David Spinozza is an American guitarist and producer. He worked with former Beatles Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon during the 1970s, 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. 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.”
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.
Spinozza played acoustic guitar on the song “Honesty” on the 1978 Billy Joel album 52nd Street.
In 1978 he released Spinozza on A&M label, a jazz-oriented album with some vocal tracks.
Spinozza played the guitar solo on Dr. John’s hit, “Right Place, Wrong Time”, 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.
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.
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