Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. The legendary musician, who was returning home after a recording session, when was shot and killed in front of his apartment building in New York City on December 8th, 1980.
Nashville engineer Steve Marcantonio, who recently worked on hit albums including Taylor Swift’s Speak Now and Blake Shelton’s Hillbilly Bone, was one of the audio engineers on that session. He recalls, “I had just left him when he was shot. His death and life had a profound effect on me and the trajectory of my career. Working with him will always be one of the pinnacles of my career.”
Marcantonio is currently wrapping a project—which he has been working on for much of 2010—to pay tribute to Lennon and raise funds for the Nashville Engineer Relief Fund (NERF). The All We Are Saying … project will feature a collection of songs from Lennon’s solo years, sung by Nashville artists handpicked by Marcantonio.
The artists were chosen for their appreciation and passion for Lennon’s illustrious contributions to modern music history through his work with the Beatles and his solo years. Some of the artists involved include Rosanne Cash (“Look At Me”), Rodney Crowell (“Oh My Love”), Foster and Lloyd (“Crippled Inside”), Jeff Hanna and Matraca Berg (“Whatever Gets You Through the Night”) and Gretchen Peters (“Love”). The artists, studios, musicians and engineers all donated their time for this project, for which Marcantonio served as executive producer.
All We Are Saying … will be distributed worldwide by Sweetwater Sound in early 2011. One hundred percent of the profits will benefit NERF, which supports the audio engineers in the Nashville community. “I’m an engineer who was helped out during some very rough times by this fund, and I wanted to help the organization that assisted me,” Marcantonio said.
“Recording this project reminded me of why I love living and working in Nashville. It is truly about the music, and hopefully our hard work will shine through in these recordings. John had a real affinity for the sound engineer,” Marcantonio recalled. “He was really good to all of us and very respectful of us as we made records with him. He would definitely approve of this project.”