Bob Ezrin

Last updated

Bob Ezrin
Bob Ezrin.jpg
Ezrin in 2011
Background information
Birth nameRobert Alan Ezrin
Born (1949-03-25) March 25, 1949 (age 72)
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Rock
Occupation(s)Record producer
Years active1970–present
Associated acts Kiss, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Hanoi Rocks, Phish, Deep Purple, David Gilmour, The Kings

Robert Alan Ezrin (born March 25, 1949) is a Canadian music producer and keyboardist, best known for his work with Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, Andrea Bocelli and Phish. As of 2010, Ezrin's career in music had spanned four decades and his production work continued into the 21st century, with acts such as Deftones and Thirty Seconds to Mars. [1]

Contents

Since co-founding interactive media company 7th Level in 1993, Ezrin has branched out into philanthropy, activism and being an eco-warrior, supporting several organizations and individuals fighting for the future of our planet. Music has also been introduced into this realm of his life, underpinning projects such as Music Rising and Young Artists for Haiti. [2] Ezrin is also involved in education, co-founding the Nimbus School of Recording Arts in 2009. [3] Ezrin is the winner of three Juno Awards. [4] [5] [6] In 2011, Ezrin was awarded the Special Achievement Award at the 2011 SOCAN Awards held in Toronto. [7]

Early life

Ezrin was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on March 25, 1949. He resided in the Forest Hill area of Toronto. [8]

Music and production career

As of 2014, Ezrin continues to work as a record producer, arranger and songwriter, in addition to being involved with a variety of other projects in digital media, live production, film, television, and theatrical production. [9] [10] [11]

Ezrin has worked on recordings with numerous major artists, including Phish, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Balloonatic, Deep Purple, Lou Reed, The Kings, Hanoi Rocks, Taylor Swift, Peter Gabriel, Bonham, K'naan, 2Cellos, Kristin Chenoweth, Rod Stewart, Nine Inch Nails, The Jayhawks, Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Darkness, Jane's Addiction, Dr. John, Nils Lofgren, Berlin, Kansas, Julian Lennon, Joe Bonamassa and Deftones, among many others. Ezrin also recorded the very first demos for Toronto band Max Webster. [12]

Ezrin has been described by Alice Cooper as "our George Martin". [13] Following his first ever production work on an album with Love it to Death in 1971, Ezrin embarked on a long-term collaboration that, by 1973, would see the release of the number one album, Billion Dollar Babies album, a year after the success of School's Out ; Cooper subsequently became established as one of the biggest acts in the world. [14] After the disbanding of Cooper's group, Ezrin continued his collaboration with Cooper, as the latter embarked upon a solo career. In 1975, Cooper released the Ezrin-produced album, Welcome To My Nightmare . Ezrin worked with Cooper not just as a producer, but also as a co-writer, arranger, and musician. [15]

Ezrin produced the best-selling KISS album, Destroyer , in 1976. [16] As explained by Peter Criss during an interview in the documentary, KISS: Krazy Killer (1994), Ezrin co-wrote, arranged and performed the piano accompaniment to the song "Beth". [17] Ezrin proceeded to produce two other albums with the band -- Music from "The Elder" and Revenge —and remains close to the band's members in the 21st century. [18]

Ezrin has worked with Pink Floyd on a number of occasions, co-producing the albums, The Wall , A Momentary Lapse of Reason , and The Division Bell . He has also co-written the songs "The Trial", "Signs of Life", "Learning to Fly", and "Take It Back". [12]

Ezrin also produced the 1988 Kansas album In the Spirit of Things , and received a writing credit for the song Ghosts and three other songs.

In May 2009, Ezrin co-produced The Clearwater Concert at Madison Square Garden, celebrating the 90th birthday of musician and activist, Pete Seeger. More than 50 guest artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Ben Harper, Joan Baez, Tom Morello, Ani DiFranco, Emmylou Harris, and Kris Kristofferson performed at the event. [19] Ezrin also co-produced the PBS broadcast of the event.

Since 2010, Ezrin has co-produced Peter Gabriel's album, Scratch My Back ; co-produced The House Rules, by Christian Kane; and produced singles for K'naan, the Canadian Tenors, and young pop sensation, Fefe Dobson, for her album, Joy . [20] Ezrin also reunited with Cooper, working on Cooper's Welcome 2 My Nightmare , on the corresponding live show, and numerous other related projects. [21] He also mixed several projects, including Taylor Swift's Speak Now World Tour Live CD and DVD (2011), and an album by The Darkness (2012). [22]

In 2012, Ezrin remixed the KISS 1976 Double-Platinum album, Destroyer. [23] Also, he produced albums for 2Cellos and rock legends Deep Purple. [24]

On Halloween, October 31, 2013, the band Phish debuted twelve new songs at a concert in Atlantic City, New Jersey which they announced as songs they were considering for a new album to be produced by Ezrin. The album, subsequently titled "Fuego," was recorded at Ronnie's Place and Anarchy Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, Fame Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and Phish's own "The Barn" in Burlington, Vermont. Released on June 24, 2014, this was the band's 12th studio album and first since 2009. [25]

On October 7, 2016, the Vermont rock/jam band Phish released their 13th album, the Ezrin produced Big Boat featuring the first single "Breath And Burning". [26]

Ezrin worked with Andrea Bocelli on , Bocelli's first #1 album, both in the UK and USA. [27]

Live arena

Ezrin produced a live and television extravaganza to reopen the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, US, starring Green Day and U2. [28] He also worked on an album and live opera with L'Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio in Rome, Italy. [29]

Entrepreneurship

In 1993, Ezrin co-founded a computer software company called 7th Level, [30] which developed and published educational and entertainment CD-ROMs, including a highly popular and groundbreaking series of Monty Python games. [31]

In 1999, Ezrin cofounded Enigma Digital, [32] an innovative internet radio provider, that was eventually sold to Clear Channel; Ezrin was later appointed vice-chairman of Clear Channel Interactive. [33] Ezrin was also Chairman of Live Nation Artists Recordings in 2007 and the first half of 2008.

In 2007, Ezrin joined the Board of Advisors of Tonic, an online company that describes itself as "humanity-conscious" and socially-responsible". [34]

Ezrin is also co-founder and vice chairman of Wow Unlimited Media.

Education

In 2009, Ezrin, along with Garth Richardson and Kevin Williams, [35] cofounded the Nimbus School of Recording Arts in Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), Canada. [36] Ezrin stated that his goal was to provide new engineers and producers with the hands-on teaching experience that he believed was no longer available from traditional recording studios. [37] Ezrin's educational philosophy is that modern engineers and producers need to be proficient in a range of skills [37] and that an effective education in the recording arts will also prepare a student for more general challenges in their lives and careers. [38]

Honor and recognition

Ezrin was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in April 2004 [39] and the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame in March 2006. [40]

In 2011, Ezrin and Young Artist for Haiti won the Juno Award in Canada for "Single of the Year". [41] Also in 2011, he was awarded an "Outstanding Contribution" at the Classic Rock Magazine Awards. [42] In 2013, he was honoured with a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto. [43]

Ezrin was also honored in 2013 by The Royal Conservatory of Music, [44] being named an Honorary Fellow of The Royal Conservatory. [45]

Philanthropy

Ezrin is a board member of the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation,[ citation needed ] a national initiative that supports music in US schools by donating musical instruments to under-funded music programs. He is also an Advisory Committee member of MusiCounts, the musical education initiative of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, that provides instruments to Canadian school music programs. [46]

He is co-founder, with U2's The Edge, of Music Rising, an initiative to preserve the musical culture of the Gulf coast region following the damage caused by the hurricanes and flooding of 2005. [47]

On February 18, 2010, Ezrin helped with the mobilization of the Young Artists for Haiti group. Fifty Canadian artists recorded a rendition of hip hop star K'naan's "Wavin' Flag" for the victims of the Haiti quake. [48] The song was reworked by Ezrin to include specific lyrics for Haiti, with proceeds disseminated to Free the Children, War Child Canada, and World Vision Canada. The production raised over US$2 million. [49] K'naan explained in regard to the initiation of the project: "I got a call from Randy [Lennox, president] at Universal [Music Canada] and Bob Ezrin. They had this idea that they wanted to do something lasting, that actually educates young people in Canada about Haiti and not let the fatigue of the subject wash over everybody and everybody just forget Haiti." [48]

Ezrin is a Chairman Emeritus of the Los Angeles Mentoring Partnership and a past Trustee and Governor of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). [50]

He is a board member [51] of the Smilezone Foundation. Ezrin is also a board member of In Place of War, which promotes creativity in places of conflict to create positive social change. [52]

Film and television

In 1982, Ezrin briefly appeared as the host of Enterprise, a City-TV panel show that replaced Dr. Morton Shulman's The Shulman File; he has also been a frequent interviewee for documentary films and television. [53] Ezrin has created new theatrical, television, and live events with the @Radical. Media company, based in New York, including Jay-Z's feature film, Fade to Black . [54] In 2012, Ezrin appeared in Artifact , a documentary film about the modern music business focused on the legal battle between Thirty Seconds to Mars and record label EMI.

Personal life

Ezrin is married to Janet Ezrin. [55]

Partial discography

See also

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