AUDIO from Don Was: A Producer's Most Important Lesson

By
Rob Hochschild
November 7, 2008
Don Was takes questions from students and faculty in Berklee's Studio A.
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

Over the four decades he's worked as a record producer, Don Was has worked with artists such as Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, the B-52s, Amos Lee, Ziggy Marley, and the Rolling Stones. He won the 1994 Grammy Award for Producer of the Year and he produced a documentary about the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson. Plus, the Detroit native is coleader of Was (Not Was), a band that fuses funk, r&b, rock, soul, pop, dance music, and other styles in a seamless blend that has yielded hits like "Walk the Dinosaur" and "Spy in the House of Love."

And then, last month, he spent a week working closely with Berklee's music production and engineering majors. It was an experience that Was said will "recharge" his work as a producer.

During his time on campus, Was gave an open clinic for students, staff, and faculty; met individually with student producers; and visited several classes.

Was also granted a long, in-depth interview, during which he talked about many music-related subjects, including qualities of good producers, the state of the industry, and what it takes for bands to succeed in the studio. 

 

Listen to a 60-second clip