John Wetton

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It was with great sadness that I received a phone call from London this morning informing me that John Wetton had passed away after a terrible battle with cancer.

Mike Stone, the producer of Asia, was not only a mentor of mine but the single biggest influence of my music production life. If it wasn’t for Mike and Asia, I simply would not have started making records.  Their direct influence drove me to the Town House (Where Mike recorded Asia’s debut)

John Wetton was a virtuoso musician with a sense and understanding of melody and harmony that can’t be taught anywhere.  He was a wordsmith with few equals. This with Geoff Downes and Mike, created the sound of the biggest selling album in the US for 1982.  An album that changed my life.

John’s legendary baritone was one of the greatest voices in the history of rock music.

It’s been an incredibly bad 12 months from the music Gods.

My thought’s go out to John’s family and particularly to Geoff Downes.

January 31. 2017

MPG And Brit Awards 2015

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The music awards season in London was a welcome break from the production shooting of my financial thriller “London Bridges Falling Down” which wrapped principal photography on site at London Fashion Week. The Producers Guild Awards were the highlight of, and the best night of the year. Gorgeous British actress Laura Bingham, the co-star of my film, was my guest for the evening and she made quite a splash. I got to introduce Laura to much of the leadership of the music industry and even got well wishes from Boy George (the first time we’ve met) who a was a really sweet guy and completely taken in by her. Paul Epworth deservedly won producer of the year again, and we got to see everyone from September Management and XL. Good to see old friends Mick Glossop, Tony Platt, Tommy D and Sue Sillitoe as well. What a night!

Photos Top: Legendary Producer’s Guild Chairman Steve Levine, Producer/writer George Glennon, Actress Laura Bingham
Next: Laura, George
Final: Laura Bingham, Producer of the year Paul Epworth, George Glennon

The Godfather Of Groove-Nile Rodgers

NILE

Nile Rodgers is THE greatest Groove Producer of all time.

Nile Rodgers is one of the greatest record producers of all time, period. He has been one of the biggest influences in my musical life since I was a teenager. Nile comes from the Miles Davis school of “It’s not what you put in, it’s what you leave out”.

When Chic hit in the late 70’s, I was blown away. Nile, Bernard Edwards, and Tony Thompson were so tight they sounded like no one else. I’m still blown away listening to those 37-year-old grooves.

Nile parlayed the massive success of Chic, along with his virtuoso guitar skills into a production career of some of the biggest albums of all time (Bowie/Madonna/Duran Duran/Michael Jackson/Diana Ross).

I couldn’t be happier for Nile recently winning three Grammy Awards for his stunning contribution to Daft Punk’s Album of the Year. The fact that his work is still relevant, and his contributions are still at the top, decades after his breakthrough is a testament to his unique and truly otherworldly musical gifts. Nile also received the 2014 MPG Inspiration Award from the Producers Guild, last Thursday night.

I first met Nile in 1986, as I was spending a great deal of time in Manhattan around the Power Station. The last I saw Nile, he couldn’t have been more generous and engaging.

Tonight Nile will perform at the 2014 Brit Awards with Pharrell, and later at the after party at the Savoy Hotel (Stunningly and long pushed for) with my favorite Aussi Doll Kylie Minogue. It should be a groundbreaking night for many reasons.

I will write more after the Brits.

Nile, Thank You For Everything You Have Given Us All, George

Brilliant photos used courtesy of Mikael Jansson and also Nile Rodgers