Rickie Lee Jones about Sal Bernardi

“I met Sal Bernardi at The Comeback Inn in Venice, California in 1975 or so. He was playing piano for a couple of comedians who played there on the weekend. I came and sat in sometimes on Tuesdays, singing ‘My Funny Valentine‘ and ‘Since I Fell.’

We wrote beautiful songs together, Traces of the Western Slopes, where he sings and plays harmonica through some effects Buzzy Feiten concocted. He deeply influenced the whole language of Pirates, with his stories about his friends, Cunt-Finger Louie, and lines like ‘sad-eyed Sinatra’ and remarks like ‘there we were with glue all over our faces.’

He is rich in language and humor, and no one meets him that is not on the floor laughing from the great story he tells. He brings much joy to a tired routine. He doesn’t spell very well, but who does these days, ahead of his time as usual.

So this is Sal Bernardi, from Lodi New Jersey, partner and friend, a cowboy in red-tinted glasses and a beret. Well, a flying cowboy. A great harmonica player and guitar player full of lovely melodies. He’s kind of a Kinks/Zombies singer. Liked the Rolling Stones more than the Beatles. Women, beautiful women love him. He never gets angry. Except that one time when a certain tour manager lost his passport on the way to Spain… but that’s another story.”

— RLJ, October 19, 2000

Click photo for an M6 Interview with Sal Bernardi
Text and photo courtesy of www.rickieleejones.com

Rickie Lee Jones and Sal Bernardi, Monte Carlo (1986)