Its not everyday we get the ability to ask questions of someone with the experience and years in the business as yourself.
Could you describe the transition from TapeOp to Engineer to Producer? How did one evolve in the business? Where you planning on manning a tape machine and a producer pointed at you and said "today you are my engineer!"
The concept of knowing your craft seems a bit lost today, as anybody with a computer can instantly call themselves a "producer".
You have to fight you're way in and say,"I can do that". Its probably different for everybody and there's a lot of luck involved in getting right projects to move you forward. Its years of hard work and dedication and enthusiasm for each project when you're an engineer and you have to really want to then move on and be a producer and take on all the responsibilities. And then you have to be on top of things and go out and seek work before it happens etc.
Sorry this is a bit vague...
can i ask how you managed to get a job as a tape op for APPLE (!!!?!???!!!!!) they were huge huge huge back then, and i'd have to guess that must have opened some doors for you. Did you beg for job at abbey road every day until they relented and hired you? How'd you get your foot in that particular door?