As reported by Billboard magazine: “Andy Johns, the veteran producer and engineer who worked on classic albums by Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen and many others, has died at the age of 61. The news was confirmed to Billboard.biz by guitarist Stacy Blades, who was working on an untitled project with Johns until the producer was hospitalized last week.
“No cause of death was immediately available for the British-born Johns, the younger brother and uncle, respectively, of fellow producer/engineers Glyn Johns and Ethan Johns. However, Blades said liver trouble was one reason why Johns had been hospitalized.
“Twitter quickly filled up with tributes: Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chickenfoot drummer Chad Smith wrote that Johns ‘made some of my favorite all time records,’ while former Deep Purple and Black Sabbath member Glenn Hughes tweeted ‘Larger than life-You are loved Andy.’ Former Go-Gos member Kathy Valentine’s advice was to ‘Crank up #ExileOnMainStreet and help send his soul off to the big mixing board in the sky.’
Born in Surrey and a student at the King’s School in Gloucester, Johns put aside an early ambition “to be the next greatest bass player of all time” to follow his brother into the studio world. “It looked a lot better than working,” Johns told Universal Audio. He began his career as a tape operator at London’s famed Olympic Studios, helping Eddie Kramer on sessions for the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Axis Bold as Love.”