Not long ago , an historic reunion took place in a small recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee. There were no reporters present with strobes flashing. No television cameras connected to satellite trucks interupting 5 o'clock news casts. No screaming fans outside tearing down doors and rushing police barricades. Just six long time friends. Now these six friends were amongst those who happened to change the face of a generation's music and that subsequently would affect every other part of that generation's life, as well as the generations to come.
But the reason for this illustrious reunion was to fulfill the dream that one of the group had had for some time. To gather together, after all these years, the rythmic heart of the L.A. studio machine and record an album that would pay homage to some of the great songs from that wonderful era of pop music as well as to the musicians who actually recorded much of that music. The result of these sessions was Guitar Gold .
Guitar Gold is a collection of some of the groovinest tunes from the 50's, 60's, and 70's, many of which were originally played on or performed live with the original artists by The Guitarman, Mike Deasy. Some are just favorites that he has put his special touch to. Mike arranged all the songs on this album and he provides all the guitars. But the real magic comes from the synergy of the musicians that joined together for this special session. They were the heart of the Los Angeles studio scene and became affectionately known as "The Wrecking Crew". Their musical talents and abilities are featured on tens of thousands of songs which sold hundreds of millions of records for the biggest artists of the day. Yet even today, the musicans that made the music we grew up on and rocked to still get little recognition. So here's an introduction to the musicians that make up the Guitar Gold band.
JIM HORN - Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jim Horn's professional career was kicked off when he was discovered by ace guitarist Duane Eddy. Eddy took him to Phoenix to play the wailing saxophone parts on a string of instrumental hits of the early sixties. Jim and Mike Deasy's musical association goes back even farther when Mike joined Jim and Duane Eddy on the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars which included such famous early rock stars as: Chubby Checker, The Shirells, Paul Anka, Annette, and Clarence Frogman Henry. Keyboardist Larry Knechtel was also a part of that innovative band.
Over the next several years, Horn found himself in the studio with such stellar names as The Mamas and The Papas, Delaney and Bonnie, Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge, and Joe Cocker. It was during this time that Jim's sister Kathie, met and married The Guitarman, Mike Deasy. Jim, Larry, Kathie and Mike all found themselves in such great demand to work on records, T.V., and movies that their list of credits read like a veritable who's who of vintage Rock and Roll, including: Johnny Rivers, George Harrison, Jackson Brown, Ringo Star, Lionel Richie, The Beach Boys, John Denver, Linda Ronstadt, Barbra Streisand, Elton John, and Carol King to name only a few.
Music fans of the 60s have been listening to Jim
Horn for years and may not have realized who did that smooth flute
solo on Canned Heat's "Going Up The Country", the perky piccolo part on
"Tears Of A Clown" by Smokey Robinson, or the distinctive horn parts on the Grammy winning Fifth Dimension hits "Up, Up and Away" and "The Age Of Aquarius". It's a great honor to have Jim add his hot sax and smooth flute to Guitar Gold.
LARRY KNECHTEL - Born and raised in Bell, California, which is part of Southeast L. A., Larry began playing piano at an early age. By the time he was in high school, Larry was playing in rock concerts with such notables as Ed Townsend, Johnny Otis, Bumps Blackwell, Marvin and Johnny, Kip Tyler, and Sonny Knight. Larry was joined by horn man, Jim Horn, Jim's sister Kathie, and The Guitarman, Mike Deasy during this time backing the stars, while still in high school. On weekends they would drive their low rider 1950 Chevys to El Monte Legion Stadium, Long Beach Municipal Auditorium, or Pasadena Civic Auditorium, listening to the Art Lebo Radio show to find out which forum they would be rocking at that night, and then they would go back up the current top stars including Richie Valens, The Everly Brothers, Little Richard; in fact every early rocker that did concerts in L.A. in the late 50s and early 60s.
After touring with Duane Eddy for four years, Knechtel joined Jim Horn, Mike Deasy, Ron Tutt and David Hungate in becoming one of the top studio instrumentalists in Hollywood, working with the top stars including, Elvis, The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, The Mamas and The Papas, Simon and Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Bread, and Sammy Davis Jr., to name only a few.
Larry worked on many T.V. commercials including Coke, Pepsi and the famous "Heartbeat of America" Chevrolet commercial. His T.V. work included, Shindig, The 68 Comeback Special with Elvis Presley, and numerous appearances on Dick Clark's shows American Bandstand and Where The Action Is. Film credits include The Graduate, The Hardy Boys, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Forrest Gump.
His sliding bass lines on The Byrds' hit "Mr. Tamborine Man" are starkly contrasted by the soaring majesty of his grand piano intro to Simon and Garfunkel's all time classic "Bridge Over Troubled Water", or his rocking B-3 organ on "Good Vibrations", and his multi-platinum wah-wah string bending with Bread.
Larry joined The Guitarman, Mike Deasy on hundreds of recordings including Scott McKenzie's "San Francisco..Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair" and did indeed go to San Francisco, with Mike, to perform at the Monterey Pop Festival.
The long and fruitful relationship of Larry Knechtel and Mike Deasy goes way beyond their incredible musical prowess, they are friends.
RON TUTT - One of the most visible drummers of all time. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Attended the University of North Texas. Moved to Memphis for 6 years and did studio work playing with the great R&B rhythm sections.
Ron then moved to the L.A. area in the late 60's and became one of L.A.'s front-line session drummers playing on numerous albums, singles, and many motion pictures and television soundtracts as well as national and regional radio and TV commercials. It was in the studios where Ron met Mike Deasy.
Ron joined Delaney & Bonnie & Friends for a year or so which included touring, recording, and a CBS television special. He started playing with Elvis Presley in Las Vegas in 1969 doing concerts, nationwide tours, movie recordings, and TV specials including Aloha From Hawaii via satellite.
After playing on Jerry Garcia's second solo album, bass player/producer John Kahn asked Tutt to do some gigs in the San Fransico Bay area with Jerry which later turned into a lengthy association and another album. When Jerry wasn't busy with the Grateful Dead, and Ron wasn't touring with Elvis or doing studio work, the two continued doing westcoast gigs and national touring.
Other super stars like Johnny Rivers continued using Ron on their albums and concert tours. He joined Neil Diamond's band in '81 and is a member at present doing drums, back-up vocals, touring, recording and TV specials. Ron moved to the Nashville area in '91 to continue doing session work and brings his rock solid beat to Guitar Gold.
DAVID HUNGATE - Born in St. Louis, Missouri, attended North Texas University. David quickly moved from playing in jazz festivals with the NTSU lab band into the Hollywood studio scene where his outstanding musical skills put him in great demand. His movie credits include, When You Come Back Red Rider, Lipstick, Looking For Mr Goodbar, Pure Country, Bronco BIlly, Grease, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Arthur, Every Which Way But Loose, Oh God, and Paradise Alley. His television work included Ironside, Sheriff Lobo, Tony Orlando Special, Scooby Doo, and was joined by The Guitarman Mike Deasy, on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and The Sonny and Cher Show.
In 1977 he was a founding member of the group Toto where he was awarded three Grammys. He then moved to Nashville where, as a first call bassist, he worked with Chet Atkins, Ricky Van Shelton, Hank Williams Jr., Jr. Walker, George Strait, Tanya Tucker, Conway Twitty, Boz Skaggs, Barbara Mandrell, The Pointer Sisters, Dolly Parton, Lou Rawls and Dianna Ross to name just a few, and was awarded the best country bassist by Bass Player Magazine in 1995.
David joins Guitar Gold band members as a gathering of old friends recreate in todays sound, the glory of the songs they originally recorded.
KATHIE DEASY - A California girl in heart and by birth, Kathie has been singing since an early age. While in high school, she met and married a successful guitar player named Mike Deasy who was in a rock band with her brother, the well known studio saxophone player and flutist, Jim Horn.
Kathie sang in concerts with her husband Mike, her brother Jim, and a keyboardist named Larry Knechtel as part of an early band which backed up touring rock stars in concert. That band was known as Mike Deasy and His Big Guitar.
After meeting success as a background vocalist with Helen Reddy, Johnny Rivers, The Byrds and others, Kathie recorded a solo album for RCA records. Despite the success, Kathie longed for the abiding peace and meaning that money, material possessions, and recognition would not provide. Her search was over when in 1975 she revived her childhood acceptance for Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.
In the scope of what is known as Contemporary Christian Music, there are many styles and slants and countless singers to go along with each style. There are few though who stand out from the rest; whose versatility and anoining give them a unique ability to reach people of all ages and from all walks of life. Kathie Deasy is one such woman.
Upon completing Bible school in Washington State, Kathie toured the U.S., ministering in song with her husband Mike Deasy and The 2nd Chapter of Acts. She sang with her husband Mike Deasy on their 11+ Christian albums. Worked on Christian children's albums with Barry McGuire and completed her solo CD "Paper Airplane", a compilation of wonderful songs composed by Mike. The album is full of music that reflects her personal experiences and her anointing to bring comfort, encouragement and peace to the hearer.
Kathie also joins her brother Jim Horn, and long time musical friends drummer Ron Tutt, bassist David Hungate, keyboardist Larry Knechtel and her husband Mike Deasy on Guitar Gold , a collection of music that brings together friends of skill and anointing, for those who have ears to hear.
MIKE DEASY - Mike was there in the beginning of Rock and Roll. He helped invent it. With a little help from his friends Jim Horn, Larry Knechtel, Bruce Johnston, Sandy Nelson, and others, he backed up the new pop stars of this emerging musical art form. Ricky Nelson, The Everly Brothers, Duane Eddy, Eddie Cochran, Richie Valens, The Coasters, Bo Diddley, Chubby Checker, Little Richard; they all used the guitar talents of The Guitarman, Mike Deasy.
Then there came surf music. Dick Dale and the Deltones, Jan and Dean, The Beach Boys, and The Ventures got songs and riffs from Deasy. It was only natural that as the California hit factory started to answer the British Invasion with hit after hit, Mike would get drawn into it's very heart and soul as one of it's greatest inovators.
And when the flood hit, Mike was right there in the middle of it. The Association, The Byrds, Paul Revere and The Raiders, The Turtles, Simon and Garfunkel, The Mamas and The Papas, Gary Lewis and The Playboys, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Richard Harris, Scott McKenzie, Nancy Sinatra, Frank Vali, Cannonball Adderley, Mama Cass, Sonny and Cher, David Clayton-Thomas, Joe Cocker, Bobby Darin, The 5th Dimension, Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Bobbie Gentry, Jackie Gleason, The Grass Roots, The Jackson 5, Billy Joel, Country Joe McDonald, Barry McGuire, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rankin, Helen Reddy, Johnny Rivers, Tommy Roe, Bobby Sherman, Frank Sinatra, Spanky & Our Gang, John Stewart, Tiny Tim, Mason Williams, Frank Zappa, and hundreds more were blessed by having the gift of the Guitarman's talents as part of their musical expressions.
So now after a career of playing guitar for others on their albums, Mike gets the chance to have fun, call in his old friends and do an album for himself and the fans who have followed his playing down through the decades. And do it the way he wants to, with the songs that he wants to record. That album is the very special offering Guitar Gold. You can share in the celebration by ordering your copy today from the online catalog. And be sure to check the concert calendar to see when Guitar Gold Live comes to your town. Don't miss it!