John Chelew, Former McCabe's Guitar Shop Booker, Record Producer, Dies At 65
December 20, 2016 at 3:11 AM (PT)
JOHN CHELEW, noted record producer and a concert promoter who helped establish SANTA MONICA's famed McCABE'S GUITAR SHOP as a world-class venue for live music, died in NEW ORLEANS at the age of 65.
CHELEW's credits as a producer include RUTHIE FOSTER, JOHN HIATT, LOS LOBOS, DAVE VAN RONK, DONOVAN, BERT JANSCH, MARTIN CARTHY and most recently, the BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA. The LOS ANGELES native moved to NEW ORLEANS to get over his "L.A. addicition" 10 years ago.
CHELEW began doing odd jobs at McCABE's, then took over as booker in 1984 when NANCY COVEY left.
CHELEW told the L.A. TIMES in 1987, "I really feel people have to play here several times. It's a funny room to play. There's no smoking or drinking, no cash register, no waitresses walking around, nothing. I think you have to use a different kind of concentration on stage. And it takes a few times to get it right."
He got his first sole producer's credit on JOHN HIATT's 1987 album, "Bring The Family," his first for A&M RECORDS, after co-producing albums by BRITISH folk-rock group PENTANGLE and guitarist BERT JANSCH.