By Lisa Morgan
It was 1977 in Woodstock, New York. Music was all the buzz in the artsy little community. Kal David was a rock and roller with a fan club and quite the following of groupies. He heard about a certain female vocalist, Lauri Bono, who unlike most of the other venues during that time, was performing jazz. All the jazz artists were lining up to sit in where Lauri was playing. Kal was “very taken with Lauri’s vocal prowess and her beauty.” They first came together musically when Kal asked her to work on a demo with him. But it wasn’t long before it turned into true love. At first Lauri thought, “No way. That’s not for me.” She was aware of his fanfare and after all, he was a rock and roll guy. But, as she shared, “We are soul mates, so it worked out for the good.” For 38 years they have been the exception to the rule in an industry that seems plagued with broken homes and hearts.
They “lived in sin” for their first 12 years together, according to their parents. Finally in 1989, mostly to appease their folks, Kal got down on one knee, inside the hot tub of all places, and proposed. Lauri laughed at him thinking he couldn’t be serious. Eventually, he convinced her he was serious and she agreed. “I think it brought us closer,” she shared. “But we would have stayed together anyway.”
“Something happens when you get married and make that statement to the world,” says Kal. “I think it gets deeper. It was kind of whimsical actually.” It will be 38 years this July and Kal and Lauri are together pretty much 24/7. “Not only are we living in love together, we are working together all the time… that’s like 800 years compared to other people who leave each other to go to work,” Kal chuckles. “Music is really the thing that has totally bonded us together. We have the same musical tastes.”
“We’ve had disagreements over the years,” Lauri shared. “You’d have to be a robot to not hit any walls in your relationship. We say what’s on our minds most of the time. We talk about everything. It takes some work, but you’ve got to listen to each other. Once you get through those things, it makes you stronger.”
I asked Kal what it is like to “work on the relationship”. He answered, “You’ve got to pay attention to the signs. Fortunately, Lauri speaks her mind and doesn’t hold things in. I usually know if something’s wrong – if I’m not holding up my end. When Lauri says something, then she is right.”
“That’s why it works!” laughed Lauri when Kal said that. “Kal is really open to listening to what I have to say. We discuss everything together. We really respect each other’s opinion.”
“Musically, I’m Lauri’s biggest fan and she’s mine. We can level with each other if we don’t think the other is performing up to par. We recently worked on a project called Crossroads of My Life. Lauri very strongly suggested that we do it. We co-produced it but she was the brains behind the project. I resisted on a few songs but because I know she has my best interests at heart, I listened and agreed. It turned out to be a great project.” Crossroads of My Life was #89 of the top 100 blues CDs released in 2011 according to RMR. It was played on Sirius/XM and on over 100 stations in the US and around the world. Kal and Lauri are now in the process of writing songs for a new album.
It was obvious in hearing them share about their relationship, that there were no insecurities between them. They have protected each other from those. “For Kal and me, it was really important for us to be secure in just being together. I don’t have those fears. I’m happy when women in the audience find him attractive and love his music. Kal has always been very trustworthy and I am too.”
It is a real treat to see these two in action, so make sure you make one of these shows:
Jimi Fitz and KJJZ-FM present a special evening with Kal David & the Real Deal featuring Miss Lauri Bono, Saturday January 31st at The Gardens on El Paseo, 73-545 El Paseo, Palm Desert
Wine and Cheese at 5 pm, Concert 6-7pm
Saturday, February 21st, Kal David & the Real Deal featuring Miss Lauri Bono in Concert
The Purple Room, Reservations recommended: 760-322-4422
Kal David has taken on a new challenge recently, accepting a house gig where he performs an all- acoustic guitar show every Thursday night, from 7-10 at the Purple Room.
Kal David has a regular show every Friday night at the Hoodoo Lounge at the Hyatt in Palm Springs. He plays along to tracks from 6:30-9:30pm
You can also catch Kal on Saturdays at Escena Lounge and Grill, 5-8pm
1100 Clubhouse View Drive, Palm Springs, off Vista Chino east of Gene Autry Trail
When asked how long he’s actually been making a living making music, he replied, “I had a new years gig that went away this year, so I took it off, and decided not to worry about it. I took Lauri out, and we went to a party. We realized that I have played 47 of our past 50 New Year’s Eves, so I guess I’ve been doing this a long ass time. My last album, Crossroads of My Life, celebrates that. Lauri insisted that I make that album. She said, ‘You need to commemorate the fact that you’ve been making records for 40 years and have been playing music for 50!'”
As for what the future holds for Kal David and his talented wife Lauri? Well, one thing is certain; they show no signs of slowing down. Although, normally, Kal David is touring the states this time of year, he made the decision last year, to stay put. “It turned out to be a good idea since everywhere east was hit hard by that winter,” he quipped. “I opted to take these steady gigs here at home, sleep in my own bed and enjoy myself. We won’t be touring until spring, and we hope to go to Europe in June. We have perspective gigs there, and plans to do a new record in Bonn Germany. We have a friend with a studio and some great musicians to work with. Lauri and I love to go to Europe. We’ve been to Germany three times in the last two years. And when we go to Germany, we always go to Paris. I love Paris. We’re actually starting to get a lot of fans in Europe, which is pretty darn cool. Lauri and I kind of forced a gig to happen in Paris. We decided we wanted to play out, even though nobody knew who we were, and let people hear us. Now we’re actually growing a fan base. We’ve played big crowds during tour in Germany, and they just loved us over there. I’m telling you, Germans love the blues!”
If you love the Blues, you’re not going to hear anything finer than what this tenured soulful musician and his incredibly talented, velvet voiced bride have to offer.