Fans and musicians have paid tribute to the doctor who recorded the first three albums by The Police on a shoestring budget above a dairy in Leatherhead.
Nigel Gray recorded the post-punk/reggae band’s first three albums in the late 1970s and early 1980s at Surrey Sound Studio in the historic market town.
Mr Gray had converted the village hall in Kingston Road, Leatherhead in 1974 for £1,200, prior to recording The Police’s Outlandos d’Amour, Regatta de Blanc, and Zenyatta Mondata.
Mr Gray’s work at the studio earned him two Grammies for producer of Best Rock Performance for Don’t Stand So Close to Me and Best Rock Instrumental for Behind My Camel.
He eventually sold the studio in 1987 and retired to Cornwall.
I am absolutely gutted, that one of my good friends, Nigel Gray has passed away. My thoughts go out to his family and friends. #nigelgray— Craig Betts (@realcraigbetts) 30 July 2016
Mr Gray died on Saturday, July 30.
In a joint statement on the band’s Facebook page, Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland of The Police paid tribute to their producer.
It read: "Nigel Gray recorded the first three Police albums, the first two in his converted studio above a dairy in Leatherhead in Surrey.
“Nigel was a qualified medical doctor who followed his passion into music and was able to use his kindly bedside manner to coax three extraordinarily successful records from a band operating at the time on the tiniest of shoestring budgets.
“We simply couldn't have done it without him, that's the truth, and we mourn his passing.
“May he rest with the Recording Angels. Amen."
Fans also paid tribute to Mr Gray on the band’s Facebook Page.
Michael Maslen wrote: “My life as a boy, a teen, and now as someone approaching 50, has been enriched, made better by The Police.
“They were my contemporary Beatles and Nigel their Martin. You were bloody good, Nigel.”
Ray Chitty wrote that he was “very sad” to hear of Mr Gray’s death.
He added: “I used to live just across the road from the studio and met most of you in the Plough pub.
“I could sometimes hear you recording if you left the side door open. Happy days.”
Sad to hear of Nigel Gray passing. He produced Sons and Lovers. Had such fun with him making that album. RIP Nigel x pic.twitter.com/PH1C2qSH2L— Hazel O'Connor (@Hazel_OConnor) 2 August 2016
Greg Thomas wrote: “Thank you, Nigel. Those albums are testament to your brilliance and the remarkable team that you were a part of.
“You have influenced millions of people through your work and still do.”