Andy Johns, mid-2000s, working on Platinum Samples’ Andy Johns—Classic Drums. Photo courtesy Platinum Samples.New York, NY (April 8, 2013)—British producer/engineer Andy Johns passed away Sunday at the age of 61. In the course of his 30-plus year career, Johns created much of classic rock’s core sound in the 1970s, having engineered six Led Zeppelin albums; four Rolling Stones albums, including Exile on Main Street; Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Blind Faith, Spooky Tooth, Mott The Hoople and others.
Meanwhile, as a producer, he tackled Television’s classic Marquee Moon, as well as albums by Humble Pie, Van Halen, Joe Satriani, LA Guns, Cinderella, Chickenfoot, Eric Johnson, The Steve Miller Band and many others.
Born in 1952, Johns followed in the footsteps of his older brother Glyn Johns, an engineer at the time at Olympic Studios. By the time he was 19, Andy Johns was working as a second engineer for Eddie Kramer, learning the trade as he worked on Jimi Hendrix’s Axis Bold As Love.
On his website, Queen’s Brian May recalled Johns, noting, “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 on to tape.”
“RIP Andy Johns..made some of my favorite all time records,” tweeted Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chickenfoot (the latter of which Johns produced)
On his Facebook page, another classic rock producer, Kevin Shirley, recounted, “Very sad to learn of the passing of Andy Johns today – too young to go – Andy is a bona fide legend. I met him in New York with Pat and Zoe Thrall when he was very condescending to me at Ruby Foo’s over some cold sake, but after listening to some work became somewhat of a fan (according to my friend Pat Thrall, who witnessed him listening to one of my Aerosmith mixes for hours). Andy’s legacy is huge – The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin to name a couple. R.I.P. Andy – where ever it is you go to – I know you’ll keep ’em rocking! Love and R.E.S.P.E.C.T. in boat loads…
And one of the first artists Johns worked with, Peter Frampton, then of Humble Pie, simply tweeted, “Andy Johns engineer/producer has left us way too soon. RIP.”