Let’s start this epic story at the very beginning. Years ago, there was a studio in Boston (Davis Square, Somerville, actually) that was built around a nice large-format Soundcraft TS-24 analog console. It also included a pretty respectable arsenal of analog synths and some classic outboard. About the time I moved to Los Angeles all this equipment went into storage, a process which included completely disassembling the desk. For years it all languished in a basement in New Hampshire … such a shame! But this year Amy and I decided to do something about it: a plan was hatched to fly to Boston, unearth all this gear, and bring it all back to LA where we could build out a proper old-school analog (as well as digital-hybrid, of course) studio, here at the Brewery.
In March it finally all came together, and after a few pints at LAX we were on our way to Logan. Upon arrival we met up with Dave, my old Boston buddy (and drummer for the Allstonians) and revisited a few of our favorite old haunts on a good old Massachusetts Ave pub crawl.
We had a plan, and we had a van: a while back my brother had driven his Chevy Astro AWD hippie road-trip machine from California to New England, and it was still sitting there in the driveway in New Hampshire. Our plan was to load it up with gear, and drive it back west!
We had to pull out of storage all the components that had been torn down and taken apart and repack it all for the journey. This was not a small task. Fortunately the weather cooperated: it was snowing when we arrived but we had a couple of clear though chilly days for loading.
Amy insisted on including this silly photo of me: “Wrangling the chassis or slow dancing with the chasse step?” That’s the raw frame of the TS-24, with everything removed except for the “motherboard” wrapped in bubble wrap – it shows just how disassembled the desk was for storage (and how much of a job we had ahead of us to get it working again). Each individual channel strip had been pulled and stored in bubble wrap, along with the patchbays, master module, power supply, etc. There were also boxes of cables, old microphones, and several keyboards plus miscellaneous stands and studio stuff to be packed up and put in the van.
When it was done we had pretty much maxed out the cargo capacity of a Chevy Astro AWD. On April 1st (kinda appropriate!) we pointed the van west and put the hammer down, commencing our cross-country road trip.
Now, here’s an interesting twist on the story: Amy and I are building the new studio, and we met a couple of years ago here in LA. And I built the original studio back in the day in Boston with my buddy Jim. Here’s the interesting, synchronistic part: years ago Amy used to work with Jim doing sound at the Middle East (so Jim knew both of us, but I didn’t know Amy). So there’s a sort of full-circle connection in this story!
Considering all this, we decided that before we left the East Coast we had to have a beer with all of us together, so we made a point to meet up with Jim and Dave at a Boston bar. This was the first time we’d all been in the same room (though it’s quite possible that we had all been in the same room – probably the Middle East – before, but without realizing it) and it had been at least a decade since either of us had seen Jim. Why we were drinking Pabst (in Boston of all places) I’m not quite sure, though it was perhaps appropriate as the TS-24 was headed for a new home in what used to be the Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery in LA …
The studio that Jim and I built in Boston: this is what it looked like back in the day, with the TS-24 fully functional … (that’s L.A. for Lower Allston … though eventually the desk was indeed destined to wind up in Los Angeles!). This is where some of the first recordings of what would eventually become the Coredark project were made. You might also recognize Gary, who was regularly around the studio, and who made an appearance in our recent San Francisco adventure …