Andy Johns Passes away
- (CNN) -- Andy Johns, the engineer and producer who
worked on albums by Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Television and Van Halen, has died, according to guitarist Stacey Blades, who was
collaborating on a project with him.
Johns, who died Sunday, was 61.
Blades noted that Johns
had entered the hospital about 10 days ago. "Andy's health wasn't all
that great over the last six months or so, but he was still Andy," he
told CNN. "When I got the call yesterday I was shocked."
Johns, the younger
brother of famed producer Glyn Johns, was the engineer for most of Led
Zeppelin's output, including "Led Zeppelin II," "Led Zeppelin IV,"
"Houses of the Holy" and "Physical Graffiti." He was known for his skill at recording a range of guitar sounds and, especially, John Bonham's
He also had a hand in the Rolling Stones' "Sticky Fingers," "Exile on Main Street" and "Goats
Head Soup," Van Halen's "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" (which he
produced) and two albums by guitarist Joe Satriani.
"Lovely guy -- patient,
skilled, funny, encouraging, sharp ... all the qualities you want in
someone who is getting your music on to tape," wrote Queen's Brian May
on his website. Queen recorded at London's Olympic Studios, where Johns
"1 of the great engineer/producers of our time," tweeted guitarist Slash.
Johns also co-produced
New York punk band Television's seminal "Marquee Moon," though the
result wasn't quite what the band was looking for. Johns went for a
booming drum sound with the sharper-edged New Yorkers, but it didn't
fit, Television's Richard Lloyd told CNN in 2003.
"If the drums were that big, it wouldn't be us," Lloyd said.
Johns did, however, grab Television's wiry, entangled guitar sound -- which Lloyd described as
"two gears in a clock" -- perfectly. The album, like many of Johns'
recordings, has since become a classic.
Johns' more recent recordings included albums by the Steve Miller Band, Chickenfoot and Sabyrtooth.
Blades, a former member of L.A. Guns, called Johns "amazing."
"It was just amazing to
watch him work, and how he would place mics in the recording room, and
his ideas while you're tracking. I learned a lot from him, he was
inspiring and taught me so much about sound and thinking outside of the
box," he said. "You always took his suggestions, because how can you
argue with a guy who produced the Stones?"
Blades and other
musicians who have worked with Johns are organizing a memorial concert
for him next month. The producer and engineer leaves behind a wife and
"Andy will be sorely
missed," said Blades. "He was a good friend, a great producer, and a
great guy. The industry will definitely mourn his loss."
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