Originally from the East Coast, Jimmy Crespo has recorded and/or performed with
Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jeff Beck, Stevie Nicks, Jon Bon Jovi,
Clarence Clemons, Little Steven, Billy Squire, Julian
Lennon, Bernie Taupan and more. However Jimmy is perhaps
most recognized as a member and co-writer of Aerosmith
from 1979 - 1984.
Crespo was born and raised by Puerto Rican-American parents in Brooklyn, New York. Raised within a musical family, Crespo first took up the
guitar at the age of 14, forming his first band, The Knoms (pronounced with a
silent 'k'), shortly afterwards. During his teenage years
Crespo 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 was to draw
attention on the local scene from 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 for the RCA-signed band, Flame. Flame was to
release two albums, both their eponymous debut in 1976 and
1977's Queen of the Neighbourhood.
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.
Despite the singer's
troubles, including an incapacitating motorbike accident in
January 1981, Crespo and Tyler forged a credible songwriting
and touring partnership before the departure of Brad Whitford
struck the band in 1981. Crespo co-wrote the majority of songs
on Aerosmith's 1982 album Rock in a Hard Place, performing
almost all the guitar duties on the album. Crespo served as
the stolid musical capstan of the band during this period. The
level of his work remained high even as the work ethic of his
bandmates continued to deteriorate.
Charting at number
32 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 hold together a band
besieged by the toxic dependencies of their lead singer, Brad
Whitford having exited the band during the recording of Rock
In A Hard place due to the inherent issues. Commercial
difficulties during pre-production of the band's next album
coupled with singer Tyler's desire to reconvene with former
guitarist Perry saw Crespo exit the band in mid 1984, when the
original lineup re-formed.
Immediately following his tenure in Aerosmith, Crespo
played on releases by Stress
guitarist spending several years with the latter-named Geffen
Records signed band.
guitar to the Adam Bomb album "Fatal Attraction" (Geffen 1985)
before settling in LA with new wife Cynthia to raise two
children. 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 1994-1996, Crespo joined Rod Stewart's live band as lead
guitarist, helping the rock legend to one of his most
successful tours. The World Tour was number one in sold-out
performances and ticket sales, highlights including
performances to a sold-out Wembley Arena and rocking
performance of "I'm Losing You" at the American Music Awards.
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. Crespo currently plays
regularly with the bands Phoenix, Rock Daddy and Sin City Sinner as well as others on the Las Vegas
Jimmy embarks on a new journey with his own band, The Jimmy Crespo Project. Keep an eye on Riff & Roll for tourdates, music releases and more!