Following the death of legendary Los Angeles instrumentalist David Lindley at the age of 78 on March 3rd, his longtime partner Jackson Browne shared his thoughts in a heartfelt statement. share with Wooden table.
The talented musician – his guitar and fiddle made him a collaborator for artists such as Browne, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart and others – was ill for several months, according to the Los Angeles Times. No cause of death was given.
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Read Browne’s full tribute to Lindley below in his own words, as he recalls the history of their personal and professional relationship, and what he will always remember about his late friend.
David Lindley, the guitarist, lap steel and fiddle player who lent his personality and inspiration to many of my songs, died on March 3rd. The outpouring of love, and the widespread popularity of his manager has been very impressive. I want to join in the thanksgiving for his gifts, but nothing I write seems good enough. There are not enough words to describe what David Lindley brings to a song.
David and I played for the first time in a dressing room at the Troubadour in 1969. My friend Jimmy Fadden of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band came over to shake hands, and announced that David was he has his brother with him, he said he would probably stay in if I asked him to. I already know him from the band Kaleidoscope, whose first album, Side Trips, is one of my favorite records.
We started playing my song Today, and it changed my world. His performance was so emotional, and so fast – it blew me away and everyone there. It didn’t matter that he hadn’t heard the song before. What he played felt more emotional and more real than I had heard in years of playing alone.
David was in England playing with Terry Reid when I made my first album. When he came back, I tried to put together a touring band with him, but it was no better than the two of us. I decided we were going to tour that way, as a duo, even though there was one on the charts that required drums, bass, and congas to play well. We didn’t even play. We played a lot of songs I had written up to that point, some old songs we both knew, and songs written by friends. We finally got a band with him, and it was a rich and varied musical environment. We headlined a national tour with Bonnie Raitt. That was the band on my third album, Late For The Sky.
David is a big part of me – who I have become, and who I will remain. No one played like him. In your later bands, when David went to do El Rayo – X, we played the structure of the songs, more or less based on what he played, but this is it, and it’s until now, even the players call their own songs. Lindley nature. Best wishes! It’s a very good thing to go to. He didn’t play the same thing each time. He was always exploring, always hearing something new. Always on time.
David’s interest in music was far-reaching, and his intelligence was very evident, he attracted and played with many of the great artists of our day. Ry Cooder, Linda Ronstadt, Graham Nash and David Crosby, Warren Zevon, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen. But his team, El Rayo – X, which became a rich and fertile environment where he had the freedom to develop and mix his influences, creating the unique combination that will now and forever be known as David Lindley.
With Henry Kaiser, David continued the world music exploration he had begun with Kaleidoscope. I am grateful to Henry for posting his Requiem For David Lindley, and for all the other posts and photos on the internet that show how many different cultures David navigated, weaving them into one world.
David’s death has shattered my own world. He is my friend and my teacher. It was with great pleasure and confidence that I revisited our special relationship over the years. I guess I thought he would always be there.
I’ve been struggling to write and post for the past two weeks. It was hard to start, and it will be hard to end, I guess, because I didn’t want to let him go. David was kind to everyone, and very funny. Not being able to speak an unfaithful word, or play an unfaithful note. There will be tribute concerts, and a story about him, that’s for sure. There are ways we can continue to celebrate his life. And we all know there will never be another David Lindley.
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