NEW YORK, NY—Dennis Ferrante, Grammy-winning recording engineer for the likes of John Lennon, Kiss, Hall & Oates, Lou Reed and others, died of heart failure on Saturday, June 6.
Ferrante had a history of heart trouble and had suffered numerous heart attacks in the past, to such extent that a charity concert was held for him at New York City’s Highline Ballroom in 2010 to help raise money for a heart transplant.
Nonetheless, he remained active, sharing his experiences and recording knowledge, and was a regular presence on the Beatle convention circuit. Ferrante surely had a lot to talk about; while he started his career in the 1960s as a singer in bands like Chips and Company, and The Swampseeds, he became an engineer in the 1970s, eventually earning a Best Historical Album Grammy winner for his work on 1999’s The Duke Ellington Centennial Edition—The Complete RCA Victor Recordings (1927-1973).
Over his career, he worked with The Clash, Iggy Pop, Joe Jackson, The Raspberries, The Guess Who, Cher, Alice Cooper, Wynton Marsalis, Harry Nilsson, Waylon Jennings, Chet Atkins, the 1910 Fruitgum Company and Harry Connick, Jr., in addition to mixing a posthumous album by Elvis.
His stretch working with Lennon extended to multiple albums, working on Imagine, Mind Games and Walls & Bridges. Ferrante was supposed to meet with Lennon on December 8, 1980, the night the Beatle was killed, but was running late due to a session recording The Four Tops