Don Randi of The Wrecking Crew

(via CultureSonar) by Mark Daponte

In 1974, the Righteous Brothers sang about a rock ‘n’ roll heaven reserved for rock stars. Peter Tork landed there in 2019 and let’s hope he actually gets to play guitar, unlike his Monkee days when the Wrecking Crew played on their albums instead of him.  These masters included Glen Campbell (“Mary, Mary,” and “The Kind of Girl I Could Love”), Al Casey (“Papa Gene’s Blues,” “Laugh”), and Bill Pitman (“The Monkees Theme Song”).  But Crew member Don Randi recalled: “Peter Tork was a great musician. He was the only one that could have held his own, as far as I’m concerned, with any of us.  And he wondered, “’Why the hell am I not on these records?’ He always came ready to play.”

At the age of 88, pianist Don Randi still comes ready to play the occasional club date with his two children, Leah and Justin, and to share anecdotes from his 2015 book You’ve Heard these Hands: From the Wall of Sound to the Wrecking Crew and Other Incredible Stories.  The book tells of his days of backing up the bigwigs like his good friend, Nancy Sinatra ( “These Boots Were Made for Walking”), Buffalo Springfield, the Association, Frank Zappa, Frank Sinatra, Lee Hazlewood, and many more…

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