Behind the Scenes A to Z
By Ken Scott & Bobby Owsinski
Alfred Publishing, $24.99, 414 pages
You know the game—If you could invite five famous people to dinner. Who would it be? If you’re a music fan, you might choose George Harrison, Elton John, Dale Bozzio, Roger Hodgson, and Simon Le Bon. Or, you could just invite Ken Scott, world-renowned recording engineer, producer, and author of Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust. In this new memoir, Scott chronicles his forty-plus year career as the one of the most sought-after recording engineers in the business—as well as the musicians he’s worked with.
Scott recalls how he stumbled into an engineering career as a teenager, admits his constant fear of being fired as he learned his way around the studio while recording The Beatles, and reflects on what it was like to work with the who’s who of rock-n-roll: David Bowie, Supertramp, Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Devo…and the list goes on. In addition, he writes about his craft—the art, science, and lucky mistakes of recording music.
Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust is organized to satisfy every kind of reader. Music fans will enjoy the stories behind the records they love, and the musicians who made them. Tech heads can dig into the nitty gritty engineering details that are interspersed throughout the book—from the mics used on Yellow Brick Road to the custom consoles used at EMI. It also includes a thorough glossary, index, pictures, and discography.
Once you finish this engrossing book, you’ll be the most interesting person at your dinner party.
Reviewed by Rebecca Parsons