Elliot Mazer, Producer for Neil Young, the Band + Other Rockers, Dead at 79
Mazer died at his home in San Francisco on Sunday (Feb. 7), as confirmed to Rolling Stone by his daughter, Alison. The cause of death was a heart attack, although the producer had experienced dementia for several years. Mazer's family has asked that any donations instead be made to MusiCares, the musician-assisting non-profit branch of the Grammy-conducting Recording Academy.
"Elliot loved music," his sister, Bonnie Murray, shared with Rolling Stone. "He loved what he did; he was a perfectionist. Everybody has so much respect for him, and he's been suffering for a couple years."
Mazer's best known for his hand in producing many Neil Young albums, beginning with the musician's classic 1972 studio effort, Harvest, co-produced with the artist. Mazer went on to work with Young on Time Fades Away (1973), Hawks and Doves (1980), Everybody's Rockin' (1983), Old Ways (1985), the compilations Decade (1977) and Lucky Thirteen (1993), and multiple album reissues.
But the producer's discography also includes many other albums, retrospective collections and remix projects from an array of different artists. Mazer guided the Band's seminal 1977 live album soundtrack The Last Waltz, remixed Santana's DVD audio for Supernatural (1999), produced Ronstadt's 1970 set Silk Purse and helmed a pair of late-'60s albums by Lightfoot.
More recently, he supervised 2013 reissues from Bob Dylan and the Band, The Basement Tapes (1975) and Live at Isle of Wight (1969). He remixed Switchfoot's DualDisc edition of The Beautiful Letdown (2003).
Mazer was born in New York City on Sept. 5, 1941, ultimately moving with his family to Teaneck, N.J., where he grew up. He got his start at the offices of jazz label Prestige Records before moving onto engineering and production. In the early '60s, he started his decade-spanning album-making career with credits on albums by Chubby Checker, Lightnin' Hopkins, Jack Elliott and Rufus Thomas.
Neil Young - "Heart of Gold"