Jack Douglas

“I started as a janitor at the Record Plant in New York. I got a foot in the door with a hand in the toilet.”

Jack Douglas, Partner

Jack Douglas is a legendary record producer whose star-studded discography includes titles by John Lennon, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, Patti Smith, the New York Dolls, and Mick Jagger, among many others. Nearly everything Douglas touches… turns to platinum.

What started in 1969 with scrubbing toilets at a New York City recording studio evolved into an illustrious career spanning over five decades. Hired as a janitor at the renowned Record Plant, Douglas worked his way up the ranks to dubber, tape librarian, editor, and eventually engineer-producer. In the early days, he worked with Bob Dylan, Alan Ginsberg, Nina Simone, Patti Labelle, and engineered a few tracks by The Who. Then, a chance encounter over a cigarette with John Lennon ultimately led to Douglas’ producing Imagine in 1971.

Wandering into the editing room for a smoke break, Lennon stumbled into Douglas and struck up a conversation. Douglas told him about the time in 1965 that he eluded immigration and snuck off a freighter in Liverpool, to which Lennon replied in awe, “You were one of the crazy guys on the cover of all those newspapers?” then insisted that Jack work on his album. Imagine was the first of several albums Douglas would ultimately produce for Lennon, including the Grammy-winning Double Fantasy in 1981.

Catapulted into the spotlight after collaborating with Lennon, Douglas went on to share the studio with Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, Patti Smith, the New York Dolls, Blue Öyster Cult, and most extensively, Aerosmith.

Douglas engineered and produced the most iconic albums by Aerosmith, including the multi-platinum titles Get Your Wings (1974), Toys in the Attic (1975), Rocks (1976), and Draw the Line (1977). Nicknamed the “sixth member of the band,” Douglas collaborated with Aerosmith for decades.

“Jack was our George Martin,” said Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry. “He heard where we could go and took us there. He has great ears, a great sense of sound—and he knows how to deal with big personalities and stubborn musicians.” Douglas helped to shape such iconic hits such as Walk This Way, Sweet Emotion, and Back in the Saddle.

Over the years, Douglas branched out into film and television, scoring and producing countless projects, including Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi’s Personality Crises: One Night Only, about New York Dolls’ frontman David Johansen, currently streaming on Showtime.

In 2022, Douglas launched Confidential Records, with the vision of partnering 50-50 with the label’s artists. Coming full circle, one of their first signed artists was Robin Taylor Zander, son of Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander and fill-in touring musician for every member of Cheap Trick. In 2023, Confidential released Robin Taylor Zander’s debut album, The Distance, to much critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone calling him a “remarkably versatile musician…Cheap Trick’s secret weapon.”

Jack Douglas’s body of work continues to leave an indelible mark on music as we know it. Whether he’s in the studio with rock icons or cultivating the next generation of talent, Douglas continues to shape the sound of our world, one record at a time.

Jack’s Photo Gallery

Jack’s Discography