We lost David Lindley on March 3rd. He lived in Claremont, and played at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad seven times! My Uncle Bob and I saw one of the shows, and he was fantastic.

Click below for a video of David telling stories, including how to quadruple your beer-drinking capacity:


David Lindley 1944-2023
Solo guitarist, session player to rock elite

With his head-turning mastery of seemingly any instrument with strings, Lindley became one of the most sought-after sidemen in Los Angeles in the 1970s. Mixing searing slide guitar work with global stylings on instruments from around the world, he brought depth and richness to recordings by luminaries like Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Warren Zevon, Ry Cooder and Iggy Pop.

But he was far more than a supporting player. “One of the most talented musicians there has ever been,” Graham Nash wrote on Instagram after Lindley’s death. (Lindley toured with Nash and David Crosby in the 1970s.) “He was truly a musician’s musician.”

On Twitter, Peter Frampton wrote that Lindley’s “unique sound and style gave him away in one note.” Lindley, who was known for his blizzard of curly brown hair and an ironic smirk, first made his mark in the late 1960s with the band Kaleidoscope, whose Middle East-inflected acid-pop albums, like “Side Trips” (1967) and “A Beacon From Mars” (1968), have become collectors’ items among the cognoscenti.

He embarked on a solo career in 1981 with “El Rayo-X,” a party album that mixed rock, blues, reggae, Zydeco and Middle Eastern music and included a memorably snarling cover of K.C. Douglas’ “Mercury Blues.” By that point in his career, Lindley was already treasured among the rock elite for providing an earthiness and globe-trotting flair to the breezy California soft-rock wafting from the canyons of Los Angeles in the 1970s.

He is best known for his work with Browne, with whom he toured and served as a featured performer on every Browne album from “For Everyman” (1973) to “Hold Out” (1980). His inventive fretwork was a cornerstone of many of Browne’s biggest hits, including the smash single “Running on Empty,” on which Lindley’s plaintive yet soaring lap steel guitar work helped capture both the exhaustion and the exhilaration of life on the road, as expressed in Browne’s lyrics.

Lindley’s guitar and fiddle could also be heard on landmark pop albums like Ronstadt’s “Heart Like a Wheel” (1974), which included the No. 1 single “You’re No Good,” and Rod Stewart’s “A Night on the Town” (1976), highlighted by the chart-topping single “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright).”

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