Tributes to Gus from friends and colleagues
The first time I met Gus was when I was booked at The Mill to work on what became Ice On Fire. I went over to him to introduce myself, and Gus was listening to playback of something else that they had recorded. I am pretty sure they were listening to Angeline, which ended up not making it onto that album, but was used on Leather Jackets. And he was listening to it at absolutely ear-splitting levels. I come into the control room and Gus is standing there with his immaculately pressed jeans mouthing what I could only assume were the words, “Splendid! Splendid!”…as everybody else is running for cover from the barrage of noise.
I have never, ever known anybody to press their jeans front to back. It’s hard to explain unless you meet someone like Gus, and you understand what I am talking about. He was always a stylish person, and he was always into style…but his own kind of style. What a great chap.
Gus was a truly great catalyst. There was very little I wouldn’t do for him because of his amazing attitude. I remember, during Leather Jackets, that he wanted me to do some tom-tom overdubs on Heartache All Over The World…at three o’clock in the morning! And I didn’t think twice about it. You couldn’t help but be caught up in his enthusiasm. He really was a person that galvanized the best in everybody and he got inspirational performances out of people…including Elton. I think it is very easy to underestimate Gus’s role with all of the seminal Elton stuff. He really was a pivotal part of the entire process.
When I saw him with Elton… It wasn’t manipulating, it was more just explaining to Elton how what we were going to do was going to be a really good thing, and that this was a great idea. And yet asking Elton what he wanted.