Some artists flash into our lives, burn so brightly for a moment only to pass all too soon. Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Buckley and Janis Joplin and the many, many more who lived and died too quickly, have left a lasting and indelible mark on the landscape of modern music. Often these people are the most inspiring and exciting to listen to, people who helped define generations, political movements and social disorder.
There are others who earn a respect and following through talent and years of dedication to producing their own music, their own sound. Paul McCartney springs to mind, as does Dave Grohl.
If there’s one thing to be said about Dave Grohl it’s that his passion for good music is infectious. His childlike enthusiasm has culminated in some fantastic collaborations and stories to be told.
One such story is that of Sound City. A former studio in a warehouse complex in LA, a shithole of a place. Shag pile carpets on the wall and whiskey stains on the floor, this studio is a far cry from the decadence expected in modern studios. What made this place legendary was the most important thing of all – the sound.
An uncanny sound perfect for recording drums coupled with the legendary Neve custom mixing desk helped birth albums such as Fleetwood Mac, Nevermind, Rage Against the Machine, One Hot Minute, Queens of the Stone Age – the list goes on.
Unfortunately in the digital age, as an analogue studio, Sound City simply couldn’t keep up. When Dave Grohl found out the studio was closing he stepped in to rescue the incredible Neve desk and decided to make a short film to tell the world about it. As he contacted some of the people who’d recorded there, each and every one wanted to tell their own story of Sound City and so a feature length film was born.
It’s a testament to the hallowed status of the shitty studio, and also to Dave Grohl. His infectious energy is obvious throughout and without his involvement, many of these stories would have passed into history to be forgotten.
If you’re passionate about music and want to explore one of the sacred monuments to modern music, you need to watch this film.
There’s also a brilliant soundtrack, a collection of collaborations by the artists who recorded at Sound City.
The film and soundtrack are available to buy now from iTunes: http://bit.ly/SoundCityiTunes