ROB FRABONI (producer)

Rob Fraboni

Born 23 April 1951
Genres Rock, Blues, Reggae, Folk music, Roots reggae, Jazz, World music
Occupation(s) Producer/Audio Engineer
Instruments Drums/percussion
Years active 1970 – present
Labels Island Records, Elektra Records, Warner Bros. Records, Arista Records, RSO Records

Rob Fraboni (born 23 April 1951) is a California-born record producer and audio engineer well known for his work with Bob Dylan, The Band, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Tim Hardin, The Beach Boys, Joe Cocker, and Bonnie Raitt, and as Vice President at Island Records where he oversaw the remastering of the entire Bob Marley catalog. He produced the soundtrack on Martin Scorsese’s groundbreaking concert movie, The Last Waltz, which included an all-star cast of famous rock and roll performers. He built and designed the legendary Shangri-La studios in Malibu to the specification of Bob Dylan and the Band. Referred to as a “genius” by Keith Richards in his bestselling autobiography Life.

As a young teenager in southern California, the future grammy winner hitchhiked to Hollywood and sat in on recording sessions with Phil Spector at Gold Star Studios. He moved to New York City in 1971 and studied under Al Grundy at the Institute for Audio Research. From there he began working with Herb Abramson A-1 studios and recorded artists such as Dave “Baby” Cortez and Michael Brown. He then went on to work at the Record Plant with engineers Chris Stone, Roy Cicala, Jack Adams, Shelly Yakus, Tom Flye, Jack Douglas, Jimmy Iovine, and Dennis Ferrante. While at the Record Plant he worked with such luminaries as Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles, Eric Carmen’s the Raspberries, and John Lennon.

In 1972 Fraboni moved back to California and was hired as a maintenance engineer at The Village Recorder but was quickly promoted to chief engineer by owner Geordie Hormel. There he engineered “Sail On, Sailor” for The Beach Boys and mixed half of the Holland record, which would be his first album that made it on the charts.

After leaving Island just prior to its sale to Polygram, he worked with Phoebe Snow and Wendy Wall. Fraboni started Domino Records in the early ’90s, which released recordings by Alvin Lee, John Mooney, Cowboy Mouth, and Rusty Kershaw. With new backing for Ardeo Records in the mid-’90s, he released Ivan Neville’s Thanks, Gary Nicholson’s The Sky’s Not the Limit, and Bellevue Cadillac’s Black and White. He produced John Mooney again for the House of Blues release Against the Wall. At Keith Richards’ home in Jamaica during Thanksgiving 1995, he and Richards co-produced some of the only nyahbinghi recordings ever made outdoors. Keith’s label, Mindless Records released these as The Wingless Angels. He also produced Keith Richards’ material on the Rolling Stone’s Bridges to Babylon in 1997 as well as served as a sound consultant on the subsequent tour. Fraboni launched his QRS Entertainment in 2003 with About Them Shoes, a recording by Hubert Sumlin which features appearances by Clapton, Keith Richards, and others. The label also has music by Nick Tremulis, Sir Mack Rice, Sean Walshe, and Blondie Chaplin.

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