Producer Elliot Mazer, who recorded Neil Young’s Harvest as well as records by The Band, Linda Ronstadt, Gordon Lightfoot, The Dream Syndicate and many more, has died aged 79.
Mazer suffered a fatal heart attack at his San Francisco home on Sunday (February 7) after years of battling with dementia.
“Elliot loved music,” his sister Bonnie Murray told Rolling Stone. “He loved what he did; he was a perfectionist. Everybody has so much respect for him, and he’s been suffering for a couple years.”
Mazer started out working for jazz label Prestige in the early 1960s. After moving to Nashville, he worked on recordings by the likes of Richie Havens, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Gordon Lightfoot and Linda Ronstadt, before helping to build Quadrofonic studios where Harvest was recorded with Mazer as producer.
Mazer went on to produce Young’s 1973 live album Time Fades Away, his lost 1975 album Homegrown — which was finally released last year — as well as 1983’s Everybody’s Rockin’ and 1985’s Old Ways.
He also engineered The Band’s 1978 live album The Last Waltz, and produced The Dead Kennedys and The Dream Syndicate.
“We’re very sad today to hear about the passing of our friend Elliot Mazer,” wrote The Dream Syndicate on Facebook. “We’ll never forget the sight and rocket fuel inspiration of Elliot getting right in the studio with us, dancing and conducting and going wild as he worked to cajole the best possible takes. He made us laugh and then buckle down even harder to match his enthusiasm… He was one of a kind and we’ll miss him.”