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Brian Ray: Celeb Guitarist

He's played with a hero of his generation for 10+ years

By Paige Published about a year ago 4 min read
Paul McCartney and Brian Ray

Brian Thomas Ray Born January 4th, 1955. Is A American Session musician who has worked for both Etta James and Paul McCartney.

Brian Ray worked with Etta James for 14 years and worked with other artists afterward.

Then he became friends with Abe Laboriel Jr. The drummer for Paul McCartney's band, Abe told Brian that Paul needed a guitarist to switch between guitar and bass guitar.

Abe thought Brian was fit for the job and Brian joined Paul and the rest of his band for 2002 Pregame to the Super Bowl.

Paul liked Brian so much he let him join the band and he's worked with Paul ever since.

Brian's worked on his own solo material and has his own band the Bayonets with his friend Oliver Leiber.

He remained friends with Etta James and she helped him out with his solo work. He was devastated when Etta passed away in January 2012.

He honors her on his social media with posts of his greatest memories with the women who gave him his career.

Brian Ray currently lives in Santa Monica California and spends his off time doing interviews, working on his own music, and working with his friend Oliver in The Bayonets. A band he and Oliver started.

He also does a podcast with his friends in the music industry on Iheartradio called On Tour with Brian Ray.

He has two nephews he spends a lot of time with. He enjoys being an uncle to them and posts about their adventures often.

He grew up with two older siblings a brother and a sister.

His brother gave him his first guitar when he was nine.

His sister Jean (of folk duo Jim and Jean) helped him find his love of rock and roll music through her own record collection.

When Brian was a kid he saw, The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show and he thought it was the coolest thing.

He hoped someday he'd be able to play music for a living like The Beatles. He had no idea one day he'd get to play alongside one of them.

He started his career with Etta James in 1977 and worked with her until 1989.

He was her musical director and guitarist when he started with her he was only 19 years old.

While working with Etta. He got to work alongside other acts such as Keith Richards, Santana, Joe Crocker, and John lee hooker.

After working with Etta. Brian worked with many different people all over the world. They were only short gigs but he loved it.

In 2002 Brian was invited to play the pregame for the Super bowl with Paul McCartney.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime gig and Brian accepted it immediately. He learned Paul’s songs and worked hard to do well in his performance.

After the performance. Paul said goodnight to Abe, Rusty, Brian and told Brian he’d see him in a few weeks for rehearsal.

Brian has now worked with Paul for 10+ years.

After he started working with Paul.

Brian released some of his own music. Including the albums Mondo Magneto and This Way up.

He also released a few singles through his own record label Whooray Records. After The first Bayonets album was relased it was discrovred by Steven Van Zandt's wife who should it to Steve and he loved it. H offered Brian to sign with his record label. Wicked cool records which Brian accepted immediatly and has reasled 7 singles with Steve's record label.

Brian explained in a recent interview that working with Paul helped him be able to create the albums he could hear in his head. It helped him realize he could make his own music.

Brian also owned a dog a french bulldog named Charlie who passed away a few years ago. He posts about Charlie on his social media to honor his memory. Charlie loved playing with basketballs and watching his owner play guitar.

Brian has a huge collection of guitars. Which makes him very proud in an Interview with Gibson. He shows off his guitar collection and the pool in his backyard made to look like a Gibson guitar.

(The pool is called Les Pool.)

Brian also has his own signature guitar with the Gibson brand. A custom SG.

Brian also is a huge car collector. He collects all sorts of old cars from around the time he was born. His most favorite car that he owns is his 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham it is one of his prized possesions alongside his guitars. He's very proud of it and posts it often and even shows it off at local Santa Monica car shows.

Brian Ray in his 1958 Cadillac eldorado brougham

Brian Ray proves that dreams can come true if you work hard enough and put in the effort.

He's a very down-to-earth, friendly guy who appreciates his fans also Paul’s. He interacts with them and shows them how grateful he is.

(he interacts with the author of this article by thanking her for the support.)

Brian Ray is a wonderful man and is a fantastic guitar player.

And seeing him play alongside his hero is amazing to see and Brian shows that by working hard you can achieve anything.

Brian peforming
Charlie and Brian
Les pool
Brian and Etta
Paul, Brian, and Brian with the other band members
Paul and Bri
Brian when he worked with Etta

Brian’s custom-built SG Guitar

Charlie and Brian
Brian with his 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Guitar


About the Creator


Hi, I'm Paige and I love to read and write. I love music and dogs. I mostly will write about my favorite things like dogs and music. I've been a writer for a few years now :)

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