Joe Boyd Portait

JOE BOYD is a record and film producer.

Born in Boston in 1942, he graduated from Harvard in 1964. After university, he worked as a production and tour manager for George Wein in Europe where he traveled with Muddy Waters, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz and others; and at Newport where he supervised Bob Dylan’s electric debut. In 1966, he opened UFO, London’s psychedelic ballroom.

His first record production was four tracks by “Eric Clapton and the Powerhouse” for Elektra in 1966. He went on to produce Pink Floyd, Nick Drake, The Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention, Sandy Denny, Richard & Linda Thompson, Maria Muldaur, Toots and the Maytals, REM, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, 10,000 Maniacs, Billy Bragg, Cubanismo, Taj Mahal and many others.

As head of music for Warner Brothers Films, he organized the scoring of Deliverance, Clockwork Orange and McCabe and Mrs Miller and made Jimi Hendrix, a feature-length documentary. He later went into partnership with Don Simpson to develop film projects. He helped set up Lorne Michaels’ “Broadway Pictures” in 1979-1980, then started Hannibal Records, which he ran for 20 years. In 1988, he was Executive Producer of the feature film Scandal.

In 2006, Joe published a memoir “White Bicycles: Making Music in the Sixties”. It received high critical praise and has sold 75,000 copies world wide and has been translated into 6 languages. He has toured widely in the UK and US with Robyn Hitchcock in the show “Live and Direct from the 1960s” in which he reads and talks and Robyn sings the appropriate songs. He has also produced concerts in celebration of Nick Drake, Kate McGarrigle, Syd Barrett, Fairport Convention and the Incredible String Band. Recordings of the Drake and McGarrigle concerts were released in the first half of 2013.

Since 2016, he and his wife, Andrea Goertler, have co-produced a series of albums in the Balkans, where Andrea has been working on environmental projects and become an afficionado of the region’s music. For the first, Saz’iso’s At Least Wave Your Handkerchief At Me (Glitterbeat, 2017), co-produced with their friend Edit Pula, they assembled an all-star group of saze musicians from Southern Albania. The album won awards in the UK and Germany and the group have continued to tour across Britain and Europe. In 2020, they released Singer of Tales by Bosnia’s leading sevdah artist, Damir Imamović. Their latest production with Damir, The World and All That It Holds (Smithsonian Folkways, 2023) is a ‘soundtrack album’ to Aleksandar Hemon’s epic novel of the same name.

Joe is currently working on a book that traces the backstories to music from around the world that has delighted western ears and feet and has helped to shape western popular music. It will be published by Faber & Faber in March of 2024.