By LARRY ROHTER
After disembarking from a Los Angeles to London flight in February 1969, the recording engineer and producer Glyn Johns went straight to a studio to work with the Beatles on the album that became “Abbey Road.” That was followed by an all-night session with the Rolling Stones for the album “Let It Bleed,” after which he rejoined the Beatles, then concluded his marathon that day by recording Jimi Hendrix live at Royal Albert Hall.
That’s what life was like for Mr. Johns during one of the most fertile periods in popular music. Born in suburban London in 1942, he went to work as an apprentice sound engineer at the age of 17, when music was still recorded in monaural, and soon became the engineer of choice for the British pop groups then emerging: He was in the control room twirling the knobs the first time the Rolling Stones went into a recording studio, on a Sunday early in 1963.
Now Mr. Johns has written a memoir, “Sound Man” (Blue Rider Press), in which he explains, among other things, what a record producer actually does: guide musicians in “painting a picture in sound.” Published last month, the book offers behind-the-scene glimpses of his studio work — which in the 1970s and 1980s expanded to artists like the Eagles, the Clash, Howlin’ Wolf, Eric Clapton, John Hiatt, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt — and the working relationships he forged.