Legendary RUSH And QUEENSRŸCHE Producer PETER COLLINS Dead At 73

June 30, 2024

Legendary British record producer Peter Collins, who has worked with some of the biggest names in rock, including RUSH, QUEENSRŸCHE, BON JOVI and ALICE COOPER, has died at the age of 73.

RUSH paid tribute to Collins on Instagram, writing: "Peter Collins was our beloved producer for 4 albums. First on 'Power Windows' ('85),then 'Hold Your Fire' ('87),'Counterparts' ('93) and 'Test For Echo' ('96). We loved seeing him in Nashville when we came through on tour. He had a mischievous, beaming smile and great sense of humour. He will be so missed…. RIP Mr. Big".

RUSH bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee added in a separate post: "So sad to hear of the passing of Peter Collins. A dear, dear friend and producer of 4 different RUSH albums. During periods in the 80's and 90's we had some incredible musical adventures together, in various studios across the globe. He truly was our Mr. Big…with his ever present cigar and constant good humour. After hitting the record button, I can still hear him say 'OK boys, from the topping … no stopping!'

"We love ya B, rest in peace and thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

RUSH guitarist Alex Lifeson wrote: "Peter Collins will forever live in my memory as Mr. Big, sitting at his control centre beside a recording console with his ubiquitous tools: a legal pad, an ashtray and a Monte Cristo No. 2.

"Love you B. Farewell."

DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy wrote: " Sad to hear of the passing of legendary Producer Peter Collins. I had the honor of working with Peter making the first FLYING COLORS album back in 2011. He also Produced such classic albums as RUSH's Power Windows & Counterparts and QUEENSRŸCHE's Operation: Mindcrime & Empire among so many others…He was an absolute pleasure to work with and gave us so many great memories and hilarious expressions & quotes that we still reference to this day…(that is his voice that kicks off the 1st FC album 'standby studio and good luck') #RIPPeterCollins".

Collins had massive hits in the 1980s with Nik Kershaw, MUSICAL YOUTH, Tracey Ullman, Alvin Stardust and Gary Moore, before moving to the U.S. and also working extensively with more acoustic-based acts such as Nanci Griffith, Jewel, Shawn Mullins and the INDIGO GIRLS.

In a 2004 interview with Journal On The Art Of Record Production, Collins said about what made him want to produce in the first place: "I was a singer-songwriter in the sixties, in my teens, and I had a deal with Decca as an artist. I went in the studio and I realized in the course of making that album I wasn’t really interested in being an artist, I was interested in being in the studio and the actual process of making a record. That's what totally captivated me. It wasn't getting behind the microphone and feeding my songs into machines that was particularly of interest to me. It was the atmosphere in the studio, and the whole process of making records thrilled me. In those days, all the producers were very, very powerful people. They all smoked Cuban cigars. Everybody held them in great reverence. One of my first jobs in the business was as an assistant to the producers at the Decca studios in West Hampstead. I was able to see how they wielded power in the studio and that's what I wanted to be."

Regarding what a producer does, Collins said: "Most people don't know what a producer does. The producer is there in the studio to channel the creative energies, and focus the sometimes disparate talents that are around, into achieving a finished recording. And bring out the best in everybody and creating an atmosphere where people can be creative and free to perform to their best. Create an atmosphere where people can function and make decisions where decisions need to be made. It doesn't need to be democracy sometimes in the studio. The producer needs to show leadership and get the project from A to B in a given amount of time. And with a given budget. It's his responsibility ultimately. To be a sounding board for the artist to interface between the artist, the engineer, the label, and the A&R person. I think we have to be chameleons, we have to adapt to whatever the recording situation requires. A record producer is very similar to a movie director."

Sad to hear of the passing of legendary Producer Peter Collins. I had the honor of working with Peter making the first...

Posted by Mike Portnoy on Saturday, June 29, 2024

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