Ted Templeman

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Ted Templeman
Birth nameEdward John Templeman
Born (1942-10-24) October 24, 1942 (age 80)
Santa Cruz, California, U.S.[1]
Occupation(s)Music producer
LabelsWarner Bros. Records

Edward John "Ted" Templeman (born October 24, 1942)[1] is an American record producer.[2] Among the acts he has a long relationship with are the rock bands Van Halen and the Doobie Brothers and the singer Van Morrison; he produced multiple critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums by each of them.


Templeman was born in Santa Cruz, California,[1] where he began his career in the mid 1960s as a drummer in a band called The Tikis.[3] At the suggestion of Warner Brothers staff producer Lenny Waronker, the group decided to change their name to Harpers Bizarre in 1966 with Templeman switching to guitar and vocals.[3] In 1967, the group released the album Feelin' Groovy (Warner Bros.), which included material by Randy Newman that later appeared on the songwriter's 1972 album Sail Away. Harpers Bizarre disbanded in 1970.[3]

That same year, Templeman recorded what is now considered a cult classic. Using doubletracking, he appeared as "The Templeton Twins" backed by "Teddy Turner & his Bunsen Burners", recording contemporary hits of the time such as "Hey Jude" and "Light My Fire" in a pseudo-1920s style.

In September 1970, Templeman began working in an entry-level A & R position for Warner Bros. Records,[3] auditioning demo tapes by unknown artists. It was then he discovered the San Jose-based biker band the Doobie Brothers, and produced their eponymous The Doobie Brothers debut album, followed the next year by the Doobies' Toulouse Street album,[3] which achieved platinum record status on the strength of the hit single "Listen to the Music". After the success of Toulouse Street, Templeman was promoted to staff producer at Warner Bros. Records and continued a long professional relationship with the Doobie Brothers, producing many more hit singles and albums for the group.[3]

Much of his production work, throughout his career, was done in collaboration with recording engineer Donn Landee at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, California.

In 1973, Templeman produced another classic and eponymous album, Montrose, which was released in November of that year. The group was founded by guitarist and group leader Ronnie Montrose (who had worked with singers such as Van Morrison and Edgar Winter), and an up-and-coming singer, Sammy Hagar, who brought songs like "Bad Motor Scooter" and "Make It Last" to the guitarist. (The following decade, Templeman produced albums for Hagar's solo project and later as lead singer with Van Halen.) It was during this period that he was made a vice-president at the record label.

In 1976, he produced Carly Simon's sixth studio album, Another Passenger, for which he arranged both the Doobie Brothers and Little Feat to serve as Simon's backing band. The album was not as commercially oriented as her previous work with producer Richard Perry, and its first single, a cover of the Doobies' "It Keeps You Runnin", did not reach the Top 40. However, the album received critical praise and many of its songs received airplay on album-oriented FM radio stations.

On February 2, 1977, Templeman witnessed a live performance by Van Halen at The Starwood Lounge in Hollywood and persuaded Warner Bros. Chairman Mo Ostin that he should sign the group. Templeman produced their self-titled first album and went on to produce six more albums for Van Halen. Templeman's voice is heard in the song "Unchained", saying "Come on Dave, gimme a break!" Lead singer David Lee Roth replies "One break, coming up!", leading into the song's chorus. Templeman also produced Roth's first two solo records, the EP Crazy from the Heat and the album Eat 'Em and Smile.

Other artists produced by Templeman include Van Morrison (Tupelo Honey, Saint Dominic's Preview, It's Too Late to Stop Now), Captain Beefheart (Clear Spot), Little Feat (Sailin' Shoes), Michael McDonald (If That's What It Takes), Aerosmith (Done with Mirrors), Eric Clapton (Behind the Sun), Nicolette Larson, Bette Midler, Allan Holdsworth, and Cheap Trick.[3]

Since the late 1980s, Templeman has worked more sporadically. In the mid-2000s, he produced two albums by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and in 2008 he began working with the Doobie Brothers again on a new album.

In popular culture[edit]

Community creator and Channel 101 co-creator Dan Harmon portrayed a fictionalized version of Templeman on the Channel 101 web series Yacht Rock, a satirical history of soft rock. Two episodes of the series fictionalize Templeman's collaborations with The Doobie Brothers, Michael McDonald, and Van Halen.[4]

As producer[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Edward John Templeman". California Birth Index.
  2. ^ Miller, Debby (June 21, 1984). "Van Halen's Split Personality: Rolling Stone's 1984 Feature". Rolling Stone.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 2464. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  4. ^ Sail Away: The Oral History of 'Yacht Rock', Rolling Stone

Further reading[edit]

Templeman, Ted; Renoff, Greg (2020). Ted Templeman: A Platinum Producer's Life In Music. Toronto: ECW Press. ISBN 9781770414839. OCLC 1121143123.

External links[edit]