What becomes a legend most.
Musician & Producer Jeff Eyrich helps define it.
How do you get from Tim Buckley to Bette Midler to the Gun Club? From Air Supply to Broken Homes to John Cale?
Fluck if I know how; but I know a guy who does - Jeff Eyrich.
Jeff began his career in music like so many musicians. He moved to Los Angeles, from Long Beach, and earned his stripes gigging around LA. A chance encounter with troubadour Tim Buckley - yep, Jeff’s biological father - led to Eyrich leveling up his career by playing and touring with an artist on a major label. From there it was on to Natalie Cole, Big Joe Turner, Rick Springfield, and on and on.
Those salad days saw Jeff paying his dues as he made his living grinding away touring, and doing session work. Given the restless spirit of all artists, when touring and session work got a little tired, Jeff slid effortlessly into the producer’s chair.
His first production credit was for the upstart Geffen Records - The Plimsouls influential Everywhere At Once, containing the seminal Generation X standard “Million Miles Away.”
Not a bad way to plant your flag.
In those days, T-Bone Burnett was another talented dude kicking around Los Angeles with a record deal. And it was Jeff who produced T-Bone’s album Proof Through the Night - give that a think. And this was right before Jeff manned the boards on Gun Club’s Las Vegas Story.
Jeff’s reticence to say “no” meant he got to work with artists as varied as The Blasters and Cheech & Chong. He even dipped his toes doing movie work, producing the soundtrack for the 80s indie classic Echo Park and Gen X auteur Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Til Dawn in 1996.
As the 90s trickled into the aughts, Jeff began playing a lot of bass again. In keeping with his career, he jammed with a wild array of artists including Velvet Underground alumni John Cale.
A cool thing about Jeff and his career is that he has always embraced and championed new artists. Many of these artists were newbies to the gristle that is the music business. And despite everyone’s best efforts… well, it’s the music business, and not quite known for its TLC approach.
The story behind Jeff’s entry into managing musicians ties into another of his passions - underwater photography.
But no spoilers here, you’ll have to listen… but I promise it’s the very definition of serendipity. After a few years in the slaughterhouse of the music business, he tapped out and has stayed with playing and producing since then.
In the spirit of transparency, Jeff has played a significant role in the beginning of this podcast. You see, he produced the debut album by Broken Homes, which has been the guiding light of Abandoned Albums. You can hear him, along with Craig Ross, Jimmy Ashhurst, and Don Harvey, on our first episode.
Today, he continues to be a sought-after figure in the industry, mentoring new talent and bringing his wealth of experience to new projects. His dedication to the craft of music production and his continuous artistic evolution make him a respected, influential, and yes, legendary figure in music.
Jeff stopped by Thunderlove Studio to talk about his career and the release of his new three-volume set Rogers St. - a collection of songs that sees him exploring all of the influences throughout his career.
With this episode, Jeff Eyrich joins the “Two-Timers Club,” along with Jimmy Ashhurst, Ronie Barnett, and S.W. Lauden.
It was great to welcome him back and to chat about his incredibly expansive and diverse career. This could’ve easily been a two-parter because there was a lot we didn’t even get to talk about. So, we’ll have to save that for another time.
A big shout-out to Nathan Sage at Sage Sound Studio for hosting us.
Many thanks to Jeff for making the time to chat with us… again!