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Exclusive: Leon Russell

The Professional

John McEuen photographed at the Gibson Guitar Showroom in New York City on May 17, 2016.
John McEuen; Photo by Ebet Roberts.

One year I booked Leon Russell at the festival I created, the Deadwood Jam. With limited set lengths due to show restrictions, I told Leon we had to stay on time, with a 70-minute set. He said fine, but, in what seemed like the middle of his rocking set, the last act at the festival, the clock was getting close to that limit. Stage manager Merel Bregante  said, “I’m not going to pull the plug on Leon…but I hope he ends on time!” I told him not to worry.

Right in the middle of a hot piano solo, his glissando slamming on the keys, Leon looked at his watch, ended the lick and shouted, “Thank you! Good Night” to the panting, jumping crowd.
Leon’s set was 69 minutes and 45 seconds.


John McEuen


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