Nov 8, 2013 3:26 PM by Dan Shadwell

Local musician Terry Lawless reflects on life, jazz, and work with U2

In a business known for its instability, Santa Maria resident and multi-talented rock musician, Terry Lawless, has managed to build a resume and reputation that gives him about as much job security as you can hope for.

He's on tour with Pink, right now, but it's his gig with the band U2 that's his mainstay.
"I don't look for work any more," Lawless explains of his long career, playing with artists as varied as Barry Manilow to Janet Jackson. "Most of the time, they call me. I'm pretty settled in with U2. I'll probably have to die before somebody takes that gig away."
His job may be locked in, but Lawless says every concert performance is a new, creative experience... a fluid mix of preparation and improvisation that he loves.
"To be honest with you, that's what makes music, music," he says with a smile. "I'm a real student of Miles Davis and Miles sometimes wouldn't even let players have a second take on a recording. he wanted to get exactly what the inspiration of the moment was."
Lawless says Bono gets that jazz lesson as well. "He's funny--he's got a great sense of humor. He and I share a little affection for classic jazz."
...and so does, it turns out, saxophone player and former head of state, Bill Clinton. Lawless recounts a visit to the former President's home.
"In the Clinton apartment, there was a picture of (John) Coltrane by the door. That was a lithograph and when Bono saw that, he contacted the copyright holder on it and had them make one more and send it to me for Christmas and it's up above my desk up there."
Lawless points to a black and white portrait of the legendary jazz saxophonist, hanging over his studio desk, next to a photo of Lawless' wife.
"That's the kind of guy he is," Lawless says, referring to Bono. "They always do exactly the right thing, they are not only great musicians, they are great human beings."
...and Lawless says that's a tune we can all learn.
Terry Lawless will be back on the Central Coast around the holidays and you can look for him to be playing local gigs with other central coast musicians then.
To learn more about his work and upcoming gigs, just go to terrylawless.com



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