Sunday, April 10, 2011

Roger Nichols passed away April 9

Roger Nichols. Photo: Gopita/Public domain
Recording engineer Roger Nichols passed away April 9 after being diagnosed with pacreatic cancer in May 2010.

He worked with Steely Dan and a number of other artists including John Denver, The Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, Crosby Stills And Nash, Roy Orbison, Cass Elliot, Toots Thielemans, Rickie Lee Jones, Kenny Loggins, Placido Domingo, Gloria Estefan, Diana Ross, Eddie Murphy, Michael McDonald and James Taylor.

Radio Dupree started with the decision to always have Steely Dan and Frank Zappa on the playlist. And Roger's engineering and mixing work with Steely Dan is completed with his connection to Frank Zappa:

From a 1993 interview from the Steely Dan fanzine Metal Leg:
I went to high school in Cucamonga, the same one Frank Zappa went to. Frank actually used to come over to my house and mess around with guitars and things.

Read the whole interview here.

For more see:
Roger Nichols on Wikipedia
Roger Nichols official site
A 1992 interview transcript

Frank Zappa would come over to my house and play guitar, and we would do multiple passes of guitars and bounce them together. And that was a lot of fun.
UPDATE April 12: And here's a nice article from Crawdaddy! Magazine.

UPDATE April 13: Obituary in the Los Angeles Times.

"The records that we did could not have been done without Roger," Steely Dan's record producer Gary Katz said Tuesday. "He was just maniacal about making the sound of the records be what we liked.... "

UPDATE April 15: Roger gets a mention on BBC:s Last Word. The segment mainly Elliott Randall and the recording of Reelin' In The Years. You can download a 13MB podcast here:
(Available for 30 days)

Regarding the Crawdaddy article liked to above: Ray commented and pointed out that it does include a factual error. The story of Roger and the mustard mentions the wrong track. It is not Rikki Don't Lose That Number from Pretzel Logic but The Boston Rag from Countdown To Ecstasy.
The whole mustard story told in Donald & Walter's liner notes to the 1999 remasters of the albums. Read it here.

We scanned and linked the Crawdaddy article a bit quick and missed that error. But Ray caught it. Thanks for the correction.

April 19: Another link supplied by Ray in the comments. This one to a 4 minute radio segment on Roger. Donald Fagen joins by phone. Link to read, listen and download here. (Thanks to Ray for the link!)


Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you guys missed the error in the Crawdaddy Roger Nichols story!


Nebukadnessar Stephenson and Sigurd Huckle said...

A bit of sloppy scan and link without really r-e-a-d-i-n-g the article in question, I'm afraid.

Glad that you pointed out the error. Post updated accordingly.

As far as those remaster liner notes go; Can we trust that the amusing read through all seven albums really is 100 percent fact?

Anonymous said...

Well two heads are better than one and you had both Donald & Walter pouring over memories, in situations where they were ACTUALLY there, so yeah I'd trust those "entertaining" liner nots a lot more than Brian Sweet's Kitty Kellish Tell-All....

Stay's 83 here....must go and enjoy the pool some more.....
Love you guys......Ray

Anonymous said...

Neb & Sig,

Great interview with Donald Fagen on Roger Nichols on NPR here in the States today! Donald recals the mustard story!

"One of the best set of ears in the business"

That pretty much says it all.
Listen & Download here:

Nice beaming picture of Roger also.