Welcome to Boot Camp - A&M Studios
|Studio D was the last old room at A&M
at that time and that's where I started. I think it was a Trident 80b with the fader eq's.
It was the cheapest room after C (the demo room), so that's where the new guys were
checked out. Old D (for dungeon) was a dark and dreary 70's vibe, I remember working with
"The Innocence Mission" and doing records for A&M's Latino division with
Benny Faccione. Renee Guyer and Hamish Stewart from Australia also worked in there.
The A&M Studio lineup at that time was Herb Alpert, Shelly Yakus, and Jimmy Iovine in charge, Steve Barncard the chief, Big Bill Dooley mgr., Mikey Morengell tech mgr., Sheri Lazarus in the office, Bill Lazarus tape copy, Dan Nash was Shelly's guy, Mark McKenna, Marc DeSisto, Robbie Jacobs, Brian Scheuble, and me were the engineers, and then a bunch of runners. They'd just tracked the Pink Floyd album "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" with Bob Ezrin in A, and Robbie Robertson had been camped out in the Mix Room for a few months (the guinea pig), and I think Shelly or someone had mixed a Tom Petty album in B.
They had one room left to go on the total renovation of the place, and it was great. The Waterland Group and Vincent van Haff were the designers. My memory is: Studio A was laid out on a napkin in a bar, Studio B was never finished, C and the Mix Room were more formal, and I was there for D, which was a full blown house project led by Steve Barncard. B was never finished because Jimmy did a gig in there before it was done, and it sounded great, so the floor and ceiling were left undone.
My first big gig was the mixing of Sting's "Nothing Like the Sun" in B. Mark McKenna got sick a few days into it and I was the replacement guy. They did the record at Air Montsurrat and Neil Dorfsman mixed it in NYC without Sting around (he was doing a movie or something), so Hugh Padgham was doing it over. We mixed to Mitsu X-80, which was old in '87 but sounded great, and I made Hugh do the edits because you had to cut the tape, nervous fun!!!. I also set up a digital safety rig with Robbie and Brad lying around in the hallway by the Mix Room listening for dropouts (there was a few). It was down to the wire with release date, and we flew the masters to Bob Ludwig with Dorfsman's mix of Little Wing, because their wasn't time to mix it.
It was August and one Sunday I setup a Swordfish BBQ in the parking
lot by Jimmy's office, with Sting, Danny, Hugh, Rich Frankel, myself, and the runner who
went to the store. Shelly grilled me (sic) the next day cause it was my idea, and I
"could've burned down the lot". Well about a year later A&M got a big
fancy gas grill and we had Q's in the back by the echo chambers.