Gabriel Mekler

Last updated

Gabriel Mekler (2 December 1942 – 4 September 1977) [1] was an American songwriter, musician, and record producer who attained fame in the 1960s, helming albums for Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night, and Janis Joplin. He also collaborated with R&B singer Etta James for two critically acclaimed albums in the early 1970s, mixing blues, soul, land then topped it off with Genya Ravan production jazz and rock.

A songwriter is a professional that writes lyrics and composes musical compositions for songs. A songwriter can also be called a composer, although the latter term tends to be used mainly for individuals from the classical music genre and film scoring, but is also associated writing and composing the original musical composition or musical bed. A songwriter that writes the lyrics/words are referred to as lyricist. The pressure from the music industry to produce popular hits means that songwriting is often an activity for which the tasks are distributed between a number of people. For example, a songwriter who excels at writing lyrics might be paired with a songwriter with the task of creating original melodies. Pop songs may be written by group members from the band or by staff writers – songwriters directly employed by music publishers. Some songwriters serve as their own music publishers, while others have outside publishers.

Musician person who performs or composes music

A musician is a person who plays a musical instrument or is musically talented. Anyone who composes, conducts, or performs music is referred to as a musician. A musician who plays a musical instrument is also known as an instrumentalist.

Record producer Individual who oversees and manages the recording of an artists music

A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has many, varying roles during the recording process. They may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements.

Career

Born in Palestine, Mekler was a classically trained pianist. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, California, Mekler sought out Dunhill Records and was hired as a staff producer, despite his lack of production experience or familiarity with rock and roll and pop music. His first project at Dunhill was with folk-pop band The Lamp of Childhood, where he oversaw studio sessions, contributed songs and played piano. The group's three singles flopped but Mekler's next project, Steppenwolf, made music history. [2] It was Mekler who suggested the name "Steppenwolf" to the band's members, having just read the Hermann Hesse novel. [3] As the producer on Steppenwolf , the 1968 debut by that group, Mekler helped craft the sonic onslaught that would unleash the term "heavy metal" upon the world, a line from the brother of drummer, Jerry Edmonton, in the song, "Born to Be Wild".

Palestine (region) geographical region in the Middle East

Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia usually considered to include Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and in some definitions, parts of western Jordan.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles is often called by its initials L.A.. It is the most populous city in California; the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City; and the third most populous city in North America, after Mexico City and New York City. With an estimated population of nearly four million people, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean-like climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis.

California U.S. state in the United States

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

The mysterious Mars Bonfire was Dennis Edmonton, lead guitarist for Jack London & The Sparrows. The Oshawa, Ontario group was the beginnings of Steppenwolf and producer Mekler's contributions on psychedelic tracks such as "Born to Be Wild" and "Magic Carpet Ride". A year after the Steppenwolf recordings, Mekler launched hits from Three Dog Night such as "One", "Try a Little Tenderness", "Eli's Coming", "Easy to Be Hard", and "Celebrate". Other studio credits include keyboard work with Cher, Donovan and David Clayton-Thomas as well as producing songs for Dinah Washington. [4]

Dennis Edmonton, also known by the stage name Mars Bonfire, is a Canadian rock musician and songwriter, best known for writing the hit song "Born to Be Wild" for Steppenwolf.

Magic Carpet Ride (Steppenwolf song) 1968 single by Steppenwolf

"Magic Carpet Ride" is a rock song written by John Kay and Rushton Moreve from the Canadian-American hard rock band Steppenwolf. The song was initially released in 1968 on the album The Second. It was the lead single from that album, peaking at number three in the US, and staying in the charts for 16 weeks, longer than any other Steppenwolf song.

Three Dog Night American band

Three Dog Night is an American rock band. They formed in 1967 with founding members consisting of vocalists Danny Hutton, Cory Wells, and Chuck Negron. This lineup was soon augmented by Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards), Joe Schermie (bass), Michael Allsup (guitar), and Floyd Sneed (drums). The band registered 21 Billboard Top 40 hits between 1969 and 1975. Because Three Dog Night recorded many songs written by outside songwriters, they helped introduce mainstream audiences to writers such as Paul Williams and Hoyt Axton.

He married Dorothy J. Scully on 2 August 1967 in Los Angeles, CA, and they divorced in November, 1974 in Los Angeles, CA.

In 1971, Mekler founded his own labels, Vulture and Lizard Records, based on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Artists signed to Lizard/Vulture included Nolan Porter, Clydie King, Jamul, Paul Humphrey & the Cool Aid Chemists and The Frantics. Despite national chart success both Vulture and Lizard Records collapsed in mid 1972. [5] Mekler remained in demand for his production talent until his death, from a motorcycle accident, in September 1977.

Sunset Boulevard thoroughfare in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Los Angeles, United States

Sunset Boulevard is a boulevard in the central and western part of Los Angeles County, California that stretches from the Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades east to Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles. It is a major thoroughfare in the cities of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, as well as several districts in Los Angeles.

Mekler also produced Genya Ravan's Goldie Zelkowitz album, the title utilizing her stage name from Goldie and the Gingerbreads, and her father's last name, who died during this recording.

Genya Ravan, a.k.a. Goldie is an American rock singer and producer. She was lead singer of The Escorts, Goldie & the Gingerbreads, and Ten Wheel Drive.

Goldie & the Gingerbreads was an all-female American rock band from 1962 to 1967, consisting of three musicians and a singer. They were the first all-female rock band signed to a major record label.

Related Research Articles

Steppenwolf (band) Canadian-American rock group

Steppenwolf is a Canadian-American rock band, prominent from 1968 to 1972. The group was formed in late 1967 in Los Angeles by lead singer John Kay, keyboardist Goldy McJohn, and drummer Jerry Edmonton. Guitarist Michael Monarch and bass guitarist Rushton Moreve were recruited by notices placed in Los Angeles-area record and musical instrument stores.

Dunhill Records was started in 1964 by Lou Adler, Al Bennett, Pierre Cossette and Bobby Roberts as Dunhill Productions to release the music of Johnny Rivers on Imperial Records. It became a record label the following year and was distributed by ABC Records.

<i>Three Dog Night</i> (album) 1968 studio album by Three Dog Night

Three Dog Night is the self-titled debut album by American rock band Three Dog Night. The album was originally released by Dunhill Records on October 16, 1968. The album is known for featuring the band's top 5 hit single, "One", although it was not on the original releases of the album.

<i>Suitable for Framing</i> 1969 studio album by Three Dog Night

Suitable for Framing is the second studio album by American rock band Three Dog Night. The album was released on the Dunhill record label on June 11, 1969 and was the first of two albums released by the band that year.

<i>Captured Live at the Forum</i> 1969 live album by Three Dog Night

Captured Live at the Forum is the third album by American rock band Three Dog Night, released in 1969.

<i>Golden Bisquits</i> 1971 greatest hits album by Three Dog Night

Golden Bisquits is the sixth album by American rock band Three Dog Night, released in 1971.

Nick St. Nicholas German musician

Nick St. Nicholas is a bandleader, bass guitarist, singer and songwriter. best known for his partnership in Steppenwolf.

<i>Steppenwolf</i> (Steppenwolf album) 1968 studio album by Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf is the debut album by Canadian-American rock band Steppenwolf, released in January 1968 on ABC Dunhill Records.

<i>The Second</i> 1968 studio album by Steppenwolf

The Second is the second studio album by Canadian-American rock band Steppenwolf, released in October 1968 on ABC Dunhill Records. The album contains one of Steppenwolf's most famous songs, "Magic Carpet Ride". The background of the original ABC LP cover was a shiny "foil", in contrast to later LP issues and the modern CD sleeve.

<i>At Your Birthday Party</i> 1969 studio album by Steppenwolf

At Your Birthday Party is the third studio album by Canadian-American rock band Steppenwolf. The album was released in March 1969, by ABC Dunhill Records.

<i>Early Steppenwolf</i> 1969 live album by Steppenwolf

Early Steppenwolf is a collection of live recordings by Steppenwolf when they were still known as "The Sparrow" [nee: "The Sparrows"]. It was released in July 1969 on the ABC Dunhill Records label.

<i>Monster</i> (Steppenwolf album) 1969 studio album by Steppenwolf

Monster is the fourth studio album by Canadian-American rock band Steppenwolf. The album was released in November 1969, by ABC Dunhill Records. It was their first LP with new lead guitarist Larry Byrom instead of Michael Monarch. The album was Steppenwolf's most political album, making references to important issues at the time, such as the Vietnam War.

<i>Steppenwolf Live</i> 1970 live album by Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf Live is primarily a collection of recordings from a single concert early in 1970 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium by Steppenwolf staged in support of their 1969 album Monster. Released in April 1970 by Dunhill Records, it contains Steppenwolf's well-known hits: "Born to Be Wild", "Magic Carpet Ride" and "The Pusher", as well as most of the songs from Monster, including the top 40 hit live version of "Monster".

Richard Allen "Richie" Podolor is an American musician, record producer and songwriter. His career started as a session musician in the 1950s, and he is best known as the producer of Three Dog Night.

Ten Wheel Drive American rock band

Ten Wheel Drive was an American rock band which existed from 1968 to 1974.

James William Price is an American session musician. Price, together with Bobby Keys and Jim Horn, one of the most in demand horn session players of the 1970s. He toured extensively with The Rolling Stones from 1970 until 1973, including their 1972 American Tour, and appears on the albums, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main St. and Goats Head Soup. From September 1968 to February 1969, Price played with New Buffalo Springfield. He also toured and recorded with Delaney, Bonnie and Friends, Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen and Eric Clapton.

George Biondo American musician

George Michael Biondo was the bass guitarist of the American rock band, Steppenwolf, from April 1970 to October 1976. Though born in New York, he has been based in Southern California throughout his ongoing career as a session musician and songwriter.

The Lamp of Childhood

The Lamp of Childhood was a short-lived American folk rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1966. The band release three singles which failed to chart and disbanded in 1967, but had several notable members.

References

  1. "Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com), Find A Grave Memorial citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA". 2017-01-11. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  2. "The Lamp of Childhood". Garage Hangover. 2009-05-01. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
  3. "The Pusher – Steppenwolf | DJ Allyn – The Soundtrack for my Life". Djallyn.org. 2009-10-26. Archived from the original on 2012-11-11. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
  4. Gabriel Mekler (1969-08-19). "Gabriel Mekler - Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
  5. [ dead link ]