Review of Glyn Johns’ Sound Man

Posted on 22 January 2016
By Michael Jones
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Sound Man is a memoir of one of the music’s most revered record engineers and producers Glyn Johns.

The book follows Johns from his childhood in the 1940’s to his progression from lowly sound tech to one of the world’s most in demand record producers.

Working with most if not all of the most influential bands in the 1960’s and 1970’s such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who and The Rolling Stones you would expect this book to be packed to the rafters with great stories.

But it has to be said, the book falls short on this aspect due to Johns reluctance to go in detail. Here is a man who was present at some of the seminal moments in rock music. The proverbial fly on the wall that we all wish we were and he never goes in to the juicy details. For example, he was there as The Beatles were falling apart in the studio yet he only dedicates a few pages to the story itself.

His overuse of certain phrases also means that at times you’re reminded of the episode of Alan Partridge where he speaks about his book and continually repeats the phrase, “needless to say I had the last laugh.”

It’s such a shame that a book that offers so much on the surface never breaks through it. Whether this is down to John’s loyalty to people he worked with or his actual persona we will never know. I do think it is safe to say though that had Johns handed over the reins to a skilled journalist with a background in writing music autobiographies like Barney Hoskyns, someone who could of gotten him to open up and reveal more, we could have had one of the greatest music autobiographies of all time.