Jack Douglas (record producer)

Jack Douglas (record producer)

Jack Douglas is an influential American record producer. He was born in New York City. Starting out as folk musician and performer, he worked on Robert Kennedy's senatorial campaign as a song-writer. Douglas then moved to England and joined a succession of bands before returning to New York to attend the Institute of Audio Research as a member of its first graduating class. His first professional job was at a new recording studio Record Plant Studios, not as producer or engineer, but as the janitor. Soon he was working at the recording desk contributing to projects by Miles Davis, The James Gang, Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, Rough Cutt, Artful Dodger, Moxy, and Mountain.

A chance encounter with a group member led Douglas to engineer The Who's "Who's Next?" album. After this landmark recording he was given a chance to engineer John Lennon's classic "Imagine" album. Douglas and Lennon formed close bond and worked together for the remainder of Lennon's tragically short life.

As a Record Plant staff engineer Douglas also forged working relationships with Patti Smith, Blue Öyster Cult, the New York Dolls, Cheap Trick and most notably Aerosmith. Douglas engineered and produced Aerosmith's albums from 1974's "Get Your Wings", 1975's "Toys in the Attic", 1976's "Rocks" and 1977's "Draw the Line". His close relationship with Aerosmith extended beyond producing and engineering as Douglas was also a musical contributor to the group when they came up short of material on their projects. He was often given the nickname of "the sixth member" of Aerosmith, due to his close relationship with the band. Douglas was replaced as producer by the band for the 1979 release "Night in the Ruts", but Douglas was to again work with the group on some of their more recent material, including 2004's "Honkin' on Bobo", as well as several of Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry's solo albums. The band continues to maintain a cordial friendship with Douglas.

1978 saw Douglas work with legendary Australian group Skyhooks as executive producer on their Guilty Until Proven Insane album which included the track Women In Uniform. (later covered by Iron Maiden)

In 1980 Douglas was working as producer with Lennon on his penultimate "Double Fantasy" album (for which he won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year) and also on another Lennon album "Milk and Honey" that was to be released later but Lennon's assassination cut that project short and it was never fully realized. Douglas had lost the second meaningful working relationship he had been involved with and started to work less during the 1980s. Since then he has kept working as an engineer and producer reuniting with Aerosmith for three more albums and producings CDs for artists such as Supertramp, Clutch, Slash's Snakepit (solo-project of ex-Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash) and in 2006 the return of the New York Dolls. Douglas also teaches a studio etiquette class at Ex'pression College for Digital Arts in Emeryville California.

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