Elton Producer Gus Dudgeon Dies

Bowie, Zombies also among British producer's credits

July 23, 2002 12:00 AM ET

Producer Gus Dudgeon, who worked on recordings by Elton John, David Bowie, XTC and numerous others, died in a car accident on July 21st near Reading in western England; he was fifty-nine. Dudgeon's wife, Sheila, was also killed.

Dudgeon began his career in the mid-Sixties working at Decca Records serving as house engineer. He worked on recordings by the Small Faces, Them, as well as John Mayall's classic Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton and the Zombies hit "She's Not There."

At the end of the decade, he turned to producing, recording David Bowie's Space Oddity in 1969. That same year, he was enlisted to work with an unheard of pianist/songwriter named Elton John. A year later, John's self-titled album was released, marking the beginning of a productive stretch for the two. Dudgeon worked the boards for John's classic Seventies output, including Tumbleweed Connection, Madman Across the Water, Honky Chateau, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.

After parting ways with John (the two would reunite for a handful of albums in the mid-Eighties), Dudgeon worked with Joan Armatrading and Chris Rea, among a small handful of others in the late-Seventies and through the Eighties. In the Nineties, Dudgeon produced XTC's Nonsuch and oversaw the reissue of John's classic Seventies catalog.

"I am devastated by the tragic news," John said. "He was an incredibly talented producer and a very dear friend for many years. I will miss him terribly."

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