Muscle Shoals Guitarist Pete Carr Passes Away At 70
Pete Carr live in 2012 - char price / Youtube
Esteemed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section guitarist Pete Carr passed away on June 27 at the age of 70.
The session guitarist was born in Daytona Beach, Florida, and proceeded to spend his early teen years by learning the guitar, copying his rock idols to teach himself more about the instrument. In a 2000 interview with Swampland.com, Carr said, “The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were leading the ‘British Invasion’ at that time. I bought their records and others such as the Yardbirds, the Animals, and The Searchers, which helped me learn the guitar.”
He eventually trickled into local clubs, crossing paths with Southern legends Gregg and Duane Allman, becoming friends and playing together in the band Hour Glass, just shortly before the brothers’ success with the Allman Brothers Band. Carr soon joined the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, recording with some of the biggest names in the industry like Paul Simon, Bob Seger, and Joe Cocker, among numerous others.
Record producer Rodney Hall had this to say about Carr: “I’ve got to say here that I think Pete Carr contributed more to Muscle Shoals music than any other guitar player to come through Muscle Shoals. Yeah, there was Jimmy Johnson and Duane Allman. Duane wasn’t here but about a year, and Jimmy is a great rhythm player but as far as lead goes, Pete’s the man.”
Carr has released two solo albums, 1975’s “Not A Word” and 1978’s Multiple Flash, and also teamed up with Lenny LeBlanc for 1978’s Midnight Light, which spawned the hit single “Falling”. The two were supporting Lynyrd Skynyrd on 1977’s tragic Street Survivors tour, where they were visiting friends in Daytona when the crash happened.
“We went to Daytona and were going to meet backup with Lynyrd Skynyrd at the next show. Well, when we arrived in town to play the next concert we heard on the radio of the plane crash that took the lives of some of the members. We of course were shocked,” said Carr.
The guitarist has worked with numerous premium musicians in his career, but one stood out the most for him. “I always thought Paul Simon was fantastic, in the same league as the Beatles,” he said. “When he walked in the studio the first time it was a very awe-inspiring moment for me. I remember vividly as he walked through the front door and I saw his face. I had taught myself an acoustic guitar instrumental he did on a Simon and Garfunkel album called ‘Anji’ when I was a kid. I always thought that he was one of the best, if not the best songwriter ever. Simon, Dylan, Lennon and McCartney. My favorites,” Carr added.