Keyboardist Loren Gold has been putting his own stamp on classic tunes by The Who as he tours the world as part of the fabled band’s “The Who Hits 50” tour. Find out more at lorengold.com and twitter.com/lorengold.
NAME: Loren Gold
HOMETOWN: Palo Alto, Calif.
MUSICAL TRAINING: I was classically trained, starting with group lessons from age seven. After a few years, my teacher realized I was ready to start branching out because I was taking simple Mozart pieces and turning them into boogie-woogie shuffles!
FIRST GIGS: I played piano at an upscale French restaurant in Palo Alto at the age of 14; it included a free meal! Years later, I took a similar gig in Los Angeles when I was between tours. I had one of those large fake books, and I would make my own arrangements on-the-fly. It was great training.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: The Beatles, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and so many others.
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Bob Dylan The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. It has taken me years to understand and appreciate him, but now I get it. I can only imagine how powerful this record must have been back in its day.
INSTRUMENTS PLAYED: Piano, organ, synthesizer… and I’ll bang away on a guitar or drum kit if given the chance!
MY BIG BREAK: Playing for pop acts like Tiffany and Hilary Duff, which put me in front of very large crowds and the opportunity to travel around the world. After those gigs, I enjoyed MD work for other young artists like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, where I would hold auditions, hire the musicians, and then prepare the band to tour. I continue doing such work and enjoy each experience. I would say my real big break as a professional musician was being hired as the keyboardist for Roger Daltrey.
LATEST ALBUM: My latest project is actually a book/DVD released through Alfred Music entitled Sitting In: Blues Piano. The series simulates the experience of interacting with a full band. I’m currently working with Alfred on a rock book, which should be released later this year.
FAVORITE KEYBOARD GEAR: My Fender Rhodes, which I’ve been playing since junior high school. It still sounds great and inspires. I also love my Hammond C2 and Leslie 147 combo. On the road, I’ve been using the Korg Kronos X. It covers so much ground and is the staple in my setup.
WHAT’S NEXT: In addition to the music books, I’ll be hitting the road with The Who, starting in London and continuing throughout North America.
ADVICE TO OTHER MUSICIANS: Obviously, practice as much as you can, but when it comes to playing and/or auditioning for other artists, be ready to go. In other words, overprepare. You should show up for a gig calm, relaxed, and full of positive energy. Having all your sounds programmed and songs memorized (unless it’s a chart reading gig) will take a lot of pressure off and allow you to connect better with the other musicians. I find that if I walk into the room ready for anything, I can look the other musicians in the eye, connect musically, and have fun.