|Tuesday, 06 July 2010 15:55|
Lawrence William "Larry" Knechtel
Born: August 4, 1940, Bell, CA.
Died: August 20, 2009, Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital in Yakima, Wash.
Cause of death: Heart attack
Notable because: Played piano on 'Bridge over troubled water' and the guitar solo on Breads 'The Guitarman.' And toured with the Dixie Chicks.
Larry Knechtel was an American keyboard player and bassist, best known for his work as a session musician with such artists as Simon & Garfunkel, Duane Eddy, The Beach Boys, The Mamas & the Papas, The Doors, and Elvis Presley, and as a member of the 1970s band, Bread.
Born in Bell, California, Knechtel's musical education began with piano lessons. In 1957, he joined the Los Angeles based rock and roll band Kip Tyler and the Flips. His career took a giant leap forward in August 1959, when he joined legendary Rock and Roll instrumentalist Duane Eddy as a member of his band, The Rebels. After four years on the road as a Rebel, and continuing to work with Eddy in the recording studio, Knechtel became part of the Hollywood session musician scene, working with Phil Spector as a pianist to help create the famous Wall of Sound effect. Knechtel became a prominent member of The Wrecking Crew, a loose collection of session musicians who performed on many songs of the period.
His most famous piano work is his 1970 Grammy Award winning contribution to "Bridge over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel.
Larry is survived by his wife Vicki, one son named Lonnie, and one daughter named Shelly. They all live in Washington.
In 1959, Knechtel joined Duane Eddy's band, the Rebels, and they toured the UK on a joint header with Bobby Darin the following year. Knechtel played piano on Eddy's hit recordings "Kommotion" (1960), "Pepe" (1960) and "(Dance With The) Guitar Man" (1962).
By 1962, Knechtel was tiring of the road and wanted to settle in Los Angeles. He became one of Phil Spector's regular musicians, working on several hits and the famed album A Christmas Gift for You (1963). He was also in the house band for the American TV series Shindig!, made by the British producer Jack Good.
The main session musicians (Knechtel, Horn, Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Glen Campbell and others) became known as the Wrecking Crew. Knechtel himself, who could also play organ, guitar, bass and harmonica, worked on albums by the Fifth Dimension and the Mamas and the Papas, and was recruited by John Phillips from the Mamas and the Papas to accompany several acts at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967. Knechtel played bass on the Byrds' "Mr Tambourine Man" (1965) and several more of their records. He was part of the anonymous band which backed the Monkees on their first album and incensed them as they wanted to play their own instruments.
In 1965, Brian Wilson ceased touring with the Beach Boys and he stayed in California to work on new material. Larry Knechtel was a key musician for the arduous sessions that became Pet Sounds. He played organ on their hit singles "God Only Knows" and "Good Vibrations".
Much of Knechtel's work went uncredited. When the producer Paul Rothchild thought that the Doors did not have a good enough bass player, he recruited Knechtel for their first album, The Doors (1967). Knechtel played bass on Elvis Presley's so-called Comeback Special (1968) and he worked on other Presley sessions. He played on the Everly Brothers' tribute to their upbringing, Roots (1968).
In 1971, Knechtel joined the soft rock band Bread. He played the all-important guitar solo on "The Guitar Man" (1972). Bread broke up acrimoniously in 1977. Knechtel had also worked on selected sessions during that period, including several albums by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel; his playing on Garfunkel's "I Believe (When I Fall in Love it Will Be Forever)" attempted to capture the magic of "Bridge Over Troubled Water".
With the advent of self-contained groups in the New Wave explosion of the late 1970s, there was less session work. Knechtel moved to Nashville and as well as working on country records, he made the solo albums Urban Gypsy (1990) and Mountain Moods (1991). He worked with Elvis Costello on Mighty Like a Rose (1991) and Kojak Variety (1995), playing a plucked piano on "Remove This Doubt".
In 1995 he bought a ranch in Washington intending to retire, but joined Bread for a reunion tour. He was involved in contemporary albums like Neil Diamond's 12 Songs (2005) and the Dixie Chicks' Taking the Long Way (2006). In 2007, he and other members of the Wrecking Crew were inducted into the Musicians' Hall of Fame.
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Editorial Review: Mountain Moods
Used From: $19.99
Editorial Review: UNDER THE BLANKET was released in 1970 as A&M SP 4276, and is out of print. The album is a combination of original compositions and cover tunes, mostly performed quietly and at a laid-back pace, with the exception of "Slim" with its scat vocals and "Stop." These tunes, along with "Chris," are catchy and jazz oriented. Mr. Alpert himself produced, arranged and contributed some uncredited vocals. Brass Veterans include Nick Ceroli on drums and Julius Wechter on vibes. Chuck Berghofer, best known for working with Pianist Pete Jolly, is on bass. Other credits include Larry Knechtel (electric piano/bass), Chuck Domanico (Bass), Jose Soares (percussion, Bill Earl (chippawa) and Paul Humphreys (drums). UNDER THE BLANKET's ten tracks & times are: Under the Blanket (2:32)/ Amanacer (2:55)/ I'll Never Fall in Love Again (4:03)/ Chris (2:02)/ Slim (3:58)/ The Drifter (3:50)/ Everybody's Talkin' (3:07)/ El Condor Pasa (2:31)/ Soon (2:04)/ Stop (2:54).
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Editorial Review: THE CEYLEIB PEOPLE TANYET Ry Cooder's 60's experimental Hippy project Psych-raga bluesy rock with touches of studio as instrument tape work Originally Released on Vault in 1968 MUSICIANS: Lybuk Hyd - guitar, sitar Michael Sean Deasy - drums, vocals Joseph Osborn - bass, engineer Larry Knechtel - bass, keyboards Jim Gordon - drums Ben Benay - sitar Mike Melvion - keyboards Jim Horn - woodwinds Ry Cooder - guitar TRACKLIST: Aton I - (10:00) Leyshem - (1:00) Zendan - (3:15) Cyyladd Beyta - (3:30) Becal - (1:10) Ddom - (1:05) Toadda BB - (1:35) Aton II - (11:15) Dyl - (1:15) Ralin - (1:45) Tygstl - (0:59) Pendyl - (1:25) Jacayl - (2:15) Menyatt Dyl Com - (4:10) VAULT 117
Manufacturer: World Pacific
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Editorial Review: Tracklist:
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