Legendary record producer Phil Ramone has been hospitalized in Manhattan after suffering an aortic aneurysm, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The 72-year-old Ramone was placed in critical care for the aneurysm, in which the aorta swells to 1.5 times its normal size, and runs the risk of rupturing and ultimately death.
In 2007, Ramone published his memoir, called Making Records: The Scenes Behind The Music. The book chronicles his sessions with such superstar acts as Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, and Rod Stewart, among others.
We asked Billy Joel what makes Ramone such a monster behind the boards: "There's a lot of things. He knows his stuff. He knows music -- he was a violinist when he was a child. He's worked in so many genres. I mean, he was the guy who did the sound when Marilyn Monroe sang 'Happy Birthday' to JFK -- he was the guy. I mean, that's how far back he goes. He's a fan of music. He's worked with a lot of different artists. He's just a good human being. He keeps ya interested. He keeps you in the studio when sometimes you're ready to give up."
We asked Phil Ramone about his incredible connection with Billy Joel which produced such classics as The Stranger, 52nd Street, Glass Houses, The Nylon Curtain, and An Innocent Man: "I never let him off the hook if there was something that could be better. Y'know, he trusted the hell outta me -- by expressing myself. The band had it's own craziness and the way they spoke, but we, we really spoke. We spent time after the gig. And then I wouldn't hear from him for months. (I'd) suddenly get a call, just, 'Billy.' I said, 'Yeah, I've heard of you, whaddya want?' (laughs). Y'know, you get a relationship going."
Photo Courtesy of PRPhotos.com