If you read the liner notes for your favorite CDs (and shame on you if you don't!) you're likely to have seen Larry Knechtel's name more than once. Larry died on August 20th at the age of 69. His cause of death is listed as a heart attack in The New York Times but as unknown on his personal web site. Regardless of what caused his death, Larry was a prolific musician and producer and one of the nicest people in the music scene over the past 40 years. Yes, 40 years.
Larry produced and/or played on many epic musical productions. To name only a few: The Dixie Chicks' Taking The Long Way Home, Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water, and The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. He also played bass for Elvis in the Elvis' "Comeback" TV Special. (You don't pick Elvis. Elvis picks you.) He also played with Bread during their breakthrough years. That's a fraction of his work.
In reading Larry's detailed biography, I see that he also he worked with Mike Post, Mr. TV Show Soundtrack. I didn't know that. (Take a look at the shows Mike produced music for...whew.) Larry touched a lot of people from behind the scenes or from behind an instrument or soundboard.
So break out your favorite Larry work today and give it a new listen. I just started playing Taking The Long Way Home. The Chicks are on tour right now. I forgot how much I enjoyed their music: lyrics, production and sound. (Thanks go to Diane for getting me to listen to them in earnest.)