Ozarks Life: David Trask’s musical journey among the greats

From Fleetwood Mac to Waylon Jennings, this Springfield man’s life revolved around music.
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 8:35 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - It looks like just another kitchen in Greene County with pictures littering the fridge. But here, a picture is worth a thousand questions.

“It’s been an interesting road for me,” David Trask said, “I’d do it all again if I could.”

David’s start with stardom happened in the early 1970s when a young band named the Ozark Mountain Daredevils tried out a few new songs at a place called Steve’s Sweetwater Inn. David was flipping burgers there at the time and liked what he saw.

“I had made the comment that if they ever needed anybody,” David joked, “to get me out of this place. So that’s how it happened.”

After a brief stint in the Daredevils crew, David made his way to LA. An old Daredevils acquaintance hooked him up with an up-and-coming band named Fleetwood Mac. As he was working his way up the ladder, David was living the dream.

“We rented a house that Shaun Cassidy ended up buying,” David recalled. “And I’m housesitting, watching the gear. And so I was there was a bag of beef jerky, laying on the table there. And so I got in that. And I ate it... all of it. So we came back on Monday to do our rehearsals, in comes Stevie (Nicks) with our little poodle. And she goes, ‘has anyone seen my dog treats?’”

David didn’t get fired for that but enjoyed more and more responsibilities with Fleetwood Mac.

In the late 1970s, the country music scene was heating up, and so David went to Nashville. He got hired on the spot by Waylon Jennings when he “said” he could tune a guitar. But that lie didn’t last too long because Waylon’s crew could tell something was off at a concert in the Astrodome.

“He said, ‘I don’t know what that guy does. But it’s obvious that he doesn’t do guitars. But he’s obviously got a lot of nerve to say that he does. So keep him around, keep him around, we’ll find something for him to do,’” David said about a member of Waylon’s group.

That eventually led to a road manager job and a two-decade-long career with Waylon and the supergroup the Highwaymen. It featured Waylon, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson.

“Oh my gosh,” David said, “if I could just go back and relive one of those nights. You know, it would, it would just be great.”

Today, those memories fill his Greene County home.

There’s a unique piece of paper in a frame that’s proof of David beating Willie Nelson in a game of dominos.

Next to that, another framed piece of paper. That one’s a break-up letter from David to Waylon Jennings, saying, he just couldn’t keep being his road manager... thing is, it was not written by David. It was just another prank played by Johnny Cash.

“John was a practical joker,” David said about Johnny Cash. “And Willie didn’t care much for that. And neither did Kris. So John kept us all on our toes.”

“My mom, when I was born,” David said, “she named me after David in the Bible. And she wanted me to be a servant, and have a servant’s heart.”

And that’s what David did for all of those years.

He also saved the day during the “We Are the World” recording. He found Bob Dylan outside the studio without his security pass. David led him past the guards who wouldn’t let him enter.

David is mostly retired now but has been working with Christian artist, Steven Curtis Chapman for almost two decades.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com