Remembering David Lindley, the Elf of the L.A. Rock Scene
Remembering David Lindley, the Elf of the L.A.
David Lindley, the multi-instrumentalist who recently passed away at the age of 78, was an integral part of the L.A.
He played guitar, fiddle, slide guitar, mandolin, and a variety of other stringed instruments and contributed to records for many troubadours and songwriters in the Seventies and Eighties, including Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Ry Cooder, John Prine, and David Crosby & Graham Nash. Lindley’s approach helped to bring out added textures and shadings in songs, complementing the singer and songwriter’s work.
He was most associated with Jackson Browne, and their collaboration helped enhance lyrics, especially in “Running on Empty,” where Lindley’s slide guitar added excitement to a song about traveling on a tour bus.
Lindley’s unique style was characterized by his hair, which was super-long even by the standards of the day, and a mysterious and impish presence that contrasted with the somberness of everything else happening on the stage.
Even though he cut his own figure, Lindley was somewhat reclusive in his personal life and never really hung with anybody at parties.
He was dedicated to his own music, exploring different instruments every day, and always coming up with variations in his performances.
Lindley had a love of discovering something new and was never content to just replay parts the way they were initially done.