RIP Legendary Recording Engineer Al Schmitt; Violet & Dave Grohl & Friends

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Rest in Peace Al Schmitt, (20x Grammy-Winning) Recording Engineer/Producer: 1930-202

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Al Schmitt (Photo:

Al Schmitt, a renowned recording producer/engineer with a litany of accolades and accomplishments over the course of his massively influential career, has died at the age of 91, it was reported by various outlets on Tuesday, noting that Schmitt passed Monday evening.

Throughout his time in music, Schmitt was the recipient of 20 Grammy Awards in recognition of his work with acts including Steely Dan, Toto, Quincy Jones, Natalie Cole, Paul McCartney, Ray Charles and many more.

Schmitt’s Facebook page was updated Tuesday with a message from his family confirming the news:

Al Schmitt’s wife Lisa, his five children, eight grandchildren, and five great grandchildren would like his friends and extended recording industry family to know that he passed away Monday afternoon, April 26. The world has lost a much loved and respected extraordinary individual, who led an extraordinary life. The most honored and awarded recording producer/engineer of all time, his parting words at any speaking engagement were, “Please be kind to all living things.” Advertisement

Loved and admired by his recording colleagues, and by the countless artists he worked with, from Jefferson Airplane, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Diana Krall, Dr. John, Natalie Cole and Jackson Browne to Bob Dylan—and so many more—Al will be sorely missed. He was a man who loved deeply, and the friendships, love and admiration he received in return enriched his life and truly mattered to him. A light has dimmed in the world, but we all learned so much from him in his time on earth, and are so very grateful to have known him.

Condolences from Modern Drummer to Al’s family and friends.

Watch Violet and Dave Grohl & Pals Krist Novoselic, Greg Kurstin & Dave Lombardo Cover X’s “Nausea” on ‘Kimmel’

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Recently, Violet Grohl and her dad, Dave Grohlshared a cover of “Nausea,” the Los Angeles punk classic from X, a new recording attached to Dave’s documentary film, What Drives Us, which will arrive on Friday, April 30 exclusively on The Coda Collection, the new music and entertainment-themed streaming service available as an add-on channel for Amazon Prime subscribers.

On Tuesday night, both generations of Grohls, accompanied by Dave’s pals Krist Novoselic, Greg Kurstin and drummer Dave Lombardo, turned up on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to play the track as an all-star ensemble — but Violet, who has made a handful of high-profile appearances with her dad’s band in recent years, was clearly the star of the show: Advertisement

Special shout-out to Violet’s The Crow t-shirt, definitely a strong touch to an otherwise epic performance.

“I wanted to record a song that would not only pay tribute to the people & music that influenced me to become a musician, but also to pay tribute to my long family history,” said Grohl in a tweet from the Foo Fighters’

In January of 2020, Violet appeared on stage with her dad and his friends at a Hollywood Palladium charity event, where she sang lead vocals on a performance of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box”:

The future is bright for Violet, that’s for sure.

As for her father, it can be increasingly dizzying to try and keep up with everything he has going on these days.

His band released an adventurous new album, Medicine at Midnight, in February, his official memoir is coming in October, he collaborated with Mick Jagger on a new song, he collaborated with his mother, Virginia, on a new docu-series, AND he the premiere of What Drives Us is right around the corner later this week.

Per a news release, What Drives Us focuses mainly on the road lifestyles of young bands Radkey and Starcrawler, but features contextual interviews with musicians of all ages and success levels, discussing the consistent narrative of their shared existences: Advertisement

“This film is my love letter to every musician that has ever jumped in an old van with their friends and left it all behind for the simple reward of playing music,” said Dave Grohl. “What started as a project to pull back the curtain on the DIY logistics of stuffing all of your friends and equipment into a small space for months on end eventually turned into an exploration of ‘why?’ What drives us?’”

WHAT DRIVES US is an homage to the moment in every musician’s life when their commitment is tested and their desire to play music for others becomes an almost irrational act of blind faith. The first step to prove to yourself and the world that you belong is to load up your instruments, your talent and your courage, and get in the van to take your music to the world — a true rock and roll rite of passage. 

The documentary is also a tribute to every young kid who dreams of a life playing music. Dave was that kid. As were Ringo Starr, The Edge, Annie Clark, Steven Tyler, Ian Mackaye and everyone in between. The list goes on forever. While they all have stories — outrageous, unbelievable, insane, as well as poignant stories — they all share a common bond. At some point, before anyone knew their name, they had an unstoppable drive to share their music with the world. Their passion led them to leave everything behind, throw caution to the wind, and chase their dream.  Advertisement