His wasn't a household name, but those who read album credits and attend shows knew Joe Lala as one of the most prolific sidemen in rock and pop music.
The percussionist died on Tuesday (March 18) at age 66 in Miami following a battle with lung cancer. Lala was best known for his work with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the Bee Gees, and he was also part of Stephen Stills' Manassas and played regularly in Joe Walsh`s bands.
He played on the Blues Image's 1970 hit "Ride Captain Ride" and also worked with the Allman Brothers Band, Rod Stewart, Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Ringo Starr, Jackson Browne, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, the Byrds, Pocos and scores of others.
Graham Nash told the Tampa Tribute that Lala was "a good-hearted man and has a great sense of humor," while Stills' former road manager Michael Garcia told the newspaper that, "Stephen Stills is one of the most demanding musicians I have ever known and he would ask specifically for Joe. That alone speaks volumes about Joe's talent."
Lala, a Tampa native, had to stop playing music due to carpal tunnel syndrome, but he began acting and appeared in films such as "Havana," "Ali: An American Hero," "For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story," "Out For Justice" and many more.