I was a teenager in 1981, and I had one of those Columbia House, 11 albums for a dime ads. I picked 10 records I thought I wanted. I needed to choose one more. I didn't see any I wanted. I spied El Rayo-X, which I had seen a review of somewhere, and took a chance. I still remember listening to it the first time. And then listening to it again. And again. And again. 42 years later, I cannot tell you what those other 10 albums were, but El Rayo-X has never left my music collection. Through all kinds of genre phases and all manner of live performances from countless artists, and a collection of albums running into the thousands, Lindley has always been one of the constants. I dug backwards into Kaleidoscope in college, astonished at the diversity of that band, and moved forward as each new album came along. I saw him live, then saw him again, and again, and...You get the idea. The live recordings with Ry, and Hani, and Wally, the Madagascar albums...everything was a musical revelation, unlike anyone else, and always grabbing new ideas. Those albums all keep me smiling to this day. There has never been anyone like him. One of my absolute favorites. I feel fortunate to have had him as a soundtrack throughout so much of my life, and to have seen him numerous times. He made this world a better place simply by playing music. His was a life well spent.
I randomly saw an RIP for Dave on some YouTube video. I am so sorry. I would go to see him every time he would play At McCabe’s. I have been waiting for him to show up on their calendar ever since they went back to live concerts. Some of the most phenomenal experiences I have ever had - watching an artist at the top of his powers - who would still defer to living masters of obscure instruments (to an American like me anyway) from other cultures.
We all have our ups and downs - and losses - in life. Dave’s shows - I have associated them with great periods and sad periods in my own life. I’ve taken people who meant everything to me to see him - and I’ve gone to see him on my own. As far as I’m concerned, he always exemplified the clarity of purpose that a true artist lives by. He was excited, enthused and happy to pursue his art. I always appreciated his appreciation of the absurdity of business, life etc. For a guy who was operating at the highest levels of “professional” musicianship - he maintained his integrity as an artist and an absurd view of the world.
I spoke with him a couple of times - just to say how much I had enjoyed the show and I hoped I would get to see him play the banjo some day! Just a patient, nice guy. So I am just a random guy out in the world. A guy who “locked on” to what Dave was doing. I’m an artist myself (I think) - but drawing and painting. I’m always trying to figure out the point of everything however - my purpose etc. I have friends who are great visual artists - who lead me to believe that we get to decide what is worth doing - and sometimes, it is possible to change people’s heads. Dave was an example of that for me - a great guy, a great artist - a guy operating at a rarified level - but so genuinely interested and sincere in his art- that he could be normal and friendly and funny - fucking hilarious in fact.Alright - I’m sorry for your loss - and especially sorry for Dave’s wife and daughter’s loss as well. I’m not a “fan” of much - but Dave was a special person and an extraordinary artist - and I am not bs-ing to say that he was an inspiring person to me personally. I have had some personal losses in my life currently - and unfortunately am anticipating more. So I truly feel for Dave’s family and friends. What a cool guy!
Oh no, no, no...I have justlearnedt of the passing of this truly brilliant, multi-talented Superman musician. I am SO sad to know of this, truly, truly so sad. I had the real pleasure of seeing him play in the UK only twice and it was amazing, such a true musical talent, the like of which would be hard to find again. Thank you for being you David, a Goliath amongst musicians. You will be SO missed.
David was so special, so unique. He enriched my life. Was able to tell him once in SF, CA. But I miss him, love love love makes the world go around.
I have become aware [only recently] of the huge talents that David Lindley had to offer in accompaniment of some of my favorite artists — Jackson Browne & Bonnie Raitt among them.
I met David at The Alley Studio during rehearsal for The Love Ride 1990. He took a ride with me in my HDSidecar. Fun, talented man. I became an honorary UGLY MC member at that time. It was a pleasure to meet you David, thanks for the music.
I first heard David playing on a Jackson Browne album in the early seventies and was amazed by his slide playing, I still am. I was lucky to see him playing in Ireland a couple of times with Wally ingram, Ry Cooder & he played my home town Cork with Jackson Browne. All great memories I cherish. I have a lot of his albums on cd & vinyl. I will miss him Greatly. My condolences to his wife & daughter.
I got to see Mr. Dave live only one weekend - at Music Midtown 2001 in Atlanta, playing with the Blind Boys of Alabama, and with Wally Ingram. I recall after the show with Wally, Dave came over to the fence and was just super nice - a great guy. I recall I didn't have much to say ('cuz what do you ever say? "I really love your music"?), but he was cool and kind, and I always like it when a big star can be a little bit nice with you. Real sorry I haven't been able to see Dave back East again. Doubly sorry that the great man and the opportunity have passed. RIP Dave, and thanks for such a great time!
Greetings. I am a 39-year-old Naval Officer stationed in Japan. I grew up on El Rayo Ex and playing World out of Time on repeat. I saw Dave 3 times, the last being at McCabe’s in 2018 where I made him chuckle by singing Tiki Torches at Twilight word for word but in a bass voice.
~ Ben-san / Benjamin G.
I toured with David & Jackson in 1975, I sang and played percussion. After the last show at Anaheim Stadium. He did not want me to go back to N Y.. but it was time to go home.. now he is home... loved him. Miss him, RIP
David was my banjo teacher starting in 1963-66. Have all his cd’s plus El Rayo X recordings. Have been to many of his concerts in San Diego & Phoenix. Thank you for keeping his name & music alive!
My husband and I would go to see David whenever he came to Atlanta. We appreciated and loved him. He was an amazing musician and always seemed appreciative of his audience.
Today I learned of David's passing. My late brother Jeff turned me on to Side Trips and later A Beacon from Mars albums. Since I grew up in Sierra Madre, near where David was from, his band was considered something of a local band even though he was destined for bigger things to come. I heard El Rayo X years later at the LA County Fair Grounds. No big semi's for the gear load, just a van to throw the amps and guitars into. Like all of his fans, we will miss what he brought to the boomers music and beyond.
I saw Kaleidoscope a few times, as a kid, but never saw El-Rayo X in its prime. I saw David solo much, saw Jorge C but never the band. That was a big empty hole for me in 80s. I heard David was sick and losing his hearing several years ago. I got sick myself and found myself in ICU and my thoughts turned into obsession chasing YouTube videos. He died that night and I am overwhelmed by what a beautiful and gifted cat he was. I have an entire playlist of songs he guested on and I think the steel parts on turning point are some of the best in the entire universe. Dave and Frizz must have been something.
The sting of his passing is staying for many of us. I shed a couple tears early this morning myself while listening to his cover of Indifference Of Heaven. The best way to honor his life (IMHO) is to just keep playing his music while enjoying the best in our lives. I think he would approve.