|Born||Walthamstow, London, England|
|Genres||Rock, pop, jazz, jazz fusion, heavy metal, death metal, Industrial,|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, record producer, mixing engineer, recording engineer|
|Instruments||Guitar and keyboards|
Born to a musical family, Kernon's formal musical training began at the age of 4, when he started classical piano lessons, and at the age of 7 he took up classical guitar. At the age of 17, after leaving school, he got a job at Trident Studios in London as a tea boy.
After six months he was promoted to tape op, and after that to assistant engineer / engineer. Working at Trident was a great opportunity for him to learn from some of the top producers and engineers in the business, and also to have the opportunity to work in various different capacities on albums by artists as varied as Elton John, David Bowie, Thin Lizzy, Neil Sedaka, Marc Bolan, Yes, Jimmy Webb, Ace, Colin Blunstone, Hawkwind, Judas Priest, Linda Ronstadt, Mick Ronson, Queen, Strawbs, Supertramp, The Tremeloes, Peter Hammill, Stephane Grappelli, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy Cobham, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, and Brand X to name a few.
After several years, he left Trident and moved to France to work at Le Chateau D'Herouville studios in Pontoise, just outside Paris. After a fairly uneventful six months there, he was offered a job back in the UK, doing studio recording and mixing work, as well as live sound for the progressive rock group Yes.
After a couple of years working for Yes, Kernon once again became freelance, and worked at a number of studios in and around London for the next several years. Studios worked at during that time included Jam, Decibel, Trident, The Farmyard and Startling Studios in Tittenhurst Park, owned by Ringo Starr, where he worked for three years as chief in-house engineer.
After that, Kernon started doing production and mixing work in the US, and moved to New York.
Through the years, Kernon has worked at many other studios worldwide, and in particular:
- (New York) - Electric Lady, Hit Factory, Power Station, Mediasound, Platinum Island, Kampo Cultural Center, Quad, Right Track, Bearsville
- (Los Angeles) - Record Plant, Amigo, One on One, Music Grinder, Rumbo Recorders, Sound City, Total Access (Redondo Beach) Dodge City (Glendale)
- (El Paso, TX) - Village Productions / Sonic Ranch (72 albums completed between 1994 and 2005)
- (Seattle, WA) - Robert Lang Studios
- (Switzerland) - Mountain Studios, Montreux.
- (Italy) - Jungle Sound Station, Milan
- (France) - Chateau Miraval, Provence, Chateau D'Herouville, Pontoise.
Kernon has worked on the production of well over 500 albums to date, produced songs for 10 major motion pictures and, in addition, has played guitar and/or keyboards on over 40 albums.
He has worked with a large number of artists over the last 40 years, but may be best known for his work with Hall & Oates on three of their most important albums – 1980's Voices, 1981's Private Eyes, and 1982's H2O. Kernon was the engineer/mixer on Voices and co-producer/engineer (with the duo) on the other two albums, the sales of which not only revived their careers but made them the most successful chart duo in the history of American pop music.
The allmusic review of H2O said that "the production and performances are precise and deliberate" but "when the productions open up a bit, the band still sounds terrific, but they never are given the opportunity to sound as big and bold as they do on Private Eyes."
The following are some of the albums that Neil Kernon has produced, recorded, and/or mixed, or played on.
P = Produced, R = Recorded, M = Mixed, AR = Arranged, K = Keyboards, G = Guitar, PG = programming
- Contrarian (band) - Only Time Will Tell (2020) M PG
- "Interviews: Grammy Winner, 40 Gold & Platinum records – Neil Kernon Is A Producer's Producer!". Sea of Tranquility. 10 August 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Private Eyes". Allmusic. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "H2O (review)". Allmusic. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
- Richard White (15 December 2009). Dexys Midnight Runners. Omnibus Press. pp. 107–. ISBN 978-0-85712-066-3.
- Jeff Wagner (2010). Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal. Bazillion Points Books. pp. 50–. ISBN 978-0-9796163-3-4.
- Martin Popoff (15 August 2014). The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade. Voyageur Press. pp. 181–. ISBN 978-0-7603-4546-7.
- Garry Sharpe-Young (2007). Metal: The Definitive Guide : Heavy, NWOBH, Progressive, Thrash, Death, Black, Gothic, Doom, Nu. Jawbone Press. pp. 182–. ISBN 978-1-906002-01-5.