Legendary rock sideman Danny Kortchmar at Dreamland, Martha’s Vineyard


Rock and roll was once thought to be a passing

phase. It has turned out to be a pretty long phase and many of rock and roll’s most renowned musicians from the 1960s and 70s are still making pretty good music. Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar is one of them.

Mr. Kortchmar was a summer kid from Chilmark whose mother signed him up for guitar lessons when he was 10 or 11. “She thought I looked cute with a guitar,” he said.

In the early 1960s, he befriended another young summer teenager named James Taylor and they started making music together. Moving to New York, Mr. Taylor and Mr. Kortchmar formed a band called the Flying Machine in 1966.

Since that time Mr. Kortchmar has not only backed up James Taylor on most of his albums, but he has also worked as a studio musician in Los Angeles on many major albums in the 70s, including those of Crosby & Nash, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, and Carole King. He also formed a band with Ms. King called The City.

Mr. Kortchmar is headlining his own show for the first time on Martha’s Vineyard at Dreamland in Oak Bluffs on August 11, at 9 pm.

Bringing a “really good band” of his friends from northern Connecticut where he lives, Mr. Kortchmar said, “It will be rock and roll.” The show will highlight much of his music from throughout his career.

He was the co-writer and co-producer of most of Don Henley’s solo projects and has produced records by Neil Young, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, while continuing his session work with Linda Ronstadt, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, et al.

Mr. Kortchmar co-wrote songs with his friend Jackson Browne, most notably the “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” soundtrack hit, “Somebody’s Baby,” as well as”Shaky Town,” “Tender Is The Night,” and “Knock On Any Door.”

Mr. Kortchmar said his parents first brought him to the Vineyard from New York in 1950 when he was just a baby. Growing up, he spent most summers in Chilmark. He visits here regularly and even lived here for two years with his wife and two daughters.

“We will be rockin’ and having a ball and I hope to see my friends there. I am very excited to be playing a gig here,” he says.

Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar and Band, 9 pm, August 11, Dreamland, Oak Bluffs. $30; $45 VIP and available at ticketsmv.com or at aboveground Records in Edgartown, and at the door.