Guitarist David Lindley Dies at 78

David Lindley, the multi-instrumental and founder of the band Kaleidoscope, has died. He was 78.

Videos by American Songwriter

Lindley passed away on Friday (March 3) after a series of ailments, including pneumonia, kidney issues, and influenza, Variety reports. Lindley’s death was confirmed by his longtime friend Douglas Reynolds, who organized a fundraising page known as the Lindley Wellness Fund to pay for Lindley’s medical bills.

“I am saddened to pass on the news that my friend David left the planet this morning, March 3,” Reynolds wrote. “Thank you to everyone who purchased a tee and donated to the fundraiser. It will help his girls —his wife Joanie and his daughter Rosanne—not have to think about money at this sad time. Bills are still pouring in and there will of course be final expenses. I thought of turning this off but have been encouraged to keep it going for his girls, so I will.”

Lindley built a career as a sought-after instrumentalist, mostly playing string instruments, and performing with Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, and Bonnie Raitt, among many others. In 1966, he founded the psychedelic rock band Kaleidoscope. In their four years together, the band released four albums: Side Trips in 1967, A Beacon from Mars in 1968, Incredible! Kaleidoscope in 1969 and Bernice in 1970, disbanding in the latter year.

[RELATED: 5 Songs You Didn’t Know Jackson Browne Wrote for Other Artists]

A pair of reunion albums were released in 1976 with When Scopes Collide and Greetings from Kartoonistan… in 1991. Lindley also embarked on a solo career, releasing his debut album, El Rayo-X, in 1981. The album peaked at No. 83 on the Billboard 200 and spent 18 weeks on the chart. His 1988 album, Very Greasy, was produced by Ronstadt, with Lindley joining Browne’s tour in 1989 as an opening act.

Lindley had a long tenure working as a musician with Browne, beginning with Browne’s revered 1973 album, For Everyman, on which he played electric, acoustic, and slide guitar and electric fiddle. They found success again with Browne’s Late for the Sky album released in 1974 that was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in 2020. They worked on a total of 10 albums together, their last being Love Is Strange: En Vivo Con Tino, a live album that was recorded during the pair’s tour in Spain. Lindley also worked as a session musician on albums by Crosby & Nash, Graham Nash, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and other legends.

Lindley married his wife Joan before 1970, the year they welcomed daughter Rosanne, who followed in her father’s footsteps and became a folk singer. At the time this article was published, more than $20,000 had been raised for Lindley’s medical expenses, with the funds going directly to his wife.

Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

Songwriter U: Lyrically Speaking—What’s in a Love Song?