Tone, Twang, and Taste: A Guitar Memoir

Tone, Twang, and Taste: A Guitar Memoir

by Pete Kennedy


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"I was hanging around backstage with Sinatra’s band...”

That’s just the tip of the iceberg in Pete Kennedy’s kaleidoscopic musical career of unforgettable collaborations with many of the giants of pop, classical, and folk music. In Tone, Twang and Taste, he passes along not only that experience, but also the inspiration he drew in his peripatetic half-century on the road. A natural raconteur, Kennedy offers a memoir that is part travel narrative, part musical history, and part behind-the scenes look at a world of fascinating characters. Ultimately, it is a clarion call to his readers to follow their dreams, never stop learning, and do what they love the most.

“As a musician, Pete Kennedy has been there and done that for decades, and now he's telling all the stories that have held his friends spellbound in conversation. Turns out he's as stylish a writer as he is a player. Reading him is as satisfying as hearing a great song.” - Anthony DeCurtis, Author of Lou Reed: A Life

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781644677537
Publisher: Highpoint Executive Publishing
Publication date: 11/01/2018
Pages: 278
Sales rank: 1,075,211
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

Pete Kennedy's career as a professional guitarist and sideman spans a half-century of American popular culture. Starting from humble beginnings as a teenage rock concert-goer and garage band neophyte, his knack for blending in with any musical situation has taken him from roadhouses and honky-tonks to the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and London's Royal Albert Hall, collaborating along the way with a colorful roster of characters including legends of folk, rock, jazz and classical music. He's a raconteur with an eye for detail, a fascination with creative genius, and a prodigious memory for revealing and often humorous backstage anecdotes. He's the recipient of numerous Wammy awards, and with his wife, songwriter Maura Kennedy, he was named artist-in-residence at The Kennedy Center. Pete and Maura live in New York City, and when not on the road, they guest lecture at the city's institutions of higher learning, including Pace University, Fordham University, and the New School, and teach songwriting at Gilda's Club in Greenwich Village. They share a small East Village apartment with numerous guitars.

Table of Contents

PROLOGUE: Dreams xi

CHAPTER 1: Where’s Pete? 1

CHAPTER 2: Rock and Roll Riot! 13

CHAPTER 3: The Basement Boys 31

CHAPTER 4: Hitting the Road 39

CHAPTER 5: Rockin’ the Symphony 51

CHAPTER 6: Your Costume’s in the Back 63

CHAPTER 7: Guitars Galore 79

CHAPTER 8: Freelancing Coast to Coast 83

CHAPTER 9: Elton to the Rescue 91

CHAPTER 10: Roots 95

CHAPTER 11: Al Green’s Blessing 105

CHAPTER 12: On the Bus With Mary Chapin 131

CHAPTER 13: The Blue Moon Years 147

CHAPTER 14: A Rainy Night in Texas 157

CHAPTER 15: Maura Joins the Band 165

CHAPTER 16: Jangle Dreams and Red Guitars 169

CHAPTER 17: The Kennedys 173

CHAPTER 18: Life Is Large 177

CHAPTER 19: Half a Million Miles 193

CHAPTER 20: Chimes of Freedom 201

CHAPTER 21: Strangelings in Paradise 209

CHAPTER 22: Back On the Blue Moon Bus 217

CHAPTER 23: On Our Own in England 229

CHAPTER 24: A Million Miles 235

CHAPTER 25: Bright Lights and Hot Rods, and a Manila Envelope 239

CHAPTER 26: A Million More to Go 241


APPENDIX A: Venues Played 245

APPENDIX B: Awards 247

APPENDIX C: Television Appearances 251

APPENDIX D: Discography 253


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