Steely Dan and Roy Orbison Engineer Roger Nichols Dies

04/18/2011
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(Gibson) Longtime Steely Dan engineer Roger Nichols has died, the Los Angeles Times has reported. Nichols did engineering and production work for many artists including Roy Orbison, Mark Knopfler and Al Di Meola but it was the lustrous sound he achieved on Steely Dan's albums that earned him six of his seven Grammy awards.

Nichols worked as a physicist at a nuclear power plant in the late '60s before making the transition to recording work. He started out making commercial advertisements, some of which featured Karen Carpenter on vocals and Larry Carlton on guitar, before expanding his studio operations.

In a 1993 interview with Metal Leg, Steely Dan's then-official magazine, Nichols talked about his work with Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. "No one at ABC [Records] quite knew what to make of Donald and Walter, so by default I started working with them," he said. "We hit it right off. The strive for true hi-fi was common ground with Donald and Walter. We're all perfectionists."
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