Glen “SPOT” Lockett, the foremost punk producer behind SST Records and artistic statements by the likes of Hüsker Dü and Black Flagdied at the age of 72. The influential engineer battled fibrosis before he suffered a stroke a few months ago and finally died on Saturday at a health care facility in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Former SST Records co-owner Joe Carducci announced Lockett’s death in a statement via Facebook, who shared that “his nurse told me he woke up fine but later there was no pulse and multiple attempts to revive him failed.” He noted the preferred spelling of the producer’s name “in all caps with a dot in the middle of the O” and called him “an architect of the natural method of recording a band in the punk era.”
Carducci praised Lockett for taking the “primary live jazz playing of recording bands against the constant attempts to soften or industrialize a back-to-basics sound art movement.” He also added that “in recent weeks I have been reading lists of names of his well-wishers and SPOT nods at the mention of his friends from all over the country and the world.”
Glenn Michael Lockett was born in Los Angeles on July 1, 1951 and embedded himself in the local punk scene as a journalist, musician, and photographer. After rekindling his friendship with Gren Ginn of Black Flag, “SPOT” joined the fledgling SST Records by producing the band’s 1980 EP, Jealous Again.
Over six years, Lockett contributed to the indie punk label’s ’80s heyday with genre-defining releases including Hüsker Dü’s Zen ArcadeIt’s Black Flag PROBLEMSdescendant’ Milo goes to collegeMeat Puppets’ self-titled debut and The Misfits’ Die Die My Darling. He also developed and honed new acts, directing debut albums for the Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Saint Vitus, and Saccharine Trust.
Lockett left SST in 1986 and spent the next few years writing and photographing. He published the photo book Sound of Opening Two Eyes in 2014, and released a novel, titled Decline and Fall of Alternative Civilizations, in 2019. He also revealed two full-length music projects by the end of 2022 via Bandcamp.
Reactions from former SPOT bandmates began pouring in Saturday, starting with Minutemen bassist Mike Watt’s shared via Twitter: “We just lost my old buddy spotski, a terrible blow. he recorded the first things in minutes, I’m going back with this guy.” In comments, M. Ward added that he was “thrilled to meet the man who helped create so many of my favorite recorded moments – his work will live forever.”
Elsewhere, Hüsker Dü guitarist Bob Mold thanks Lockett was “a unique soul who loved making music, documenting the scene, and unconditionally supported all projects that bore his name” and also recalled their last interaction involving the game of ping-pong in 1996.
Meanwhile, Steve Albini Praise Lockett as “the archetype recording scene man, the man we emulate and whose role we try to play.” Read more statements and memories below.
good people, lost my old friend spotski, a terrible blow. he recorded the first minutemen stuff, i’m going back with this guy. brother matt took it six years ago when spotski visited our town in pedro… man, it was a big hit. I love you spotski forever. pic.twitter.com/8Ibn0JrakQ
— mike watt (@wattfrompedro) March 4, 2023
rip spot – big heart – a beautiful mind – many years ago we talked briefly at a fIREHOSE show about music and life – happy to meet the man who helped make so many of my favorite recorded moments – his work will live forever
— M. Ward (@mwardtweeting) March 5, 2023
From 1982 to 1984, Hüsker Dü recorded four projects at SPOT. We work at Total Access in Redondo Beach CA, often with discounted hours throughout the night. SPOT always encourages free expression and experimentation, although recordings are made as quickly as possible.
— Bob Mold (@bobmouldmusic) March 5, 2023
Every music scene needs someone to document it, someone with no agenda, open mind and hot mics. SPʘT is the archetype recording scene man, the guy we all emulate and whose role we try to play. For a while there half the records I bought had his name on them.
Let him rest.🎈
— steve albini (@electricalWSOP) March 4, 2023
RIP Spot. He recorded the iconic LPs of Black Flag, Minutemen, Hüsker Dü, Descendents, Meat Puppets and the Misfits, among others. He is also a great critic, photographer and musician. But most importantly, many people love him.
(photo: Photobill/Bill Daniel) pic.twitter.com/yCIEK4qeOD
— Michael Azerrad (@michaelazerrad) March 4, 2023