Quotes About Recording

  • Brad Paisley on Mick Jagger

    When they were in Nashville, they came in a couple of days early. What they do, which is really neat, when you tour at the level they're at, they sort of take over a city. When The Rolling Stones are coming—and you remember when they were here—Nashville was buzzing for several days. It was like, "There's a Mick Jagger sighting!" We ended up going to dinner at Etch here in town. And what was funny about that was that Mick had said—I had said, well when you get in town you wanna go eat? We've got some great new restaurants, and he said, "Yeah." He picked the restaurant, and I thought for sure he's got people that do that. When we sat down to eat I said, "I've never been here before, how'd you find this?" He said, "Oh yeah I think Trip Advisor or something like that." [Laughs] He, like looked it up, and it said this is great. He said, "It said this is great, I thought we should try it." The next thing you know we're sitting there and I said, "You've gotta come back when we can be here without anybody knowing, and see if we can record and you can experience the city and really see what the creative process is like in this town," and I never expected him to say. "Yeah let's do it," and he did. Next thing you know three months later he was at my house.

    YouTube

  • Glyn Johns on Terry Johnson

    Last but not least was Terry Johnson. He left school illegally at fifteen and lied about his age to get the job at IBC. By the time I arrived he was already doing sessions as an engineer at sixteen. To say he was a natural is something of an understatement. He was an extraordinary talent. For eighteen months or so we were pretty much inseparable. We soon discovered that we shared the same taste in music and sound and became close friends, closing ranks against the somewhat disapproving attitude of the senior engineers at IBC. As that first year progressed, music began to change and the demand increased for English records to sound more and more like what was going on in America. Most of the older engineers didn't get it and were entirely dismissive. This meant that Terry, being as young as he was and having a natural enthusiasm for trying new ideas, was in great demand, and he pulled me along with him.

    Sound Man

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  • Glyn Johns on Joe Meek

    The late great Joe Meek used IBC on occasion. He had his own studio at home, where he developed his extraordinary sound, but he would often bring his tapes in to run them through one of our home-built equalizers to cheer them up a bit. I think he was frowned on by the powers that be, and as I was the most junior in the place I would be given the job of looking after him. What a great opportunity for me. He was a great and innovative engineer and a quiet, kind, and seemingly egoless man.

    Sound Man

  • Glyn Johns on David Price

    Some of the classical sessions were engineered by David Price, an unpleasant little shit of a man, as I remember. He had a client, a BBC radio producer in real life moonlighting as a classical record producer. He bordered on certifiable, and like so many producers was an egomaniac. Most of the classical stuff was done on location, in large halls in London that could accommodate a symphony orchestra, like Wandsworth, Hammersmith, or Walthamstow town hall.

    Sound Man

    This quote appears in the "Early Years" chapter of the Glyn Johns autobiography, Sound Man, where Glyn describes the engineers he worked with at his first job at IBC, one of the largest independent recording studios in Europe in the early 60s.

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  • Glyn Johns on Alan Stagg

    Alan Stagg was also an engineer, specializing in classical recording. IBC being the only independent studio in Europe that had its own mobile recording unit meant we could go to any of the bigger venues required for recording large orchestras and choirs. Alan did very little recording, which turned out to be a good thing, as it quickly became apparent to me that he was not much of a specialist. However, he made sure the studio was always the first with the latest equipment, and the fact that it had such a great variety of talented engineers must have, to a large extent, been down to him.

    Sound Man

    This quote appears in the "Early Years" chapter of the Glyn Johns autobiography, Sound Man, where Glyn describes the engineers he worked with at his first job at IBC, one of the largest independent recording studios in Europe in the early 60s.

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  • Glyn Johns on Ray Prickett

    Then there was the very aptly named Ray Prickett. Although he suffered from little or no sense of humor and treated me like an unpleasant smell, he was still a great engineer. Among many others, he engineered most of the records that Alan Freeman produced for Pye Records. Petula Clark, Lonnie Donegan, and Kenny Ball being a few of the many successes he had.

    Sound Man

  • Glyn Johns on Eric Tomlinson

    IBC was not only the best-equipped independent studio in Europe but it was also blessed with a great assortment of engineering talent, starting with Eric Tomlinson, who was the senior engineer on the staff when I began and, in my opinion, was one of the finest in the world. I remember that he had this habit of standing with one foot on top of the other while he worked, his hands flying around the console, never needing more than one run-through of the most complex of orchestral pieces before having it memorized, balanced, and ready to record. He was extremely kind to me, and I learned a great deal from watching the master at work.

    Sound Man

  • Glyn Johns on Laurence Olivier

    He was to read the most important and emotive speech in the whole piece—[Lord] Nelson's letter to Lady Hamilton the night before he died at the Battle of Trafalgar. His transformation into character was extraordinary to watch. Those of us present being stunned into silence by the end of the one and only take. Later that morning he was joined by a group of young actors who had to play a scene with him. It was quite obvious from the start that they were all in awe of him, but within minutes he had them completely at ease in his presence. A true professional. His personal problems left at the door, his concern for others and the job at hand taking precedence.

    Sound Man

    This quote appears in Glyn Johns' autobiography, Sound Man, when he's describing the first session he got to run as an engineer. Here's Glyn setting the scene: “In 1960 I got my first opportunity to actually sit at the console as an engineer. I was the assistant on the recording of a Son et Lumière production about the Battle of Trafalgar staged on Lord Nelson's ship the Victory in Portsmouth Harbour. Lord Nelson was played by Sir Laurence Olivier, who wanted to work on a Saturday, and the engineer, Ray Prickett, refused to work on weekends, so I was given the job. I was petrified. Fortunately, the director, Peter Wood, was a charming and kind man and did his best to put me at ease, knowing that this was my first session in charge. Just the idea of being in the presence of the great man was bad enough. It only involved one microphone, so not a lot could go wrong. Pathetic really. Unfortunately, the news of Olivier's intention to divorce Vivien Leigh and marry Joan Plowright had broken in the press that morning. So when he burst out of the elevator on the third floor and into studio B with a flurry of agitated entourage, there was steam coming out of every orifice.”

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  • Glyn Johns on Ry Cooder

    Later in 1969, on a Stones session for Let it Bleed, Keith didn't show. So while we were waiting, Nicky [Hopkins] started jamming on the piano with Charlie and Bill. Pretty soon Mick got a harmonica and was soon joined by Ry Cooder, who was sitting in with the band that night. Jack Nitzsche had brought him over from California to play on the soundtrack to the movie Performance that we had finished a couple of days earlier. I ran the tape machine and the result was an album called Jamming with Edward, eventually released on Rolling Stones Records in 1972. It is just a bit of fun, showing Nicky's sense of humor and extraordinary technique, and it is great to hear Ry playing with Bill and Charlie. Definitely worth a listen.

    Sound Man

  • Glyn Johns on Jimmy Page

    Soon I realized that I could use the time to experiment and get some great experience at the console, and I put the word out that you could get free studio time at my Sunday sessions. This attracted a crowd of exciting young musicians. Among them was Jimmy Page, who my pal Colin Golding had told me about. They were both at Kingston Art School—not far from where we all lived—along with Eric Clapton. I suggested that I might be able to get Jimmy some paying sessions, but initially he declined, saying he would lose his grant at school if it became known that he had an income. It was not long before he changed his mind, and in a short space of time he had replaced Big Jim Sullivan as the number-one session guitarist in London.

    Sound Man

    This quote appears in the "Sunday Sessions" chapter of Sound Man, the Glyn Johns autobiography. He describes his Sunday sessions at IBC, the studio where he worked as an engineer in the early 60s like this: "Weekends were almost never booked in those first two years I was at IBC. So we were allowed to use the studio on Sundays to record our own projects. It all started with me and my friend Rob Mayhew recording a few demos, with John Timperley or Terry Johnson engineering. It was with one of these recordings that I attempted to be 'discovered' as a vocalist, with a song I had written with my neighbor Hugh Oliver, called 'Sioux Indian.'"

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  • Glyn Johns on The Beatles

    The one thing that struck me about The Beatles in those early days was how relatively ordinary they sounded without the vocals. They could have been any competent group of the day, but as soon as the voices were added the magic was there. It has always amazed me how they progressed as writers, musicians, and producers from this already exalted position.

    Sound Man

    This quote appears in the "Jack Good" chapter of Glyn Johns' biography, Sound Man. In this chapter he was describing a lot of the bands he heard and recorded in the early 60s when he was working as an engineer at one of the most prominent independent recording studios in Europe at the time, IBC.

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  • Glyn Johns on Lonnie Donegan

    The first session I was assigned was for Lonnie Donegan. This was too good to be true. He was still my favorite recording artist. I even discovered that the picture on the front cover of my much-coveted 10-inch album was taken in studio B at IBC. It was all too much for a young boy.

    Sound Man

    This quote appears in the "Early Years" chapter of Glyn Johns' autobiography, Sound Man. He's describing his first job in a recording studio, writing: "I started work at IBC the very next day, as a lowly assistant engineer. This meant setting up the studio before each session to the engineer's requirements, keeping continuity, and taking the blame for anything that did not work, while receiving varying amounts of verbal abuse from my superiors before, during, and after the session, and then stripping the studio afterward, with a great deal of tea making and equipment polishing thrown in."

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  • Glyn Johns on Les Paul

    My sister Sue had a portable record player and, being three years older than me, found me to be nothing more than an annoyance throughout our youth. Therefore the record player was strictly off-limits, with very rare exceptions. I remember she bought a 78 of "Little Rock Getaway" by Les Paul and Mary Ford. It was a completely new sound. Les Paul was the first artist to use multitracking. He would record a guitar part on a mono machine, then play it back and record it onto another machine while adding a second guitar, repeating the process until he had the arrangement he wanted. Then he would do the same with Mary Ford's voice, adding her three or four times in harmony with herself. This was some years before the advent of multitrack recording as we know it today. Along with every other punter, I knew nothing of this and just thought it was a great sound. His innovative approach to recording led to the formation of the Ampex company, who produced the first multitrack tape machines with Les being given the second one off the line.

    Sound Man