One Long Tune
The Life and Music of Lenny Breau
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: University of North Texas Press
Table of Contents
Back in the 1960s in New York when I was writing a lot of fiction and practicing a lot of guitar, I invented in a short story a guitarist whom I conceived of as using harmony in the manner of Bill Evans. In fact, before it was published (in some now-forgotten magazine), I showed the story to Bill. ...
This book could not have been written without the input of every one of the two-hundred-plus interviewees who kindly shared with me their anecdotes and observations of my subject. I’d like to thank the following people for their specific contributions to this book: ...
Apart from a bell-bedecked washboard that he strummed in his parents’ country band, Lenny Breau’s first instrument was a child-sized, secondhand accordion that his father bought for him at a flea market. Lenny, then five years old, was delighted with the gift, even after discovering that one of its keys produced no sound ...
Chapter 1. On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine: ca. 1916—October 1948
The towns of Auburn and Lewiston face one another across the Androscoggin River thirty-five miles due north of Portland, Maine. Most of the squat, red brick mills in both towns are deserted now, but for more than a century after the Civil War a ceaseless stream of textiles, building supplies, footwear, and other commodities ...
Chapter 2. Song of the Prairie: December 1957—April 1960
Winnipeg, a gritty prairie city with long, frigid winters and oppressively humid summers, is located in the exact east/west center of Canada, sixty miles north of the Manitoba/North Dakota border. In 1957, it was a sprawling railroad town with a large meatpacking industry and a rich cultural scene that included ...
Chapter 3. Lullaby of Birdland: April 1960—May 1962
Known to his friends as “Shap,” the high-rolling, loquacious Jack Shapira was a pianist who had led a number of dance bands in Winnipeg during the 1940s and ’50s, and later had a career in television and radio production at the CBC. Shapira was not a jazz musician, but loved the music and wanted to start a club ...
Chapter 4. Out of Nowhere: November 1961—May 1963
Joey Hollingsworth, a young African-Canadian dancer from southern Ontario, was already familiar with Lenny’s reputation when he came to Winnipeg in October of 1961 to play a two-week engagement at the Town and Country Inn. The summer before, he’d met Ray St. Germain in Toronto where Lenny’s ...
Chapter 5. Workin' Man's Blues: June 1963—December 1967
Lenny returned to Winnipeg with little more than his leather suit and a recently acquired hipster patois heavy on expressions like “dig it,” “like man,” and “cool.” Valerie was now living in an apartment on Jamison Street, a few miles from downtown Winnipeg, and that’s where Dave Shaw brought Lenny after picking him up ...
Photo Section follows page 121
Chapter 6. Days of Wine and Roses: January 1968—September 1972
Judi Singh, long restless with Winnipeg, moved to Toronto in late 1967 on the understanding that Lenny would soon follow. Lenny had made several trips to the city during the past two years but because of his past experiences there had qualms about relocating permanently to Toronto without promise of steady work. ...
Chapter 7. Turn Out the Stars: December 1972—1976
After leaving Richard, Lenny returned to Winnipeg to visit his children. On December 13, in search of heroin, he connected with a drug dealer in a downtown tavern, and the pair took a cab to a drug house in Winnipeg’s North End. Lenny scored and returned to the cab, but as the vehicle pulled away, it was stopped by ...
Chapter 8. Back in the Saddle Again: July 1976—May 1980
This time around, no film crews greeted Lenny in Nashville as they had when he’d arrived in the city as the enfant terrible of guitar eight years earlier. Even Atkins, who was tied up with business, was not on hand to meet him when his plane touched down at the Nashville airport one day in early July 1976. ...
Chapter 9. Cold, Cold Heart: May 1980—November 1983
At the time Lenny was learning Tal Farlow’s licks in the late fifties, Farlow had become so soured on the dreary machinations of the music business that he retreated from the jazz scene at the height of his fame. While he played the occasional date and made a few records during the 1960s and ’70s, Farlow ...
Chapter 10. Meanwhile Back in LA: November 1983—August 1984
Scott Page says that in mid-1983, the Breaus lived for a time with a friend in an upscale home off Barham Boulevard in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles. However, when they returned to live in the city that fall, their lodgings were considerably more humble. The Breaus spent their first month in Los Angeles ...
Like his father before him, Lenny Breau died in penury and his remains lie in an unmarked grave at the Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, California. Richard and Darci Cotten covered his funeral costs with money raised through a memorial benefit at Nashville’s Blue Bird Café. Other memorials took place in Winnipeg, ...
List of Quoted Interviews Conducted by Author
Page Count: 344
Illustrations: 20 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2006
OCLC Number: 667080744
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