If you like rock'n'roll, there's a good chance you love an album produced or engineered by Andy Johns. The British-born producer, who worked on an impressive array of the genre's most legendary albums, has passed away at the age of 61, according to Billboard.biz. The cause of death wasn't clear, but Stacy Blades, a guitarist working with Johns before the producer's hospitalization last week, told Billboard that Johns had been experiencing liver problems.
Johns produced Television's 1977 punk classic Marquee Moon, along with albums by Humble Pie, Free, and others. As an engineer, he played a role on milestone records by the Rolling Stones (Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, Goats Head Soup, and It's Only Rock 'n' Roll), Led Zeppelin (from II to Physical Graffiti), Mott the Hoople, and Jethro Tull, among others. He got his start as a tape operator at London's Olympic Studios, where he helped record the Jimi Hendrix Experience's Axis Bold as Love. After a move to Los Angeles in the 1970s, he collaborated with Van Halen, Joni Mitchell, and Ozzy Osbourne, and his more recent credits include Godsmack and Chickenfoot.
Johns has producer/engineering in his family: Older brother Glyn Johns and nephew Ethan Johns work in the same field. News of the late Johns' death inspired much praise via Twitter, with former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash writing: "RIP Andy Johns. 1 of the great engineer/producers of our time; Free, Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, the list goes on. He will be sorely missed." Wrote ex-Go-Gos member Kathy Valentine, "Crank up #ExileOnMainStreet and help send his soul off to the big mixing board in the sky."
Here's Television's "Marque Moon":