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"Melancholy, bittersweet, ghostly—these are words that come to mind when I think of Jack’s sound. But that doesn’t quite get it. It was just Jack Nitzsche music, and once you heard it, you were never the same."
—Biographer Jimmy McDonough

LEGENDARY PRODUCER, COMPOSER, ARRANGER, PERFORMER JACK NITZSCHE PASSES AWAY

Worked With Elvis, Phil Spector, Stones, Ike & Tina, Neil Young, Others
Jack Nitzsche died last Friday (8/25) of cardiac arrest, brought on by reoccuring bronchial infection at Queen of Angels hospital in Hollywood. It's no secret Nitzsche battled against drug addiction for most of the last few decades of his life.

His work spanned from Elvis Presley, Phil Spector and the Rolling Stones to the Monkees, Neil Young, the Beach Boys, James Brown and Randy Newman. He was a performer (the 1963 instrumental hit "The Lonely Surfer"), a session man (he played keyboards on the Stones classics "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadows?," "Play With Fire" and "Paint It Black"), arranger (working with Spector on "He's A Rebel" and Ike & Tina Turner's "River Deep Mountain High), a writer (co-authoring the Searchers' '64 hit, "Needles and Pins" with Sonny Bono), producer (Jackie DeShannon, Bob Lind, P.J. Proby), motion picture score composer ("The TAMI Show," "Performance," "The Exorcist" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"), Oscar winner (Best Original Song in ‘82 for co-writing "Up Where We Belong" with soon-to-be wife Buffy Sainte-Marie) and a frequent collaborator with Neil Young, arranging the strings on such records as Buffalo Springfield's '67 hit, "Expecting To Fly" and performing as a sometime member of Crazy Horse. He also drew headlines when he threatened ex-wife Carrie Snodgrass with a gun.

Jack Nitzsche, born Bernard Alfred "Jack" Nitzsche on April 22, 1937 in Chicago, IL, was one of the great unsung heroes of rock & roll. He moved to L.A. in 1955 with hopes of becoming a jazz saxophonist, but quit music school to join Specialty Records, where then-A&R exec Sonny Bono hired him as a copyist.

At the time of his death, Jack was working with Louisiana rocker Charles "C.C." Adcock and collaborating on his biography with Jimmy McDonough. He is survived by his son Jack Jr. He will be buried with a memorial service on Wednesday (8/30).

Said McDonough: "Melancholy, bittersweet, ghostly—these are words that come to mind when I think of Jack's sound. But that doesn't quite get it. It was just Jack Nitzsche music, and once you heard it, you were never the same. If Jack's name was on a record, you could count on something moving, something unique. And probably something you'd never heard before."

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