One of the great rock producers of his time, Bill Szymczyk first became interested in sound production when he worked with sonar in the Navy. After leaving the Navy, the producer drifted to New York where he took a job at Dick Charles Recording, the firm that handled all the Screen Gems demos. Being surrounded by the likes of Carole King and Gerry Goffin, it is doubtless that the merits of a good song were not lost on Szymczyk. Like many producers of the era, he worked at a four-track studio where everything was cut live and by the seat of the pants. Cutting his teeth with the likes of Quincy Jones and Jerry Ragavoy, Szymczyk thought he was ready for production and signed on to do former Electric Flag bassist Harvey Brooks' first LP. The record didn't do much to further the career of either party, but a year later, Szymczyk caught his first major break when he went to work for ABC. His first major success came when he convinced B.B. King to cut a contemporary-sounding album and the result, Live Well, made the charts. Even better the follow-up, Completely Well, spawned B.B.'s first major pop crossover, The Thrill Is Gone. The producer went on to have great success in the '70s as both an A&R man and behind the board, signing and producing the James Gang and producing several J. Geils albums, including the great party record Morning After. His biggest success, though, was the Eagles, who hired Szymczyk when they wanted more of a rock & roll sound. On the Border, One of These Nights, and Hotel California were the result, and the unprecedented chart success made both parties millions. The money allowed Szymczyk the luxury of relaxing a bit from the industry, and like many of his contemporaries, he spent much of the next two decades recovering from the drug fog of the '70s. Even in his absence, though, Szymczyk remains a class act whose work is felt through the younger producers and engineers he has inspired. ~ Steve Kurutz, Rovi

Bill Szymczyk
"Birth of a Record: Bill Szymczyk & Joe Walsh with modernator Mr. Bonzai
Bill Szymczyk Interview from Summer 1985 - Discussions about Bands and A Record Producer's Craft
Bill Szymczyk - Talks about working with B B King, The Eagles, The Who & more -Radio Broadcast 1982
Don Felder, Randy Meisner, Bill Szymczyk interview - Eagles/Hotel California
Hotel California, Bill Szymczyk and Joe Walsh, 2016 NAMM
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