Elliot Mazer, the legendary engineer and producer who worked on iconic albums by Neil Young, Bob Dylan, The Band, Linda Ronstadt and many others, has died at the age of 79.
As Rolling Stone reports, Mazer’s daughter Alison confirmed that he passed away in his San Francisco home on Sunday, citing that the cause of death was a heart attack. He had also been battling dementia for years.
“Elliot loved music,” his sister, Bonnie Murray, also 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.”
Born on September 5th, 1941 in New York City, Mazer cut his teeth in his twenties working at jazz label Prestige Records, where he helped deliver myriad records to various radio stations. By the end of the ’60s, however, he pivoted away from jazz to the crop of singer-songwriters that began taking over the pop culture lexicon, particularly Gordon Lightfoot and Linda Ronstadt.
After meeting Neil Young at a Nashville dinner party of all places, Mazer helped connect the bard with the band that would help him record his landmark 1972 album Harvest. The two would continue to work together on 1973’s live album Time Fades Away, 1975’s Homegrown (which only saw the light of day last year), 1983’s Everybody’s Rockin’, and the list goes on.
Beyond Young, Mazer amassed an incredible resume that included The Band’s The Last Waltz, Dead Kennedys’ Give Me Convenience, The Dream Syndicate’s Ghost Stories, and more. He also served as a consultant to Stanford University’s Computer Center for Research in Music and Acoustics, and helped develop the “D-zap” to help detect shocking hazards in the studio.
Mazer is survived by his family who has asked that all donations be made to MusiCares.