British engineer/producer Andy Johns Remembered

British engineer/producer Andy Johns, who worked on legendary albums by Led Zeppelin (including Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin IV, Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti), the Rolling Stones (Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street and Goats Head Soup), Free, Van Halen, Cinderella, Joe Satriani and more, died on Sunday, April 7. He was 61 and had been struggling with poor health due to rumored liver problems; he’d entered the hospital about 10 days prior to his passing. His death was mourned by the many artists and bands he’s inspired, who took to Twitter and Facebook to talk about his influence:

Slash (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver): “RIP Andy Johns. One of the great engineer/producers of our time; Free, Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, the list goes on. He will be sorely missed.”

Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns): “There is something intangible that makes a recording magical. Andy Johns in many cases was the intangible ingredient whether he was simply running the tape machine, placing a microphone in a kitchen or a stairwell (just for the hell of it) or he could have been the producer or mixer, or maybe just the stories he would tell during the sessions. Whatever it was that Andy brought to the table, it didn’t exactly matter because he possibly just simply had a 6th sense for making a recording undeniably comfortable to listen to. It’s simply shameful that our industry does not recognize the pain that many artists, engineers, writers, roadies — in fact, anyone involved with creating music for people that touches them for an eternity. Andy provided such a huge percentage of the music we have all heard on classic rock radio stations most of our lives. A person like Andy did not deserve to struggle in any way in his adult life as he made so many people’s lives happier because of his contributions. I do know he was too young to die. Andy was not just some producer guy, He, along with only a couple of other guys, made recordings that in music history will probably be as timeless as ‘Moonlight Sonata’ i.e. he watched and hit the record button for Jimmy Page on ‘Stairway To Heaven’. I won’t ramble more, but I am very hurt and sad that Andy Johns is dead. On a personal note, he was able to get things out of me on the L.A. Guns Waking The Dead album that I didn’t know I had inside and I will always be grateful to have known him and to have the honor of working with him.”

Michael Wilton (Queensryche): “RIP Andy Johns. Thanks for the amazing music you gave us all.”

Lita Ford: “My beloved friend has passed away! The GREAT record producer Andy Johns!!! Led Zep, Rolling Stones, many greats will miss you terribly!!!! No one was like my jolly ol’ Andy! Deepest sympathy to his wife, Annette, children and family! ANDY!!!! NO! Please come back…… :-( xoxo Lita.”

Glenn Hughes (Black Sabbath, Deep Purple): “RIP Andy Johns… Friend and producer of Hughes Thrall, engineer for the Stones, Led Zep and Free… Larger than life. You are loved, Andy.”

Stacey Blades (L.A. Guns): “My friend, my mentor and inspiration Andy Johns passed away today. A true legend in the record biz. I’ll miss you old friend.”

Juan Croucier (Ratt): “RIP legendary producer/engineer Andy Johns, an amazing talent. You’ll be missed by so many. God bless.”

Doug Aldrich (Dio, Whitesnake): “Andy Johns was a rock star. The real deal. He was a huge inspiration to me. He would be there ’till the end to make sure the song was right. RIP.”

Michael Anthony (Van Halen, Chickenfoot): “Just heard about the passing of my friend and producer, Andy Johns. Words cannot express my sadness upon hearing this. Those of us who had the pleasure of knowing and working with Andy, you know what I’m saying. I loved you, brother. Annette, you are in my thoughts and prayers.”

Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot): “RIP Andy Johns…made some of my favorite all-time records.”

Brian May (Queen): “Ouch. So sad to hear of the passing of Andy Johns…Great record producer. Lovely guy — patient, skilled, funny, encouraging, sharp…all the qualities you want in someone who is getting your music onto tape. I remember him as one of the Olympic Studios team in Barnes… laying around with varying tape speeds and early phasing with George Chiantz. He went on to become one of the very top rock producers in the world. Condolences to all the family. Andy was such a great guy. RIP”

Peter Frampton: “Andy Johns engineer/producer and longtime friend has left us and way too soon. He worked with Humble Pie on our first two albums. Better known for Led Zep and Stones’ classic albums. And Songs For A Tailor by Jack Bruce, a big fave of mine. So many other amazing sounding records were recorded/produced by Andy. My thoughts are with his family and especially his brother, Glyn. We will all miss Andy. RIP.”