In Memory of Leon Russell

This morning, November 13, 2016, I heard the sad news that Leon Russell had died at the age of 74. As a young man at the ages of 19 to 21, I had the pleasure of working with Leon as a recording engineer and touring guitarist. In our long hours in the studio together, I learned quite a lot from him about music, music production and arrangement, songwriting and more. He shared my passion for the new synthesizer and audio processing technology of the day,  which we first used on his album "Will O' The Wisp." In fact, it was Leon who stirred my interest in the idea of a programmable drum machine that later resulted in my creation of my LM-1 Drum Computer And it was Leon who taught me the value of degrees of swing timing that later resulted in my creation of the LM-1's swing feature. I also had the pleasure of meeting–and engineering recording sessions for–many of the great musicians of the day like George Harrison, Joe Cocker, Willy Nelson, Tom Petty and others. And though my guitar skills were not the equal of the great guitarists he normally worked with, he kindly gave me the privilege of playing guitar with him on his tours. In retrospect, I like to look back at those years as my attendance at the University of Leon Russell, an education I will always value.

- Roger Linn


Me (Roger), Mary Russell & Leon Russell on tour in 1976.

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Los Altos, CA