Glenn “Spot” Lockett, producer for legendary punk label SST Records, dies aged 72

Glen "Spot" Lockett
(Image credit: Photobill/Bill Daniel via Joe Carducci/Facebook)

Influential SST Records producer and instrumentalist Glenn “Spot” Lockett, who worked with the likes of Black Flag, Minutemen and Hüsker Dü, has died at the age of 72.

News of Lockett’s death was confirmed by the label’s former co-owner Joe Carducci, who wrote a lengthy tribute on his personal Facebook page. According to Carducci, Lockett passed away at Morningside Healthcare in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, following a battle with fibrosis.

Carducci, who noted that Spot “didn’t dwell a lot on his personal history”, took the opportunity to reflect on the multi-talented musician and engineer’s life and legacy, writing, “SPOT was a musician and writer and photographer who spelled his name in all caps with a dot in the middle of the O.

“His principal sideline was as a record producer-engineer and an architect of the natural approach to recording a band in the punk era,” he continued. “When approaching the mixing board SPOT would assume an Elvis-like stance and then gesturing toward all the knobs he would say in a Louis Armstrong-like voice, ‘This is going to be gelatinous!’”

Spot was born in 1951 in Los Angeles, and began his musical journey when he started playing guitar at the age of 12. Some years later, Spot met guitarist Greg Ginn, with whom he began working as part of Panic – a band that eventually became Black Flag.

After playing bass for a brief while, Spot moved behind the studio desk and began his career as an influential producer, working for the Ginn-founded SST Records to produce Black Flag’s 1980 EP, Jealous Again.

Spot’s work on Jealous Again was followed by further Black Flag efforts Damaged (1981) and My War (1984), with the budding producer also working with other top punk talents such as Minutemen and Hüsker Dü throughout the ‘80s.

At the end of his career, Spot had helmed more than 100 records as a producer, with a number of punk’s most genre-defining records – and SST’s most well-known outputs – to his name. Standouts from his illustrious career include Hüsker Dü’s Zen Arcade, Descendents’ Milo Goes To College and The Misfits’ Die Die My Darling, as well as records from Saccharine Trust, Meat Puppets and Big Boys.

As well as a producer and musician, Spot was also a writer and photographer, having penned for L.A. newspaper Easy Reader and written his own book of photography in 2014, titled Sounds of Two Eyes Opening.

“I'll be going through his writing with an eye toward publishing a collection including his writings on jazz for the Hermosa Beach free weekly,” Carducci wrote in his Facebook post. “He spent recent years writing the novel, Decline and Fall of Alternative Civilization, and producing a radio-like dramatization of it which is online.”

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.