The death of legendary - and genuinely kinked-up - record producer Huey P. Meaux is a time of mixed emotions for SugarHill Studios co-owner and chief engineer Andy Bradley. Bradley began working with Meaux in 1984 and eventually bought the studios with a group of investors.
"Like so many people, Huey gave me maybe the biggest break I ever had when he accepted my proposal to come work for him, and we did some cool stuff," says Bradley, "But on the other hand, I've never forgiven him for the pedophile business."
Bradley is referring to Meaux's 1996 arrest and conviction for sex and drug crimes. Like a lot of engineers, he isn't prone to much hyperbole.
"Huey was just good at what he did," says Bradley matter-of-factly. "And so many people owe him their starts or their careers, people like Archie Bell, Roy Head, Freddy Fender. Whatever he may have done, Huey helped a lot of people."
Bradley also recalls nuggets of wisdom he picked up from his former mentor.
"We'd be having a cup of coffee before a session would start and Huey would always say, 'After the song, the next most important thing on a record is the promoter.' And as much as I might've wished that it was the singer or the sidemen or technicians, Huey was essentially right. And he was a fabulous promoter."
"But I think his rarest gift was his ability to hear a hit song."