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Archive for the ‘Engineer’ Category

Died On This Date (December 31, 2011) Jeff “Critter” Newell / Respected Studio Engineer

Posted by themusicsover on December 31, 2011

Jeff Newell
March 26, 1966 – December 31, 2011

Jeff “Critter” Newell was a self-taught recording studio engineer who first built a name for himself when he was working at the influential Chicago Trax Studio which played a pivotal role in the growth of the city’s underground industrial scene.  He eventually relocated to Studio City, California.  Over the course of his career, Newell worked on releases by the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Angels & Airwaves, Guns N’ Roses, and Blink-182.  Jeff Newell was 45 when he passed away on December 31, 2011.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Sandy Skeeter from Sound City Studios for the assist.



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Died On This Date (October 3, 2011) Davy Kirkwood / Respected Audio Engineer

Posted by themusicsover on October 3, 2011

David “Davy” Kirkwood
DOB Unknown – October 3, 2011

Davy Kirkwood was a respected Scottish audio engineer and sound mixer whose resume reads like a who’s who of rock and pop music.  After an early career that found him working as a telephone engineer, Kirkwood set his sights on music.  He first sang in a band called the Beings, but then eventually moved behind the board.  Over the years, Kirkwood worked with such musical greats as Supertramp, Motley Crue, Stevie Wonder, the Rolling Stones, Rihanna, Joss Stone, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow, Ronnie James Dio, and many more.  As reported by Roadie For Life, Davy Kirkwood, who was 63, passed away on October 3, 2011.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks Craig Rosen at Number 1 Albums for the assist.

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Died On This Date (April 19, 2011) Jim Dickson / Managed The Byrds

Posted by themusicsover on April 19, 2011

Jim Dickson
DOB Unknown – April 19, 2011

Jim Dickson was a recording engineer, producer,  and eventual manager of the Byrds.  He is often cited as one of the foundations of the ’60s folk-rock movement, particularly that which was coming out of Southern California.  During his early years, Dickson produced records by the likes of Hamilton Camp, David Crosby, and the Dillards.  He soon began managing a new band formed by Crosby and Chris Hillman who at first went by the Beefeaters and then the Jet Set.  It was their desire to become Los Angeles’ answer to the Beatles.  In 1964, Dickson was sent a demo of Bob Dylan’s then-unreleased “Mr. Tamborine Man,” which the band, now known as the Byrds, recorded and released.  It would became one of the era’s definitive songs and helped launch a sound that inspired countless other musicians.  To help the band build a following in those early days, Dickson enlisted the help of such famous friends as Jack Nicholson and Albert Grossman to champion them. After Dickson split with the group in 1967, he went on to manage and produce the Flying Burrito Brothers which included Hillman,  Michael Clarke, and Gram Parsons.  He later worked with Parsons on his solo albums as well as Gene Clark and eventually retired to Hawaii where he became a competitive sailor.  Jim Dickson was 80 when he passed away on April 19, 2011.

Thanks to Scott Miller for the assist.



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Died On This Date (April 8, 2011) Roger Nichols / Producer & Engineer

Posted by themusicsover on April 8, 2011

Roger Nichols
September 22, 1944 – April 8, 2011

Roger Nichols was a respected producer and recording engineer who over the course of his career, accumulated seven Grammys.  Most closely associated with Steely Dan, Nichols also worked with the likes of John Denver, the Beach Boys, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, and Diana Ross, to name just a few.  Raised in Southern California, Nichols went to high school with Zappa with whom he made his earliest tapes.  After graduating from college where he studied nuclear physics, Nichols first found work has a nuclear operator at the San Onofre nuclear power plant north of San Diego.  But in the mid ’60s he moved back over to music and opened his own recording studio.  In 1970, he went to work for ABC Dunhill Records where he met Walter Becker and Donald Fagen who were hired writers for the label.  Within a year, Nichols was behind the board for the birth of Becker’s and Fagen’s group, Steely Dan.  He would go on to engineer such landmark albums as their Pretzel Logic, Aja, Countdown To Ecstasy, and Gaucho.  He earned Grammys for his work on Aja, Gaucho, Two Against Nature, FM, and John Denver’s All Aboard!.  Roger Nichols was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May of 2010, and died from it on April 8, 2011.  He was 66.

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Died On This Date (March 13, 2011) Owsley Stanley / LSD Icon; Longtime Soundman for Grateful Dead

Posted by themusicsover on March 14, 2011

Augustus Owsley Stanley
January 19, 1935 – March 13, 2011

Owsley “Bear” Stanley was a sound engineer and former notorious LSD cook who was reportedly the first to manufacture large quantities of the drug.  His high-quality LSD, often given away for free, became plentiful in the San Francisco area during the mid ’60s so is credited for being an essential piece of the hippie movement.  As a respected sound engineer, Stanley was employed by (and also helped finance) the Grateful Dead.  He met members of the group during Ken Kesey’s famed acid tests of 1966 and became their first sound man.  He also co-designed their iconic “Steal Your Face” skull logo with Bob Thomas.   It was Stanley who developed the advanced high fidelity live sound system used by the Grateful Dead.  He also helped launch Meyer Sound, the respected concert sound system manufacturer.  During his years with the Grateful Dead, Stanley started the practice of taping the band’s rehearsals and live shows – this lead to the phenomenon of audience-generated tapes that spread well beyond the Dead.  He also made countless live recordings during the ’60s and ’70s of such acts as Jefferson Airplane, Miles Davis, Janis Joplin, Santana, and Johnny Cash to name just a few.   Owsley and his exploits have been documented in (or at least inspired) such songs as “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix, “Kid Charlemagne” by Steely Dan, and numerous others.  On March 13, 2011, Owsley Stanley was killed when the car he was driving swerved off a road near his home in Queensland, Australia.  The car reportedly went down an embankment and crashed into some trees killing Owsley and injuring his wife.  He was 76.



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