In a word, it was a success. And, the audience wanted an encore.
The inaugural “Coffee Table Books Live” series opened with the legendary Leland Sklar discussing his book “Everybody Loves Me” hosted by the South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) and the South Pasadena Public Library. He spoke to a capacity crowd with many music fans on standby hoping to get a seat.
Leland Sklar is legendary in the music industry as a noted A-list session bassist and has a long career touring the world with too many bands to mention in addition to his work in television and motion pictures. He’s been a part of thousands of songs spread over 2,600 albums. You’ve heard Leland play and you probably didn’t even know it.
The genesis for the book came from a photo journal he created back in 2004 during Phil Collins “First Final Farewell Tour”. There was talk that it might be Phil’s last tour and that he might retire when it was finished. Sklar wanted to document that experience as a memento for himself. Mission accomplished and he filed it on his computer for future enjoyment.
Skip ahead three years and he revisited this idea when he was on tour with TOTO. He followed the same format of photos of the band, management, stage crew, road crew, bus drivers, truck drivers and caterers all posing for Sklar with a specific hand gesture.
These two tours produced about 250 photos and then the project took on a life of its own. He asked people everywhere he went to add to the collection and it grew to over 12,000 images. These images of the people he’s toured with or played with or met always brings a smile to his face.
“Everybody Loves Me” is a book about humanity and the opportunity to engage in a specific moment with someone. It’s not about the hand gesture, but seeing the faces and expressions brought about at that time when Leland asked them to pose for the camera.
The night ended with a preview of a new documentary about Sklar and his bandmates in The Immediate Family. If you’re an avid liner note reader of albums from the 70’s and 80’s and beyond, then you would be familiar with these amazing musicians. But most people aren’t aware that they have heard the brilliant musicianship from these bandmates and this documentary was made to bring them to the forefront.