Andy Johns Dies: British Recording Legend Produced Stones, Zeppelin, Hendrix

Image: Andy Johns Dies: British Recording Legend Produced Stones, Zeppelin, Hendrix

Tuesday, 09 Apr 2013 10:29 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Famed British record producer Andy Johns was part of rock royalty with his work connected to such legends as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. Tributes have poured in for the recording engineer since his death Sunday at 61.

Funeral services were still pending Tuesday for Johns, who worked with acts as diverse of Joni Mitchell, Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne and Van Halen. Guitarist Stacey Blades told CNN that that Johns entered the hospital nearly two weeks earlier, but he was “shocked” by his death.

“Andy’s health wasn’t all that great over the last six months or so, but he was still Andy,” Blade said.

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Brian May of Queen commented on his website that Johns was a “lovely guy – patient, skilled, funny, encouraging, sharp . . . all the qualities you want in someone who is getting your music on to tape.” Guitarist Slash tweeted that Johns was “1 of the great engineers/producers of our time.”

The Hollywood Reporter noted that Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chickenfoot drummer Chad Smith wrote that Johns “made some of my favorite all time records.” Former Deep Purple and Black Sabbath member Glenn Hughes tweeted "Larger than life-You are loved Andy." Former Go-Gos band member Kathy Valentine tweeted “Crank up #ExileOnMainStreet and help send his soul off to the big mixing board in the sky.”

Johns, born in Surrey, England, was the younger brother of Olympic Studios engineer Glyn Johns and uncle of producer Ethan Johns. Johns' resume included work on the Rolling Stones albums “Sticky Fingers” and “Exile on Main Street.” His work with Led Zeppelin included the albums “Led Zeppelin II,” “Led Zeppelin IV,” and “House of the Holy.”

Johns also produced albums for Jethro Tull, Humble Pie and Television. Johns produced “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” for Van Halen, which became one of the group's most successful albums.

Last year, he produced albums for The Swayback, Sabyrtooth, and L.A. Guns. Blades, a former member of L.A. Guns, was working on a collaboration with Johns at the time of his death.

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“It was just amazing to watch him work,” Blades told CNN, “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. Andy will be sorely missed.”

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