Sunday, January 5, 2020

Hamilton Music Producer Nick Blagona Passes

We are saddened to hear of the passing of music industry giant, Nick Blagona on January 4, 2020. The famed Hamiltonian worked with many legends such as Cat Stevens, Tom Jones, The Police, The Bee Gees, Chicago, Deep Purple, Rainbow, April Wine, Kim Mitchell, The Tea Party, and many more. He also worked with many local artists as well. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Nick left this comment on his Facebook page.
I am of sound mind and spirit and I wish to express my appreciation to Alex Andronache, Gil Moore, all the staff at Metalworks, for all the great years of mastering that they entrusted me with;
Lindsay and David at Yamaha as well as the crew in Germany for years of generosity for the STEINBERG sponsorship you afforded me. I am very grateful.
I thank every artist whoever entrusted me with their creative output and hope I did each of you proud. 
I thank my children for forgiveness I don’t deserve and for the love they felt for me, regardless.
For old dear friends who cared long after I moved on, and for those close friends who endured throughout my life.
Thank you God, for leaving me ears when all else failed me, physically, and now I take my leave. It’s January 4, 2020 at 10:55pm. MJ had to complete this tonight.
It has Been Real!
His wife Mary-Jane Russell left this note on her Facebook page.
Canadian Music Industry Recording Engineer/Producer legend and my partner of 32 years (who I married in late 2018) Nick Blagona, has died at age 74 of complications to kidney, heart and lung disease, last night, January 4th, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Nick Blagona was in fact Nicolai Nicolaiavich Blagonadegny, of Russian/Prussian heritage.
Nick Blagona is survived by me, Alex Blagona, his wife Joanne Blagona and granddaughter Lilia Blagona all of Ipswich, UK and Anna Blagona and granddaughter Mila Blagona of Toronto, Ontario Canada.
There will be no funeral, to Nick’s wishes.
However he hopes folks who cared will gather and make music together, tell stories, play tunes Nick helped record, raise a glass or smoke a wee bit of him in the Spring, close to his birthday in May, at HALO STUDIO on Augusta St. in downtown Hamilton, thanks to Marcone Music.
Nick Blagona, Uncle Nick, Big Nick, The Tone Guru lived a large life and created a Body of world-class musical output that was magic in both quality and quantity. Nick leaves a legacy so few achieve. Thank you
Media stories: 
More comments:
Here are a few reactions from social media, we will post more when we find them.

It is with profound sadness that we must announce that our beloved friend and record producer, Nick Blagona died last night. We will miss him terribly, and vow to finish the project we started together a few months ago. It was very important to him. We send our deepest condolences to his beautiful and devoted wife, Mary-Jane Russell.
Lily Sazz (Cootes Paradise)
My heart is broken over the loss of my dear friend, Nick Blagona, who died last night. I am among the lucky individuals who called him a close friend. My last visit with him on Wednesday was more than 2 hours of sharing laughter, stories, and deep thoughts of successes and regrets. My husband Paul and I will miss him terribly, and I weep as I write this. Mary-Jane Russell, his wife, showed such love and devotion throughout all of this, and I can only pray that there is some relief together with the grief, knowing that Nick is now free.
Lily also made and posted this video.

Video above courtesy of Lily Sazz
 Dale Harrison (Headstones drummer)
Sad New in Rock History today. Legendary Rock N Roll producer & Engineer Nick Blagona has passed away. RIP.
Nick; I want to thank you for the amazing music you produced through the years, your resume is nothing short of incredible. I remember meeting you in the early 90's taking on a spec project with "Paradise Alley" My first opportunity to work with one of the greats, an you where so freaking cool , Me: are we going to use a click for this track ? .... You : why is your time that bad? Ha .. yah it turned out to be a hell of a track.. thank you for that brother! Also in that time I had the privilege to meet your lovely wife MJ, you two are such an awesome couple always kind and always had encouraging things to say to me which helped me get to where I am. Gracias! Through the years we stayed in touch and kept running into each other, from Ian Gillan's Deep Purple concerts, Tea Party recordings in Metal Werks, while I was tracking with Headstones and later mastering for us. Most recent collaboration with Tommy Grasley. I wish the circumstances were different but with life comes death. You where loved by all who know you and the work you have done is timeless art that will be appreciated forever! Until we meet again brother. Love and respect .
Bill Dillon
Last words from a man last night with a recording history that others could only dream of, and many in the business of recording, with the highest credentials, hold in esteem and reverence the body of work Nick left behind, a quick look at his discography would reveal many hundreds of famous albums, artists and hit singles too long to list here, but we've All heard them thru our lives.
I worked on only two relatively small projects with Nick and throughout those short weeks the stories and experiences he would share were also the stuff dreams are made of.
Nick helped make dreams come true for soo many artists globally, it's no stretch to say he left behind a major portion of what we've come to know as the recording industry,he was a key figure in its on going success. I'll take a chance here to speak on behalf of all of us in the business around the world in wishing him God bless and thank you Nick.
Duane Rutter
Nick mixed and mastered my 2015 album Crazy Things and I was over the moon to have him do it. Not only was Nick is a legend who will be dearly missed, but he was a helluva great guy.
Mary, our family and I wish to extend our most heartfelt condolences to the wonderful Mary-Jane Russell as well as all of Nick’s family and many friends. 
Patricia Lynn (Buckshot) Bebee
Thank you Nick for giving everything you've got to our musical community. I will be forever grateful that you mixed and mastered "Merchants of Youth" and for suggesting I go on tour with Nina Haugen - lol. You got me and I was so lucky to have gotten to know your silly jokes and know that we just lost a genious! Your spirit will live on......may you rest in peace. Love Lynn. 
Nick Blagona. A LEGEND.
I was fortunate to work with Nick a number of times. He was funny and brilliant. I loved hearing his stories. His mix and mastering was both genius and magical.
Nick was a generous man. One evening he introduced me to Deep Purple in Hamilton. As we were being introduced, my friend Tom Browner and I experienced the true Love of brothers and true friends when Ian Gillian, Nick and Mary-Jane we’re reunited. You could feel the love.Looking back it was the last time they would see each other after Decades of work. Our favourite songs.
He was “The Tone Guru.”
Nick, I will miss you. Until we meet again,
Keep on ROCKIN. XO 

Blast from the Past: Nick Wins 2016 Hamilton Music Award

Links: Nick Blagona, More Nick Blagona Stories, Videos above courtesy of Bridge The Atlantic

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1 comment:

  1. Nick had a way of making people feel good. He created a positive atmosphere with his witty repartee. Oh how the man made me laugh during production of his segment of Music of the Hammer; it will be a day I remember with a smile. There's no wonder how he had such a positive impact on our world. Condolences from our family to MJ and Nick's fam.