My Interviews - Pat Flynn


NMG Musicians Spotlight - Pat Flynn

©2010 By Bronson Herrmuth

Part 2 of 2

Bronson: All these years and all the people you've played with, is there anybody you haven't played with yet that you've always wanted to play with you haven't had the opportunity yet?
Pat Flynn: Oh sure, oh my gosh yes.

Bronson: Who would be a couple of them?
Pat Flynn: Bob Dylan, of course. Oh there's lots of people I would love to play with. I never met Phil Spector but I walked in his path all over Hollywood as a kid, I just didn't know it. First session at Gold Star, first job with his partner, I've played with all of the studio musicians that he hired. I played with, as a kid, Hal Blaine, Joe Osborn, Carol Kaye, all those people, but it was only later when I learned what a critical part he played in the development of pop music and rock music, so I never had a chance to germ him, because I didn't know enough. But you know, sure I would have loved to have been on those Phil Spector sessions, wouldn't you? But no theres plenty of people, but having said that, I've been real real lucky to play with some heros. I played on Glen Campbell's last number one record and he hollered my name out as I took the solo. I'd love to just go on and on about Glen because what tickled Glen about me was that everyone knew him as Glen Campbell, but I never germed him as Glen Campbell. I said I remember you as a session guitar player in L.A.. They don't know Bronson, that he was the number one called session player and he played all the lead guitar on all the Beach Boys records. People don't know that. You know he went out with the Beach Boys when Brian went down.

Bronson: Was that the Wrecking Crew?
Pat Flynn: That was the Wrecking Crew, absolutely, and they were just inducted into our Musicians Hall of Fame. Hal Blaine was out here and Carol Kaye, but anyway, so Glen was tickled that I knew all these records he's played on. You know, "Walk Right In, Sit Right Down", he and Billy Strange did all the 12 string work. He played on "James Bond", so Glen and I, he kicked back and told me all these session stories. So we hit it off, and there was one song, and I'm sitting in the session with Reggie Young, right? And Glen Campbell! Not only do I have Reggie Young on the other chair to contend with, (laughing) I've got Glen sitting watching me from the window! I'm telling you Bronson, lucky, you know? So now the solo comes up and I'm thinking Reggie's gonna take it and Glen says, Pat, why don't you take the solo. So I'm thinking okay, so you know, first of all I take the solo, Glen gets so excited he goes, Reggie, you do the solo too. So now we've got two solos in this song, it's supposed to be a single and Bowens' (Producer, Jimmy Bowen) like putting his head in his hands going, I don't know about this, so now we're adding three minutes. So I do a solo, Reggie rips off an incredible solo, Glen gets so excited he wants to take a third solo so he borrows a guitar, jumps out there, (laughing) and Bowen goes, this is great. We have a three minute hit single and now it's five and a half minutes and nobodies going to play it. Well it was a number one song, "Gone Gone Gone", was his last number one record. Anyway, there's been so many great moments. You mentioned Murphy, well you remember he had a big hit singing a duet with Marty Robbins on "Big Iron". Well Marty was dead for eight years okay, this was a very odd thing Bronson. I come in the studio and Murphey says, I'm going to sing a duet with Marty Robbins. Well I was thinking, well Marty, God bless him, he's gone, and I'm thinking Murpheys smoking something. Well it turns out that he'd gotten permission from the Robbins' family to take the original 3 track out of the Columbia vault, Right? And you know how Natalie Cole did this thing with her Dad. You know, you put it on a sympti and you  spread it out, so he can do a duet back and forth. Well I'm sitting in a chair Bronson and I'm listening to Marty Robbins sing in my headphones as I'm playing. Now I've got a problem. One of the biggest guitar heros to me and any other player, the serious player, is Grady Martin. Well I've got to do the lead guitar on this. This is Grady Martin. What am I gonna do? So I said to Murphey, I said Michael, I don't know what to do. I mean I revere this guy. I can play it note for note the way Grady played it, or I can you know, what do you want me to do? You know so Murpheys very helpful, I don't care, do whatever you want to do. So I said, okay fine Michael, why don't I rewrite Second Corinthians, while I'm at it? You know, and it's just ridiculous. So if you hear the record, I didn't play exactly what Grady played, but you know exactly what I'm doing. I'm honoring Grady Martin and whatever I played on that record, which was a number one record. Gary Paczosa mixed that before he became , you know, big shot, and that was a great day. It was a great day to do the thing with Guy Clark and Nanci Griffith that was a Grammy winner. One of the biggest things about being a session player that I appreciated, was being at the beginning of peoples careers Bronson. To be in the studio with a brand new artist named Kathy Matea, with a brand new artist named Nanci Griffith, with a brand new artist named Mark Chestnutt, with a brand new artist named Lee Ann Womack, with a brand new act named Dixie Chicks, whatever, and just to see it grow from the beginning. That's kind of a neat thing, that's kind of a good deal. To be at the beginning of helping form this thing and then you hear it go crazy later on.

Bronson: So all these different musical styles that you've played. Do you have one that's your favorite style of music?
Pat Flynn: Well it developed. As far as my style goes Bronson, it developed, and this is something that as I encounter young players, it's a struggle to get across to them. 'Cause you know, you get a young player and they idolize a Clapton or a Hendrix or they idolize Jack White, or whatever, and I try to tell them, no listen. Learn it all. You see what I'm saying'? You gotta listen to everything. What do you mean? You've got to listen to everything, you've got to develop a vocabulary Bronson. You've got to develop a deep vocabulary. After that, then you start to specialize in what your thing is. Your thing will develop but you can't just copy one person. There's an old saying from school, that if you copy one person it's plagiarism but if you copy five, it's research you know (laughing). So I try to get people to understand I played everything man. Of course I love the Beatles, of course and the Stones, of course I loved Dylan, you know just like everybody else, right? But when I was a kid learning to play, I listened to Polka music, and Cohenta music, and Jazz and Country and Bluegrass and Folk and just name it. If it was good and I could understand it, I tried it. I was in a Dixieland band for fun. I was in a big band, like a 40's big band. I've been in numerous Rock bands, Country bands. You know I put my time in in Bluegrass, in Folk, in Country. So that when I come to a record session, I've got a vocabulary Bronson. So whatever it is you wanna do I'm qualified to do that with you. I know who Joe Pass is, just like I know who Phil Spector is, just like I know who Brian Wilson is, or John Lennon, or whatever. I know who Laurindo Almeida is, you know. I understand what those things are because I've gone into them deeply. Anyway you asked about my style, it just developed from that. Now once I did all that, then I started putting tougher things that I liked.  But it's only been in the recent years that I've done my own projects. I've done two of my own CDs, I'm in the middle of the third one. I'm going to release it as a trilogy and so my style which developed probably most powerfully during New Grass. But you know it just developed first, developing a good vocabulary one then starting to put together what my voice was. It takes a while, it's called maturity.

Bronson: So do you have any advice for somebody that's new to Nashville that might be reading the magazine, or reading one of my sites? What they might do to get into the session world?
Pat Flynn: Well my advice for whatever it's worth is that Nashville is a small town. It may not perceive itself as such, but it's a small town. So meeting people and forging some kind of relationships is paramount. You know Bronson, I worked for you when I was a brand new session guy here in Nashville. How did I meet you? I met you through this guy and through that guy right? And we ran into each other. It really is a personal contact thing. Very difficult to parachute your thing into town from somewhere else. You've got to invest in being here, then you go around to the writers nights or to the showcases, there's tons of them and you meet people, and as soon as you can you throw your hat in the ring. Put your thing up there and you keep putting it up there until you get input and you shape it to where you get a word of mouth thing going around. That's really the only thing I know to do, is to come here, be here, meet people, and be open. Be open to input whether it's positive or negative because there's nothing as valuable as a free audience to play for and to get feedback from. But the most important thing is meeting people and get a chance to let them know who you are and what you do.

Bronson: Now you just mentioned you had your record that you'd been working on. Fill us in on that, when can we expect it? What do you call it?
Pat Flynn: Yeah, well I've got a couple done on the web site now and the first one was called reQuest, with a capital Q, layers of meaning, and then the second one was reVision, with a capital V. My daughter suggested, because I was fishing for a third one, for the last one, and she said reTard, but I thought that was ugly (laughing). I just thought that was wrong of her to say that (laughing). So the third one will be called, reNew, with a capital N, that was just a thing that I did. The reason I'm putting three out Bronson, is just because I waited years, and years, and years, to do my own thing. I played on hundreds of other peoples records and of course, you could say that I had a full input in the New Grass Revival catalog, I'm proud of that. But my own songs, singing, playing, arranging, producing. Of course there's lots of great Nashville buddies on these records. Wonderful players and such but it's my idea of putting together a sound, a style that's me, and it probably will be done by the summer or the fall and be out the end of this year.

Bronson: So you mentioned your web site, that's, right?
Pat Flynn: Yeah, you gotta remember to put the music in because I think, there's a guy in Florida trying to sell you some land. But yeah,

Bronson: Is there anything else you'd like folks to know about that you have coming up to promote? Special shows, or events, or you just enjoying some time in town before you go back on the road?
Pat Flynn: Yeah, I'm working. I'm producing a couple of very exciting acts. I've got a kid named Tyler Flowers, who's in the finals tonight at Puckett's, for the Nashville Star.

Bronson: Very cool, good luck on that.
Pat Flynn: Thank you. He's a terrific writer. Young kid out of college, he's out of David Lipscomb. I hate to drop names as far as in making reference, but just to give you an idea, he's got the kind of depth that John Mayer has. That same kind of fiery personality, writes all of his own stuff. We've been in the studio for most of the year just crafting, and so I've been enjoying that. Producing several acts and finishing my own thing, and doing sessions, special events on their own.

Bronson: I sure appreciate you doin' this Pat.
Pat Flynn: Yeah man. I really appreciate you asking me.

Bronson: It's been to long since I've seen you and I always enjoy your company.
Pat Flynn: Thank you, you too.

You can visit Pat online at

(Note from Bronson .... Tyler Flowers won that competition and Congrats to Tyler and to Pat)

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