Producer/engineer Andy Johns, who famously worked on The Rolling Stones classic “Exile on Main Street” and “Led Zeppelin 4″, died on Sunday. He was 61.
Former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony commented on John’s death on his website. The pair had worked together on albums by Van Halen and Anthony’s current band, Chickenfoot.
Anthony wrote, “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.”
Johns earned his place in rock history by working on some of the most important albums and songs of the rock era.
In a video interview with GuitarShopTV, he recalled working on Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”.
“Back in those days if you spent half-an-hour doing a guitar solo, there was something wrong with you, you see. And Jimmy was getting a bit of a mental block on that. And I’m sitting there and I’m getting paranoid. I’m going, ‘Jesus, you know, there’s something weird is happening here and Pagey’s getting a bit upset.’ And I went, ‘You’re making me really paranoid.’ And he went, ‘No, you’re making me paranoid.’ And I went, ‘No, you.’ And he went, ‘No, it’s you.’ Right after that, bing. He played that solo.”
Johns is the young brother of Glyn Johns, whose credits include work with The Who, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and the Eagles. He’s also the uncle of Ethan Johns, who’s produced albums by Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon and Rufus Wainwright.
He is survived by his sons, singer-songwriter Will Johns and drummer Evan Johns of the band Hurt.