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 rogernichols.com
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!)