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All Music Guide:
Guitarist Les Dudek has played with some of rock and pop's biggest names (Stevie Nicks, Steve Miller, Dave Mason, Cher, Boz Scaggs, and the Allman Brothers Band, among others), in addition to issuing solo albums on his own. Born on August 2, 1957, in Rhode Island, Dudek began playing guitar at the age of 11 (first inspired by such pop hitmakers as Elvis Presley and the Beatles), and only three years later, would sneak into bars to play with bands. It was during his teenaged years that Dudek discovered such blues masters as Freddie, Albert, and B.B. King, as well as such then-modern day blues rockers as Paul Butterfield and Steve Miller. By the early '70s, Dudek was residing in Florida, playing in the obscure group Power, whose keyboard player was friends with the Allman Brothers' Dickey Betts. Soon a friendship was struck up between Betts and Dudek, as Betts contemplated forming a side band in addition to his Allman duties. The duo cut some demos, but the group was disbanded when work on the Allman's classic Brothers and Sisters album got underway. But Dudek was present for the recording sessions, laying down some guitar lines alongside Betts on "Ramblin' Man" and helping co-write one of the Allman's best-known songs, "Jessica" (for which Dudek also played on).
After his brief detour with the Allman Brothers, Dudek signed on with Boz Scaggs, playing with him for five years and appearing on the 1976 release Silk Degrees. Dudek became friends with one of his main guitar influences during this time, Steve Miller, leading to a co-headlining tour between Scaggs and Miller, which saw Dudek appearing with both artists each night. (Miller would subsequently record a few of Dudek's original compositions, including "Sacrifice" for his Book of Dreams release, while Dudek also played on Miller's Fly Like an Eagle album.) A planned acoustic tour with just Dudek and Miller was shelved at the last minute, as Dudek returned for a tour with Scaggs. With all this activity, Dudek still found time to sign a solo deal with Columbia Records, issuing four albums between 1976 and 1981 -- 1976's self-titled debut, 1977's Say No More, 1978's Ghost Town Parade, and 1981's Gypsy Ride -- as well as launching the DFK Band (which saw Dudek joined by keyboardist Mike Finnigan and guitarist Jim Krueger), who issued a lone, self-titled release in 1979.
Dudek also played with Cher briefly in the early '80s, as the famous singer attempted to launch a rock-based outfit, Cher & Black Rose, which failed to get off the ground due to record label turmoil. Cher launched her successful movie acting career shortly thereafter and even helped Dudek land a bit part in 1985's Mask as a boyfriend (Cher and Dudek demoed a song for the movie which has remained unissued). Dudek then guested on Stevie Nicks' 1985 release, Rock a Little, and was the guitarist on the album's ensuing tour. The '90s saw Dudek return to his blues roots, as he appeared on Steve Miller's back-to-basics release, 1993's Wide River, and issued his fifth solo release overall, 1994's Deeper Shade of Blues.
Les Dudek (born August 2, 1952, at Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island) is an American guitarist.
Les Dudek's father, Harold, was born in Campbell, Nebraska, and was a World War II veteran in the United States Navy. His mother, Alma, born in Brooklyn, was a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette. Les has one older sister, Sandy, who was born in Brooklyn. The family is of Czech, German, Italian, and Russian extraction. Six years after Les was born, his father retired from the Navy and the family moved to Florida where he grew up.
The Beatles caught Les’ ear at an early age. In 1962, at the age of ten, Les asked his parents for a guitar for Christmas. They bought him an acoustic guitar from Sears & Roebuck. His musical influences, along with The Beatles, were Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and The Ventures. He had built quite a reputation around the Florida area as a proficient guitar player, having started playing in local bands as a teenager. Those bands were "The United Sounds", "Blue Truth" and "Power". That reputation would place him in the studio with the Allman Brothers Band for the recording of the Brothers & Sisters album. He played guitar harmonies with Dickey Betts on the well-known song "Ramblin' Man" and acoustic guitar on "Jessica". Dudek claims he should have received credit for Jessica. In the book "One Way Out," Dudek claims to have written the part in Jessica from when it modulates into G then eventually back to A.
His next stops were as a guitarist for Boz Scaggs and The Steve Miller Band. Dudek was invited to play in a supergroup called Journey but he had received an offer to record for Columbia Records as a solo artist. He recorded four solo albums for Columbia Records, "Les Dudek" (Debut), "Say No More", "Ghost Town Parade" and "Gypsy Ride". His work was praised by the critics but widespread fame and success eluded him. He had two minor hits with “City Magic” and “Old Judge Jones” which were played frequently on local radio stations in the Los Angeles, California area, where he lived at the time, having moved to West Hollywood in the mid-1970s.
He later collaborated with Cher, Stevie Nicks, and with two other Columbia Artists, Mike Finnegan and Jim Krueger, with whom he formed DFK (Dudek, Finnegan, and Krueger) in 1978. A DFK album was released by Columbia Records a year later.
Between the years 1979 and 1982, Les and Cher had a personal as well as professional relationship. Dudek wrote and performed some of the music for the 1984 movie Mask starring Cher, Sam Elliott, Eric Stoltz, and Laura Dern. He had a small part in the film as "Bone", a biker. He has worked for NBC, ABC, ESPN, Fox Sports, and E! Entertainment Television. He can be heard on many television series including Friends.
In 1989, he did a brief stint with Canadian rock group John Kay & Steppenwolf as their guitarist. But problems developed between Dudek and Kay which led to him leave the band after a month of touring.
1991 Les played guitar with Stevie Nicks on her "Whole Lot Of Trouble" tour.
Two more solo Cds later, "Deeper Shades Of Blues" and "Freestyle", Dudek hit the road again with his own band, and has been performing songs from all his records, plus a few hits he's recorded with other artists.
Finally in 2013 he releases another album "Delta Breeze"."Les Dudek". Les Dudek. Retrieved 2014-07-18. "Biography". Lesdudek.com. 1971-10-29. Retrieved 2014-07-18.