|Birth name||Lawrence William Knechtel|
August 4, 1940|
|Died||August 20, 2009
|Instruments||Guitar, keyboards, bass|
Lawrence William "Larry" Knechtel (August 4, 1940 – August 20, 2009) was an American keyboard player and bassist, best known for his work as a session musician with such artists as Simon & Garfunkel, Duane Eddy, The Beach Boys, The Mamas & the Papas, The Monkees, The Partridge Family, The Doors, Elvis Presley, and as a member of the 1970s band Bread.
Born in Bell, California, in 1940, Knechtel's musical education began with piano lessons. In 1957, he joined the Los Angeles based rock and roll band Kip Tyler and the Flips. In August 1959, he joined instrumentalist Duane Eddy as a member of his band The Rebels. After four years on the road with the band, and continuing to work with Eddy in the recording studio, Knechtel became part of the Hollywood session musician scene, working with Phil Spector as a pianist to help create the famous Wall of Sound effect. Knechtel became a prominent member of The Wrecking Crew, a loose collection of session musicians who performed on many songs of the period.
In 1970 he won a Grammy Award for his piano work on "Bridge over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel. He also played the piano on Johnny Rivers' 1972 hit "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu".
Knechtel was proficient in other instruments, notably the harmonica and the electric bass guitar, which can be heard on "Mr. Tambourine Man" by The Byrds, "Stoney End" by Barbra Streisand, "If I Can Dream" by Elvis Presley and on tracks by The Doors (who did not have their own bass guitarist). In 1971, he joined the band Bread, where his contributions include the guitar solo on the hit single "The Guitar Man". He also played on sessions for Nancy Sinatra.
In later years, Knechtel lived in semi-retirement in Yakima, Washington, until his death. He had, however, worked with record producer Rick Rubin, contributing keyboards to albums by Neil Diamond and the Dixie Chicks, touring with Elvis Costello and also the Dixie Chicks in support of their Grammy Award-winning album Taking the Long Way. During this time Knechtel contributed guest spots on many recordings for dozens of Northwest artists including Wayman Chapman, Ken Stringfellow (Posies, R.E.M., Big Star), Quakers On Probation, Dimestore Mystery, Elba, Animals at Night, Zera Marvel, Colin Spring and his son, Lonnie Knechtel.
- Mountain Moods (1989)
- Urban Gypsy (1990)
|This section requires expansion. (January 2012)|
With The Doors
- The Doors (Elektra, 1967)
With Howard Roberts
- Antelope Freeway (Impulse!, 1971)
With Lalo Schifrin
- Rock Requiem (Verve, 1971)
- Hartman, Kent (February/March 2007). "The Wrecking Crew". American Heritage 58 (1).
- "Larry Knechtel Biography". Larry Knechtel Family Estate. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- "Larry Knechtel, Rock Keyboardist-Arranger, Dies at 69". The New York Times. 25 August 2009.
- "Larry Knechtel - Mountain Moods". MusicStack. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- "Larry Knechtel - Urban Gypsy". Discogs. Retrieved 16 January 2013.