Record producer and sound engineer Andy Johns has died at the age of 61.
The cause of Johns' death has not been made public, though a Billboard report quotes guitarist Stacy Blades as saying Johns was hospitalized last week for "liver trouble."
Johns began his career in 1969, when he engineered and produced the Jethro Tull album Stand Up. He went on to produce dozens of albums throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s, including albums from the band Free. During the 70s, Johns engineered some of the most well known albums from Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, including Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin III, Led Zeppelin IV, Houses of the Holy, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main St., and It's Only Rock 'n' Roll. Johns also engineered albums from Joni Mitchell and Eric Clapton.
Queen guitarist Brian May wrote a tribute to Johns on his blog:
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.
I remember him as one of the Olympic Studios team in Barnes …
playing 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.
Other rock stars have added their tributes to the internet, building the consensus that Johns was one of the best sound engineers in the world.
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.
Zeppelin, Stones engineer Andy Johns dead at 61 http://t.co/URZjwwWhjA RIP ANDY! one of the greats ive ever worked with!!
We are very sad to hear of the passing of Andy Johns. A great talent. He recorded the horns for us on 'What A... http://t.co/lSRXOtsuEc