Mike Deasy Sr.

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Cailornia-born guitarist Mike Deasy, Sr. has been a positively ubiquitous presence in rock music -- with a few side-trips into jazz -- since the mid-1960's. Indeed, between recording work and soundtrack…
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Cailornia-born guitarist Mike Deasy, Sr. has been a positively ubiquitous presence in rock music -- with a few side-trips into jazz -- since the mid-1960's. Indeed, between recording work and soundtrack appearances, it's possible that he's been heard thousands of times, even by casual music listeners and television viewers. A sometime member of Phil Spector's Wrecking Crew, Deasy's early recording work also included surf-instrumental releases such as The New Mustang & Other Hot Rod Hits (by the Road Runners) in 1964, and he worked in the orbit of folkie-turned-producer Curt Boettcher -- the latter's Friar Tuck & His Psychedelic Guitar (re-released 40+ years later on the Fallout label) was an early canvas for Deasy's work as an arranger as well as his guitar. He played on the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (and also on Smiley Smile), and all over the work of Elvis Presley, the Monkees, the Association, Johnny Rivers, the Fifth Dimension, Rick Nelson, Randy Newman, Spanky & Our Gang, and Tommy Roe, and was part of Fats Is Back by Fats Domino -- but he also managed to work in sessions with Irene Krall, Mel Torme, and Chet Baker. He might not be as well-known among the public as some session guitarists, but the chances are excellent that if you've heard a West Coast-recorded piece of class rock 'n' roll, pop-rock, folk-rock, gospel music, and even some jazz, you've heard (and even marveled at) his playing.

Deasy took up the guitar as a boy and was so proficient that by the end of the 1950's, while still in high school, he rated a spot in the bands of Ricky Nelson and the Everly Brothers. He later played with the Coasters, Ritchie Valens, Eddie Cochran, and Duane Eddy, and became heavily involved in session work amid the exploding music scene in Los Angeles during the early 1960's, which is also how he met his future wife, Kathie, the sister of reedman Jim Horn. They later started their own studio and production company, Saltmine Recording. Deasy played with most of the top talent of the 1960's and beyond, ranging far outside the rock field to include Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand. He has also worked on a huge number of movie and television soundtracks, and played in a vast array of commercials across the decades. In more recent years, he has also appeared as an inspirational speaker.