Formed in 1967 in Oakland, California, U.S.A., Tower Of Power, at various times, comprise of:
Emilio Castillo (b. 24th September 1950, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A)
Stephen 'Doc' Kupka (b. 25th March 1946, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.)
Francis 'Rocco' Prestia (b. 7th March 1951, Sonora, California, U.S.A.)
David Garibaldi (b. 4th November 1946, Oakland, California, U.S.A.)
Michael "Iron Mike" Bogart
Lenny Williams (b. Leonard Charles Williams, 6th February 1945, Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.A.)
Lenny Pickett (b. 10th April 1954, Las Cruces, New Mexico)
Mic Gillette (b. 1951)
Ellis Hall Jr.
Ron E. Beck
William Edward McGee
Tower of Power were formed back in 1968.
From Oakland, California, that year, saxophonist Emilio Castillo met Stephen ‘Doc’ Kupka, who was also a sax player.
This duo became the central structure of Tower of Power.
At this time, the group performed under the name, The Motowns.
By 1970, they renamed the group, Tower of Power.
They had also added to their ranks, Greg Adams, Mic Gillette, Skip Mesquite, Francis ‘Rocco’ Prestia, Willie Fulton, and David Garibaldi.
east bay grease - 1970 / bump city - 1972 / tower of power - 1973 / back to oakland - 1974
The group signed to San Francisco Records and released their first album, ‘East Bay Grease’ in 1970.
As a session band, Tower Of Power performed with the likes of Cold Blood, Eric Mercury and Marvin Gaye.
The group soon switched labels to the Warner Brothers Records imprint.
In 1972, they released ‘Bump City’, which featured a hit single, ‘You're Still a Young Man’.
The song reached number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100.
A follow up album called simply ‘Tower of Power’, was released in 1973.
tower of power (lenny williams - front/centre)
This album featured Lenny Williams on lead vocals, which reached number 15 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart.
Their most successful single so far, ‘So Very Hard To Go’, featured on the album, along with ‘This Time It's Real’ and ‘What Is Hip?’
In 1974, the group released ‘Back to Oakland’, which featured ‘Don't Change Horses (in the Middle of a Stream)’ and ‘Time Will Tell’, both of which charted.
urban renewal - 1974 / in the slot - 1975 / ain't nothin' stoppin us now - 1976 / live and in living colour - 1976
Further albums followed, including ‘Urban Renewal’ (in 1974), ‘In The Slot’ (in 1975) and ‘We Came To Play’ (in 1978).
we came to play - 1978 / back on the streets - 1979 / direct - 1981 / t.o.p. - 1986
The group continued to release albums, and tour extensively throughout the eighties, nineties and into the new millennium.
power - 1987 / monster on a leash - 1991 / t.o.p. - 1993 / souled out - 1995
Tower Of Power’s horn section has been very much in demand over the years.
They have collaborated with the likes of Little Feat, Graham Central Station, The Monkees, Grateful Dead, Santana, Elkie Brooks, Cat Stevens, Luis Miguel, Elton John, Linda Lewis, Jermaine Jackson, John Lee Hooker, Helen Reddy, Rufus, Rod Stewart, Jefferson Starship, Mickey Hart, Heart, Huey Lewis and the News, Spyro Gyra, Lyle Lovett, Toto, Brothers Johnson, and Aerosmith.
rhythm and business - 1997 / live - 1999 / the oakland zone - 2003 / hipper than hip - 2013
In 2008, Tower Of Power celebrated their 40th anniversary with shows across the States
The group have released 19 albums during their incarnation.
East Bay Grease (San Fransisco Records 1970)
Bump City (Warners Records 1971)
Tower Of Power (Warners Records 1973)
Back To Oakland (Warners Records 1974)
Urban Renewal (Warners Records 1975)
In The Slot (Warners Records 1975)
Live And In Living Colour (Warners Records 1976)
Ain't Nothin'Stoppin' Us Now (Columbia Records 1976)
We Came To Play! (Columbia Records 1978)
Back On The Streets (Columbia Records 1979)
Tower Of Power (Sheffield Lab Records 1982)
Back To Oakland (Warners Records 1984)
Power (Cypress Records 1987)
Direct Plus (Sheffield Lab Records 1988)
Monster On A Leash (Epic Records 1991)
Souled Out (Epic Records 1995)
Rhythm & Business (Epic Records 1997)
Direct Plus (Sheffield Lab Records 1997)
Soul Vaccination: Live (Sony Records 1999)
Soul With A Capital 'S' (Sony Music Records 2002)
The Oakland Zone (O.R. Music Records 2003)
The Great American Soulbook (Tower Of Power Records 2009)
40th Anniversary (T.O.P. Records 2010)
Hipper Than Hip (Import Records 2014)