Magazine article Guitar Player

Steve Lukather's Session Stories

Magazine article Guitar Player

Steve Lukather's Session Stories

Article excerpt

THE SESSION SCENE WASN'T JUST ABOUT CHOPS---personality had a lot to do with it, as well. Guys would come in with big attitudes and all the chops in the world, and at first you'd go, "Oh wow, that guy can really play. That's cool." But a lot of these guys wouldn't stop. They'd noodle constantly, and just drive people so crazy that they'd want to kill you at the end of the day. These guys were usually tortured with practical jokes. You also had to be able to hang, but not be a brown noser. There's a fine line between being cool and gracious, and being like the teacher's pet. Brown nosers got raked through the coals. But if you proved you could deliver the goods, it was more because of the friendship thing that other players would recommend you for sessions. Once you got into the scene, it became your second family. Here's one of my favorite stories that illustrates the bond we had ...

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

I was late to a live tracking session because I got a flat tire, and it was a monster session with strings and horns and everything. Gene Page was the arranger, and he was notorious for writing out all the parts. So I'm 19 years old, and I'm late, and I'm panicking. Lee Ritenour is in the Guitar One chair, obviously, and as I sit down, I'm looking at my part--which is Guitar Two--and it's really the piano part in Db with no chord symbols anywhere. Everything was written notes. Now, I know we're getting one or two takes to get this down before they move on to the next tune. …

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