What Influences Lenny Kravitz

08/09/2011
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(Gibson) Promoting his latest album, Black and White America, Lenny Kravitz took time to chat to Gibson.com about his life in music. The musical genius waxes lyrical on his favorite producers, saying: "As far as ways to put albums together goes, it's Todd Rundgren, Prince and Stevie Wonder. I identify strongly with them as multi-instrumentalists. That first McCartney solo album was a huge influence as well."

As for guitars, he's clearly a Gibson man. "I own a huge number of guitars, but in the studio it always comes down to three or four," he said. "There's my late '50s Gibson Les Paul Standard. It's an amazing guitar, with beautiful-sounding PAF's. It never leaves the studio. It's on every album. I've also got a 3-pickup Les Pauls from that same era. For acoustic work, I usually play my Gibson Everly Brothers."

And regarding his musical influences from childhood, Kravitz recalls getting up close and personal with a jazz great. "Duke Ellington made a huge impression. I used to sit on his lap as he played piano. Can you imagine that?" he said. "Miles Davis, The Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Al Green, Gladys Knight and the Pips that was my foundation. I didn't even get into rock music until I moved to L.A., when I was 11. That's when I got introduced to Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, and Cream and The Who. That music, mixed with the funk and R&B and soul and gospel and jazz I had grown up with, comes out in what I do. It made me who I am." more

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