The Great American Robber Barons with Keith Dion and Diana Mangano
Mike Wilhelm & Hired Guns
The Space Cowboys featuring members of The Steve Miller Band with Greg Douglass, David Denny, Gary Mallaber, and Byron Allred. (Fly Like An Eagle/Book Of Dreams era)
Also playing: Chris Solberg (Santana, Eddie Money); Les Lizama (Link Wray, SFO); Rich Smith (Terry & The Pirates); Bill Cutler (Heroes, Slewfoot) and John Turner (Lonnie’s Son).
Steve Miller Band founding member Lonnie Turner died Sunday, April 28, at Avamere Care Center in Lebanon, Oregon from lung cancer and complications from early-onset Alzheimer's disease. He was 66 years old.
"Lonnie and I started out together in 1966 in Berkeley," said Miller. "We became best pals the first time we played together. He was in the band from the beginning and played a major roll in recording the first four albums as well as the later "Fly Like an Eagle" and "Book of Dreams" albums. He was a sweet man who loved playing music and he was very creative. 'Jungle Love' was a good example of Lonnie's skill at writing lyrics.”
Turner first left the band in December 1969 during sessions for the group's fourth album, "Your Saving Grace," and returned in September 1975 to record basic tracks that would comprise both the album “Fly Like an Eagle” and most of the subsequent “Book of Dreams.” Turner continued to tour with the band through 1979.
Known to friends as "L.T.," Leonard Lewis Turner was born in Berkeley, California in 1947 and dropped out of Stanford University to join the Miller band. He taught himself bass to play with Miller, said his ex-wife Gail Ashcroft.
"He could play blues," said Miller. "He had a real good finger-picking style."
Miller and Turner held the first rehearsals for what would become the Steve Miller Band in an vacant school basement on the University of California campus during Thanksgiving break in 1966.
Through most of his career, he played a prototype model of a Fender Music Man bass that he bought at a NAMM Show after his other instrument had been stolen just before the Miller band backed Chuck Berry for a live album recorded at the Fillmore Auditorium in 1967.
In addition to Miller, Turner played with Dave Mason, Eddie Money, Tommy Tutone and others. By the early '80s, Turner had left touring and was working as sound engineer for the Hopland Brewery in Mendocino County. He moved to Portland, Oregon in 1991, where he kept low-key involvement in the local music scene including work with songwriter Chris Morrisette.
Turner is survived by his two children, John, 26, and Natalie, 23, and a grandson, Leo (named after him), who will be a year old in November. His son John plays the Music Man bass in his Grants Pass, Oregon rock band, The Herbal Crew.
- Courtesy of www.stevemillerband.com