- James Burton played with Elvis Presley. Now, a statue of him
as a thirtysomething stands next to the King outside his hometown's
Municipal Memorial Auditorium, where both performed.
"Yeah, it looks like me," the guitar sideman said Sunday, his
66th birthday and the last day of his new James Burton International
"The attitude. The smile. The clothes and the guitar."
Sculptor Eric Kaposta, who also made the Elvis statue, said he used old
photographs for the Burton likeness, which shows the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame member keeping time with the back of his left heel.
James Burton Statue Graces his LA hometown
Burton remembered when he first played the Municipal Auditorium, in the
"I was 14 years old playing on that stage there," he said,
gesturing toward the auditorium. "I think of the friends I've known
here and played with. It's an honor."
Jeff Cook, lead guitarist for the band Alabama and now his own band,
Jeff Cook & the Allstar Goodtime Band, said Burton helped influence
Cook was among performers at a sellout concert Saturday night in the
Municipal Auditorium. Others included Brad Paisley, Steve Wariner, Dr.
John, and Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, sons of the late Rick Nelson.
The three-day festival was created to raise money for the James Burton
Foundation, dedicated to providing musical scholarships and instruments to
children and young adults.
"James has always been a guitar hero," Cook said. "And
I've always felt he was a little ahead of his time."