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News Flash
Sat., Aug 26, 2000
Direct bookmark: http://HyperRust.org/News/?f-Nitzsche
(updated )

Jack Nitzsche (1937-2000)

Jack Nitzsche passed away in Los Angeles Friday night at 8pm, following a heart attack said to have been related to a bronchial infection. He was 63. He's survived by his son, Jack Nitzsche, Jr.

Jack Nitzsche (in white coat) with Crazy Horse in 1971.
Photo by Joel Bernstein
Rusties know Jack as the guy who produced some of Neil's more "lush" early songs (Expecting To Fly, Emperor of Wyoming, etc) and for his work on the Harvest album. He's also remembered as keyboard man for the early Non-Neil version of Crazy Horse. Jack has been quoted as saying about those days "When I was part of the band, it wasn't Crazy Horse. I sort of took over and became the producer and made them sound much better than they actually were." (Jack wasn't known for his modesty... :-)

He also worked with innumerable artists as diverse as the Rolling Stones (he played tambourine on Sympathy For The Devil), the Neville Brothers, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Graham Parker, Leo Kottke, etc, etc.

Jack had albums of his own, the first of which was The Lonely Surfer during the early sixties. He also co-wrote the well known song Needles and Pins with Sony Bono. And more substantially, he spent part of the sixties working with Phil Spector on a range of projects for a number of well-known artists.

Perhaps his biggest honor was the Academy Award for writing Up Where We Belong for the film An Officer and a Gentleman. He also did soundtrack work on many films, including One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, The Exorcist, Blue Collar, Starman and many others.

Unfortunately Jack's last publicized attempt to work with Neil a few years ago didn't work out. According to Jack, "We talked and we played around, did stuff. I gave him what I wanted to do and he was very excited. But he came up with two songs and neither one of them have got it. I told him the truth. And that was the end of me as producer. Anyway, he's too rich to listen."

But Jack remained a family friend of Neil's extended family. He'll be missed.









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