Elliot Mazer – the prolific engineer and producer who worked on records by Neil Young, the band, Linda Ronstadt and others – has died, reports Rolling Stone. He died of a heart attack at his San Francisco home on Sunday (February 7), Mazer’s daughter Allison confirmed to RS. She added that her father has been battling dementia for years. Mazer was 79 years old.
Mazer’s career as a producer dates back to the early 1960s when he was working on Dave Pike’s Bossa Nova Carnival LP and Clark Terry jazz records. As the 1960s came to an end, Mazer began working with singer-songwriters, whose style was becoming increasingly popular at the time. He formed albums with Gordon Lightfoot, outlaw country icon Jerry Jeff Walker and Linda Ronstadt before starting his collaboration with Neil Young.
Mazer first produced Young in 1972 in Harvest, one of Young’s most popular albums. It was Mazer who gathered a group of Nashville studio musicians to record the album in Nashville and at Young’s Broken Arrow Ranch barn in Redwood City, California. After Harvest, Mazer worked with Young on a number of records including the 1973 live album Time Fades Away, the long-lost Homegrown (recorded in 1975 and officially released last year), Everybody’s Rockin ‘from 1983, and more.
Mazer’s work as an engineer and producer lasted decades. In 1978 he developed the band’s legendary live album The Last Waltz. In the 80s and 90s he produced a variety of groups from Dead Kennedys to Dream Syndicate to Emmylou Harris. Mazer’s family has requested that all donations go to MusiCares.