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“Jim Keltner was a legend in LA – when I met him, he was already legendary. I always thought of him as a jazz musician, and he was, but he’s also a great rock drummer. He’s in a class by himself. He was probably the most beloved musician in Los Angeles. He was really good friends with everyone, and I mean everyone. Through him, I met all The Beatles, all the Stones, all the great English musicians; I met Leon Russell and Harry Nilsson through him. He knew them all.
“Lucky for me, Jim took me under his wing. He was my rabbi. He’d take me to sessions and say to people, ‘This is Kootch, my guitar player.’ That’s all he had to say. He’d say that to Keith Richards, and then I was friends with Keith Richards. He’d say it to John Lennon, and suddenly I’m playing with John and Harry Nilsson. I am among several musicians in LA who owe a tremendous debt to Jimmy Keltner.
“We used to go down to the Record Plant, where on Sunday nights was something called the Jim Keltner Fan Club. Everybody you could ever fucking imagine was there. After a while, it began to refine itself down to a few people – Keltner, me, David Foster, and a fantastic bass player and singer named Paul Stallworth. Suddenly, we’re making an album. Because Jimmy was such good friends with George Harrison, George signed us to Dark Horse Records.
“We made two albums that way. This was some of the first stuff that David Foster did in LA. There was no question in my mind that David was going to be huge, huge, huge. He had badass feel on keyboards; everything he played on sounded better right away. He had a great attitude, and he wasn’t on dope like the rest of us. [Laughs]
“He was just a winner. I remember telling him once when I was driving him to the Roxy Theater to play in the house band – he didn’t have a car yet – and I said, ‘Foster, a year from now you’re going to hire somebody to answer your phone. You’re going to be doing so well, I promise you.’ Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. I wasn’t surprised at all.”