976) (some sources says it was 1978)
- Queen of the Neighborhood LP RCA (1977)
- Night in the Ruts (1979)
- Rock in a Hard Place (1982)
- The side project Renegade
- Classics Live I (1986)
- Gems (1988)
- Pandora's Box (1991)
- Greatest Hits 1973–1988 (1997)
- Ava Electris with Jimmy Crespo (from Boston Rock N Roll: Anthology Volume 9 of 1987): Joey Guitar (a tribute to Joe Perry)
- Paul Shortino & Jimmy Crespo (from Fire Woman: A Tribute To The Cult of 2001): Sweet Soul Sister
with Rough Cutt AKA Paul Shortino's The Cutt
- Sacred Place (MusicWorks, 2002, evolved from the EP Sneak Peek of 2000)
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Aerosmith". Allmusic. Retrieved 20 August 2011.