- Post by MAC
- On 24 May 2012
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by Ken Scott and Bobby Owsinski, $24.99, hardcover. Streets June 6
Ken Scott, who as probably already know, is one of only 5 main engineers that worked with The Beatles. Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust is Ken Scott's official memoir that's peppered with both provocative and humorous anecdotes and tech shop-talk to satisfy the most ardent fans and industry insiders alike.
June 6 is a significant date for music fans worldwide. It's the 50th anniversary of The Beatles first recording session at Abbey Road Studios and the 40th anniversary of the release of The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.
* National press campaign planned around 40th anniversary of Ziggy Stardust release on June 6, 2012.
* Book includes never-before-told stories of The Beatles, David Bowie and Elton John with many never-before-seen photographs.
The reason why he's a great producer is because he's true to what the band is. He made our ideas come alive and he did it in a way which made some really screwed up personalities at the time forget that stuff and do what we had to do.
-Terry Bozzio: Drummer, Missing Persons
Ken became a part of the team latterly, which over the years recorded the band to such a high standard - a standard that remains a benchmark today. I was lucky to have Ken to assist me during that period of extraordinary creativity.
I'm still your greatest admirer!
-John McLaughlin: Mahavishnu Orchestra
I credit Ken for probably one of the most thrilling recording experiences I have ever had. And all of us would agree that was probably one of the high spots of our recording achievements.
-Roger Hodgson: Supertramp
I learned to stay calm under pressure from Ken. He was always unflappable, which is a trait that he passed on to me.
The music just had a certain sophistication sonically that the other jazz records didn't. Man that was great, so I said, "I gotta have that."
Official website: <http://abbeytoziggy.com/Abbey_Road_To_Ziggy_Stardust.html>
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There’s no question that producer/engineer Ken Scott holds a unique place in music history. As one of only five engineers on The Beatles records, Ken’s work has left an indelible mark on hundreds of millions of fans with his skilled contributions to Magical Mystery Tour and The White Album. As producer of four David Bowie albums (including the seminal Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars) and two of the biggest-selling Supertramp albums (Crime of the Century and Crisis, What Crisis?), the sound Ken crafted has influenced several generations of music makers that continues to this day.
Those credits alone would be enough to set his name in the annals of music, but that’s only a brief slice of what Ken has done. He has literally worked with a who’s-who of classic rock acts, including Elton John, Pink Floyd, Procol Harum, Jeff Beck, Duran Duran, Harry Nilsson, the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, America, Devo, Kansas, The Tubes and Missing Persons, among many others. Ken has also played a big part in the world of jazz, being the first to integrate a more powerful rock sound into the genre via albums by Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy Cobham, Dixie Dregs, Jeff Beck and Stanley Clarke.
Abbey Road To Ziggy Stardust shares the intimate memories of Ken Scott about his days working with not only the biggest acts in the world, but some of the most overlooked as well. Funny, provocative, and oh, so honest, Ken pulls no punches as he tells it as he saw it, as corroborated by a host of famous and not-so famous guests who were there as well.
With enough techy “how we did it” to satisfy all but the geekiest engineers, Abbey Road To Ziggy Stardust is a book for the fans, as Ken describes his time with the stars of the day as only a insider can. Plus, you’ll be privy to several never-known-before stories and facts that will make the years worth the wait.
Chapter 1: The Early Years
In this chapter Ken looks at his childhood influences, his penchant for recording at an early age, and the steps leading to his entry into the world of music, thanks to one special girl on the telly.
Chapter 2: Abbey Road
We look at Ken’s arrival at EMI’s Abbey Road Studio and his ascension through the ultimate music recording bootcamp; the EMI training program. Along the way Ken describes the layout of the famed studio, how the training program works, how he barely avoided getting fired (twice), as well as his first meeting and first session with The Beatles.
Chapter 3: Engineering The Beatles
Ken finally becomes a full fledged engineer and his baptism of fire is with, you guessed it, The Fab Four. In this chapter Ken describes working on songs for Magical Mystery Tour and the inside story behind the making of “Hey Jude.”
Chapter 4: Recording The White Album
Never the ordeal that the press described, Ken takes us behind the scenes during the recording of The White Album and dispels many of the myths about “The Boys” during this period.
Chapter 5: The White Album Epilogue
Faced with a deadline for the first time, Ken outlines the intensity and mad rush to finish The White Album on time. Along the way he lets us in on the never-before-told secrets to songs like “Blackbird,” “Back In The USSR,” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
Chapter 6: The Boys (And Girls) In And With The Band
After being asked the “What is he really like?” question innumerable times over the years, Ken puts it all on record about The Beatles and the people around them.
Chapter 7: Engineering Other EMI Artists
EMI was more than just The Beatles, and Ken worked with all the artists that came through the studio during that period. In this chapter he relates working with Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, Procol Harem, among others.
Chapter 8: I Finally Get Fired
Despite having the #1 album in the world, Ken’s relationship with management sours and he’s fired, only to be rehired again. But the writing is on the wall as he develops his exit strategy.
Chapter 9: Trident - My New Home
Ken is hired at Trident Studios, one of the biggest independent studios in London, and immediately begins working with, you guessed it, The Beatles, on their various solo projects.
Chapter 10: The Hits Keep Rolling - Or Not
Ken begins to work with some of the cream of the music scene, taking on projects with America, Jeff Beck, Harry Nilsson, The Rolling Stones and Mott The Hoople. Along the way he writes about the Trident studio ghost, the legendary Trident consoles, and the sessions with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and The Grateful Dead that came close but never came to pass.
Chapter 11: Enter David Bowie
Ken describes his first meeting a none-too-famous David Bowie and his subsequent recording of his Man Of Words, Man Of Music and Man Who Sold The World albums. He then writes about his unforeseen entry into the world of production with Bowie’s Hunky Dory album.
Chapter 12: Elton John
Ken is thrust into the role of mixing Elton’s Madman Across The Water album, then heads to France to record Honkey Chateau.
Chapter 13:Ziggy Stardust
Even before Hunky Dory is released, Ken and Bowie begin work on Ziggy Stardust. In this chapter Ken describes the making of the album, it’s subsequent success, and Bowie’s rise to stardom.
Chapter 14: Bowie Post Ziggy
With Bowie and the Spiders riding high, Ken works on Lou Reed’s Transformer and his classic “Walk On The Wild Side,” then heads to New York to work on Bowie’s Aladdin Sane. But all is not well as cracks inside the band begin to show.
Chapter 15: The End Of The Team
Bowie disbands the Spiders then heads to France to record Pinups with Ken, but the end of an era seems inevitable. They record the little-seen 1980 Floorshow together, but Ken is left fighting for royalties with Bowie’s management, a battle that will go on for years.
Chapter 16: Elton Take 2
Ken and Elton head to France again to record Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player, then head to Jamaica for an aborted attempt at recording Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road. While in Jamaica, Ken accidentally finds out why there’s so much bass on reggae records.
Chapter 17: Jazz Fusion
Out of the blue, Ken is asked to leap genres to produce the progressive jazz of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and what becomes their seminal Birds Of Fire album. His work in the genre continues with Billy Cobham’s Spectrum, but what becomes known as Mahavishnu’s Lost Trident Sessions turn out to be an unpleasant experience.
Chapter 18: All That Jazz II
Ken’s recording technique brings a new kind of sound to progressive jazz, and he continues to work in that area on records with Billy Cobham, more Mahavishnu, and Stanley Clarke.
Chapter 19: Supertramp
Ken initially rejects an offer to work with Supertramp but later reconsiders. Crime of the Century almost never gets off the ground, but after the go-ahead from the record label, it’s decided to make this record as perfect as humanly possible.
Chapter 20: Completing Crime
Ken’s falling out with his management has him leaving the Trident fold, which means that Crime has to be completed elsewhere. The album eventually becomes a break-through hit and a model for future record production
Chapter 21: Crisis, What Crisis?
Ken and Supertramp move to sunny Los Angeles to record the follow-up to Crime, but topping a big hit isn’t always easy, nor is learning to cope with many unforeseen distractions. With Crisis, What Crisis also a success, Ken tries to come to terms with his mysterious breakup with the band.
Chapter 22: Los Angeles
Now permanently an Angeleno, Ken accidentally learns about the world of illegal substances with The Tubes, helps Kansas sort through a new lead singer and a bad contract, and enters the bizarre world of Devo.
Chapter 23: All That Jazz Yet Again
Ken continues to be in demand in the prog-jazz genre as he works on Stanley Clarke’s classic School Days and watches Stan and Billy Cobham try to outplay one another, mixes one of the first quad albums, and works with a new Jeff Beck.
Chapter 24: The Unspecified Genre
Ken talks about his time working with several bands that defy description; Happy The Man and The Dixie Dregs.
Chapter 25: Missing Persons
Through next door neighbor Frank Zappa, Ken meets the band that becomes Missing Persons. After handling their production, he agrees to professionally stretch out and become their manager.
Chapter 26: Finally, A Record Deal
After a long struggle, Missing Persons finally signs a record deal and has an epic party to celebrate, one that makes the news world-wide for the wrong reason. But the band’s first release, Spring Session M, becomes a hit.
Chapter 27: The Downfall
Ken learns a few painful management lessons, including losing the band for making it look too easy.
Chapter 28: The Downside Of The Business
You win some and you lose some in this business, as Ken records a metal band under extenuating circumstances, does a different kind of production with the funky Level 42, and dabbles yet again in management.
Chapter 29: Duran Duran
Ken enters the world of superstardom again as he records with Duran Duran and gets a “worst record ever” to go along with his many “bests” along the way.
Chapter 30: George
After 30 years, Ken reconnects with George Harrison to work on rereleasing his catalog. He moves into George’s mansion, goes on a quest for the missing tape, and sees George off one final time.
Chapter 31: The EpiK Epic
The idea for a new kind of drum sound library takes shape as Ken enrolls 5 trusted and talented friends from the past.
Chapter 32: A Look At The Big Picture
Ken answers the questions most asked of him, reminisces on the one project that got away, shares his philosophy on business, recording and life, and sees his perfect final end.