Cream Mountain Felix Pappalardi

Cream Mountain Felix Pappalardi

Cream Mountain Felix Pappalardi

Remembering Felix on his birthday
December 30, 1939 – April 17, 1983

Pappalardi is famous in the lore of 1960s music mainly because of his association with Cream (as a producer) and as the bassist for Mountain.

Cream Mountain Felix Pappalardi


He studied classical music at the University of Michigan and returned to NYC,  but couldn’t earn a living .  Like so many other musicians of his time, he gravitated to the Greenwich Village folk scene.

He became an arranger and producer of that scene working with Tim Hardin, the Youngbloods, Joan Baez, Richard & Mimi Farina, Ian & Sylvia, and Fred Neil.

Strange Brew

It was his work with Creme that brought fame to his name. He and his wife, Gail Collins, wrote “Stange Brew” with Eric Clapton.

Cream Mountain Felix Pappalardi

Leslie West

In 1968, Pappalardi began working with Leslie West and produced a solo album for him.

After Cream disbanded, Pappalardi and West formed  Mountain. A New York Times article read: A new rock group called Mountain may not entirely replace the late, honestly lamented British band Cream, but it is carrying on the tradition with power and respect. 


Mountain performed at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair on Saturday of that famous weekend. Here is Pappalardi singing “Theme from an Imaginary Western” at Woodstock.

After Mountain’s breakup, Papparlardi returned to  production, a return reputedly forced due to hearing loss from Mountains loud performances.

Felix Pappalardi solo

In 1979, Pappalardi released his first proper solo album, Don’t Worry, Ma

Cream Mountain Felix Pappalardi

Gail Collins Pappalardi

Pappalardi was married to Gail Collins. She contributed lyrics to many Mountain songs and co-wrote Cream’s “World of Pain” with Pappalardi and “Strange Brew” with Pappalardi and Eric Clapton. Both songs are in Cream’s Disraeli Gears.

As Gail Collins, her artwork appears on the album covers,  Climbing!Nantucket SleighrideFlowers of EvilMountain Live: The Road Goes Ever OnTwin Peaks and Avalanche.

On April 17, 1983, Gail Collins shot Pappalardi once in the neck and killed him. She claimed it was an accident.

On September 21 of that year, a jury found her guilty of criminally negligent homicide. She was sentenced to four years.

Collins died on December 6, 2013 in Ajijic, Mexico. [NYDN article]

More from the Ultimate Classic Rock site about Gail Collins’s death in 2013 >>> Gail Collins’s death)F

Cream Mountain Felix Pappalardi

5 thoughts on “Cream Mountain Felix Pappalardi”

  1. Jim (James) Tyler later who played with Pappalardi in this group only later became a well known early music lutenist. I remember doing some random research on Pappalardi a while ago and was surprised to recognize a name that I knew from the early music world. Always interesting to see the various things great musicians start out doing. From Wikipedia:

    “In 1964 Pappalardi was a member of Max Morath’s Original Rag Quartet (ORQ) in their premier engagement at New York’s Village Vanguard with several other famous musicians. Along with Felix on guitarrón (Mexican acoustic bass) were pianist/singer Morath, who revived classic ragtime played in the Scott Joplin manner, Barry Kornfeld, a well-known NYC studio folk and jazz guitarist, and Jim Tyler, a famous Baroque and Renaissance lutenist playing four string banjo and mandolin.”

  2. Felix you were the essence of a great musician, a caring friend to all,a fantastic writer
    Sp sad you left us so young
    I believe you went straight to heaven
    Sorry you will miss the return of Woodstock
    OR WILL YOU ✌❤💔

  3. Felix played Swiss Handbells on “Those Were the Days” from Wheels of Fire. Does anyone have any information about this: how he acquired them, the maker of the bells, etc.?

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