David Spinozza

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David Spinozza is an American guitarist and producer. He worked with former Beatles Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon during the 1970s,[1] and had a long collaboration with singer-songwriter James Taylor, producing Taylor's album Walking Man.


Spinozza worked with McCartney during sessions for McCartney's Ram album during 1971.[2] When the chance came to work with Lennon two years later, as Yoko Ono prepared her Feeling the Space album and Lennon his Mind Games, Spinozza discovered that Lennon was not aware he had previously worked with McCartney, and was afraid he would be fired if Lennon found out, given their recent feuding in the media. When Lennon did learn of it, his only comment was that McCartney "knows how to pick good people." Exact same story is related about Hugh McCracken.

David sessioned on Tim Weisberg's 1972 Hurtwood Edge and Cashman & West's 1974 Lifesong. Spinozza contributed to Ono's album A Story, recorded during 1974 (but not released until 1998), served as her bandleader during a residency at Kenny's Castaways, and rehearsed Ono's band to tour her native Japan, but parted ways with her when the tour began. After no communication for several years, Ono contacted Spinozza late in 1980, for his permission to release "It Happened", a track from A Story, as a B-side to "Walking on Thin Ice", her tribute to the recently assassinated John Lennon and the last song they had recorded together. Spinozza gave his permission. The track appeared with a new coda, recorded by Lennon and Ono's band from Double Fantasy.

Spinozza also appeared on Ringo Starr's 1977 album Ringo the 4th, earning him the distinction of having recorded with three of the four Beatles.[3]

Spinozza played acoustic guitar on the song "Honesty" on the 1978 Billy Joel album 52nd Street.

In 1978 he released Spinozza on the A&M label, a jazz-oriented album with some vocal tracks.[4]

Spinozza played the guitar solo on Dr. John's hit, "Right Place, Wrong Time",[5] played on Paul Simon's albums Paul Simon and There Goes Rhymin' Simon, Don McLean's American Pie, and later made contributions to the soundtracks of the movies Dead Man Walking, Happiness, and Just the Ticket. The first album David produced in its entirety was the folk rock trio Arthur, Hurley & Gottlieb who were signed by Clive Davis during his ten years as president Columbia Records. Spinozza was a member of the Saturday Night Live band from 1980 to 1982. He also conducted the band in 1980 and 1981.[6]

He held the first guitar chair in the Broadway orchestra of Hairspray and, in 2009, reunited with his band from 1973, "L'Image" which also includes Mike Mainieri, Warren Bernhardt, Tony Levin and Steve Gadd.[7]

Selected Discography[edit]

With B.B. King

With Rusty Bryant

With Paul Simon

With Richard Davis

With Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway

With John Denver

With Michael Franks

With Art Farmer

With Johnny Hodges

With Ron Davies

  • U.F.O. (1973)

With Richie Havens

  • Connections (1980)

With Patricia Kaas

With Judy Collins

With Ringo Starr

With Paul McCartney

With Stephen Bishop

With Jim Croce

With Rod Stewart

With Charlie Mariano

  • Mirror (1972)

With Bert Sommer

  • Bert Sommer (1970)
  • Bert Sommer (1977)

With Bette Midler

With Garland Jeffreys

With Laura Branigan

With David Pomeranz

  • Time to Fly (1971)

With Melissa Manchester

With Labelle

With Margie Joseph

  • Margie Joseph (1973)
  • Sweet Surrender (1974)

With Don McLean

With Dionne Warwick

With Robin Kenyatta

With Stephanie Mills

With Yusef Lateef

With Céline Dion

With Marc Cohn

With Roberta Flack

With Carla Thomas

  • Memphis Queen (1969)

With Carly Simon

With Merry Clayton

  • Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow (1975)

With Yoko Ono

With David Batteau

  • Happy in Hollywood (1976)

With Aretha Franklin

With The Manhattan Transfer

With Jennifer Holliday

With Johnny Lytle

With The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra

With Peter Allen

With George Benson

With Frankie Valli

With Kate & Anna McGarrigle

With James Taylor

With Elvis Costello

With John Lennon

With Barry Manilow

With Yvonne Elliman

With Herbie Mann

With Jean-Pierre Ferland

With Bonnie Raitt

With Arif Mardin

With Les McCann

With David Newman

With Shirley Scott

With Joe Thomas

With Charles Williams

With Deodato

With Billy Joel

With David Sanborn

With Michael Kenny

  • guitar on some tracks on self-titled Michael Kenny album (Tom Cat/RCA, 1976)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Rodriguez, Robert (2010). Fab Four FAQ 2.0: The Beatles' Solo Years 1970–1980. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 205–207. ISBN 978-0-87930-968-8. Retrieved August 17, 2011.
  2. ^ https://www.guitarworld.com/features/session-guitar-my-interview-true-studio-guitar-royalty-david-spinozza
  3. ^ https://www.guitarinteractivemagazine.com/features/david-spinozza-the-man-behind-the-music/
  4. ^ https://www.guitarinteractivemagazine.com/features/david-spinozza-the-man-behind-the-music/
  5. ^ https://www.guitarinteractivemagazine.com/features/david-spinozza-the-man-behind-the-music/
  6. ^ "Archived copy". www.davemackey.com. Archived from the original on September 15, 2000. Retrieved January 17, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "The Official Steve Gadd Website". Drstevegadd.com.


External links[edit]