No matter what Leland Sklar is doing at any given moment, his bass is always playing somewhere.
Over 2,000 albums to his credit. His collaborations with James Taylor, Phil Collins, and Jackson Browne alone have made him one of the most-heard bassists in history, but that’s just a fraction of his resume. Ever heard Dolly Parton? Randy Newman? Michael Jackson? You’ve heard Lee.
In 2004, Phil Collins hired him for his farewell tour. Lee brought a camera to make a photo album of everyone who made the tour happen, from the caterers to the drivers to the security guards. His first shot was of his bass tech, Steve “Chinner” Winstead. Chinner flipped him the bird, which delighted Lee.
Over the course of 16 years, he amassed 11,000 photos of middle fingers from all over the world. Fans, collaborators, and colleagues; movie stars and rock legends alongside hundreds of the forgotten faces that populate life on the road. People that share a moment, or an evening, and then disappear forever. But something about flipping the bird made the interactions less anonymous. In a sea of anonymity, they lent the moment a jolt of miraculous hilarity.
Joe Bonamassa, Brian Bromberg, Jerry Douglas, Mickey Jones, Al Schmitt, Phil Collins, Jackson Browne, Chris Squire, Michael Nouri, Michael Brecker, Abe Laborial Jr. , Jane Seymour, Dweezil Zappa, Jerry Reuss (LA Dodgers), Mick Fleetwood, Bob Babbitt, Eddie Van Halen, Graham Nash, Véronique Sanson, Mark Hudson, Slash, Van Dyke Parks, Harry Shearer, Dan Dugmore, Carl Carlton, Haskell Wexler, Paul Williams, Bonnie Raitt, Lou Adler, Jack Nicholson, Hal Blain, Chad Smith, Dwight Yoakam, Jerry Jeff Walker, Nancy Wilson, Debbie Gibson, Gwenyth Paltrow, Bernie Williams (NY Yankees), Jim Keltner, Mickey Dolenz, James Taylor, Susan Tedeschi, Alan Menken, Barry Manilow, Peter Tork, Andrew Gold, Brent Mason, Greg Phillinganes, Ray Parker Jr., Alan Cumming, Jennifer Coolidge, Phil Collin (Def Leppard), Fred Walecki, Charles Barkley, George Massenberg, David Lindley, Mike Campbell, Bernie Dresler, Lyle Lovett, Billy Bob Thornton, Chris Botti, Yuming Matsutoya, Mari Hamada, Mickey Raphael, Richie Sambora, Rhonda Smith, FLEA, Jeff Beck, Charlie Watts, Billy Gibbons, Joni Mitchell, Jack Black, John Goodman, Keith Richards, Bernard Fowler, Ray Benson, Allee Willis, Hank William Jr., Judith Owen, Kate Taylor, Livingston Taylor, Danny Seraphine (Chicago), Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Catherine O’Hara, Waddy Wachtel, Russ Kunkel, Danny Kortchmar, Terry Bozzio, Omar Hakin, Mike Stern, Bret McKenzie, Marilin Martin, Scott Hamilton, David Crosby, Henry Diltz, Penn Jillette, David Hood, Simon Phillips, Peter Erskin, Davey Johnston, Phil Ramone, Steve Vai, Michael McKean, Chris Guest, Richard Thompson, Bill Schnee, Alfie Boe, Art Garfunkel, Melissa Ethridge, Joshua Bell, BJ Thomas, Dave Koz, Laurence Fishburne, Spencer Davis, Jack Bruce, Jeremy Irons, Sheryl Crow, Quest Love, Julian Lennon, Hal David, Burt Bacharach, Howard Kaylan, Bette Midler, Bootsie Collins, Kenny Loggins, Sean Penn, Alphonso Johnson, Derek Trucks, Daryl Stuermer, Esperanza Spaulding, John Cleary, Brian Ferry, Stephen Bishop, Kevin Bacon, ‘Skunk’ Baxter, Lisa Loeb, Billy Sheehan, Christopher Cross, Elvin Bishop, Stanley Clark, Keith Emerson, Jackie DeShannon, Mickey Thomas, Steve Cropper, Stephen Schwartz (Wrote WICKED) , Chuck Rainey, Matthew McConaughey, Kinky Friedman, Peter Frampton, J.D. Souther, Stevie Nicks, Steve Lukather, Jim Keltner, Jeff Bridges, Paul Shaffer, Clint Black, Rob Lowe, Hans Zimmer, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Vinnie Coliauta, Joe Walsh, Herb Alpert, Jane Lynch, Josh Groban, Cheech & Chong, Jay Leno, Ed Begley Jr., Al Jardine, Diane Warren, Verdine White, Kevin Nealon, Carly Simon, Richard Marx, Sammy Hagar, Donny Most, K.D. Lang, Fred Willard, Earl Slick, Randy Newman, Steve Tyler, Katey Sagal, Paula Deen, Paul Gilbert, and more…