He's played with all three surviving Beatles, but in recent years, guitarist Laurence Juber has found his favorite musical partner--himself.
Juber, 40, of Studio City, has just released his second solo album, "Naked Guitar," on Beachwood Recordings, which features acoustical recordings he has composed over the last decade.
"I like the solo nature of it," said Juber, who will give a free guitar clinic Wednesday at the Guitar Center in Sherman Oaks. "I don't have to be responsible for other people. It's just me and my guitar."
Not that Juber complains about the lineup of celebrity musicians he's been associated with in the past. For three years, he was a guitarist in Paul McCartney's band, Wings, and later sang background vocals with George Harrison for the Madonna-Sean Penn film "Shanghai Surprise." He also jammed in 1981 with Ringo Starr on "Stop and Smell the Roses."
He said working with McCartney was the best musical education he could have received.
Before that, in the mid-1970s, Juber said he was so thoroughly disillusioned with the record business that he never imagined that he would make an album, "but McCartney plucked me out and that changed."
"Working with him reinforced within me a great love for making music, and I learned so much about the creative process," he said. "There was a lot of time in the studio where I wasn't playing, and I would just be observing him." (Juber bought his first guitar at age 11 the same week in 1963 that the Beatles released "I Want to Hold Your Hand.")
Juber has also worked as a session guitarist with such performers as Eric Carmen, Belinda Carlisle and Air Supply. His playing was featured on the soundtrack of the film "Dirty Dancing" and, currently, his guitar work can be heard on the scores to the ABC television shows "Roseanne" and "Home Improvement." His other album, "Solo Flight," came out in 1991.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Jon Lovitt picked a pretty good time to launch his career in radio.
Lovitt, who had written free-lance stories for USA Today, took his press pass and tape recorder and went into the middle of the violence in South-Central. He filed hourly reports for Cal State Northridge's radio station, KCSN-FM (88.5), and this spring was named Best Radio Reporter of the Year for stations with fewer than five professionals on the news staff by California-Nevada Associated Press. News Director Keith Goldstein is the only professional on the KCSN staff. The positions of producers, anchors, field reporters and writers are filled by broadcast students.
"I was lucky to break in during one of the most exciting years we've had in this area," said Lovitt, who graduated last year. "I was an absolute rookie."
Lovitt, 29, attended CSUN after trying to make it as a blues guitarist for almost a decade.
"I still play on occasion," he said. "But I found the chances of me being a superstar fading."
Lovitt was also given a second-place award for best light feature reporting for his tour of 20 coffeehouses in Los Angeles.
LONG LIVE THE LONGHORN: With mounting bills and new competition from other San Fernando Valley clubs that have switched to featuring more country music, the Longhorn Saloon in Canoga Park appeared earlier this month to be facing closure. But some longtime patrons quickly raised about $10,000, and the bar will remain open.
"I felt people would accept what had happened to us and just find a new place," said Jean Connors, co-owner of the saloon. "I didn't realize they cared so much."
Connors hopes that the club can stay open for another six months to a year and "maybe then, the other places will change their formats."
The Longhorn features live country music six nights a week, although it might be scaled down to three nights.
Connors said the club will hold a benefit at 6 p.m. June 5 to raise additional funds. Scheduled to perform is Larry Dean & the Shooters. Tickets are $12.50 in advance, $15 at the door.
Over the years, the Longhorn showcased such artists as Clint Black and Randy Travis before they hit it big.
A GOLDEN GOODBY: The Golden Theatre in Burbank will officially shut down after its May 30 performance of "Fade to Blue," according to artistic director Greg Young.
Young said he was told by the building's owners that they would have to pay double in monthly rent, from $3,000 to $6,000, or other tenants would take over the space.
"It's depressing," Young said. "A lot of work went into this. We could move into another space, but you don't buy a reputation."
Young, along with executive producer Carl White, started the theater in 1987 with a staging of "A Chorus Line," and has shown such popular standards as "Cabaret" and "West Side Story." The theater's most popular productions have been original musicals set in the fictitious "Club Indigo."