George Tutko, an engineer whose lengthy list of rock credits includes sessions for Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Kiss, Rod Stewart, Lita Ford and many others, passed away yesterday, succumbing to cancer at the age of 61.

The news of Tutko's worsening condition was reported March 6 by his wife Ana at his Facebook page with a post that reads, in part, "The last chapter in George's amazing life is coming to a close. He has fought hard with an amazing attitude and bravery, but his disease got way ahead of him and his relentless will to live ... Let's switch gears on the prayer field for him not to keep fighting, but to let go peacefully ... Just like when he looked at most of you with those amazing blue eyes through the studio window, and counted backwards for you."

Many of Tutko's friends and former clients rallied around him during the years since his 2013 diagnosis, led by former XYZ and current Great White singer Terry Ilous, who spearheaded a fundraiser to help defray the growing cost of his care. Those efforts included last spring's auction of a guitar signed by a crowd of musicians that included Vince Neil, Vivian Campbell, Rick Springfield and many more.

There's been a tremendous outpouring of grief and fond memories shared in the hours since the news of Tutko's death, including everything from reminiscences posted by friends and co-workers to a voicemail from Stewart and guitarist Jim Cregan. Tutko was one of many immense music industry talents whose behind-the-scenes work helped shape the lives of millions, and the many heartfelt reactions to his passing stand as a true testament to his character. He is deeply missed.

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