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Author Topic: Cello Studios closes down  (Read 33414 times)

David Kulka

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2005, 12:22:50 pm »

I had the privilege of working at what then called United/Western from 1975 to 1981.  My God, what a time that was!  You will forgive me for dropping names because there is no other way to describe what went on there.  We had 5 24-track rooms that ran night and day; a list of who didn't record there might be shorter than a list of who did.  Favorite projects that immediately come to mind are Streisand, Santana, Sinatra, Jonothan WInters, Ringo, Abba, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton (she kissed me good morning in Studio 3!), The Beach Boys, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Blondie, Elvis's TCB Band, The Four Tops, Gary and Lorna Wright, Cher, Albert Brooks, Michael Jackson, Natalie Cole, Paul Anka, Johnny Rivers...good Lord, it's overwhelming.

Not to mention the great engineers and producers...the legendary Chuck Britz (who took me under his wing during my first fitful month there), Ed Greene, Lee Herschberg, Matt Hyde, and of course Bill Putnam himself.  And the session players, composers, arrangers...

After leaving there (24 years ago, unbelievable) it became Ocean Way and kept cranking out the hits.  I still got called in for the odd job, and found reasons to drop by and visit old friends, it was always a thrill to walk through those big doors and inhale that aroma -- studios have signature smells, don't they.

I showed up for the AES tour a couple of years ago, it was Cello by then and the Control Rooms looked much different, though the Studios themselves were nearly unchanged.  It was great to the walk through and watch expressions on the visitors faces as they learned the history of 6000 Sunset.  We even set foot in the famous echo chambers including #3, the famous "Good Vibrations" chamber where (now it can be told) I had an encounter with a beautiful young woman so long ago...

The building looked pretty rough around the edges though.  Driving away, my wife and I talked about the electrical, the plumbing, the roof, the air conditioners.  It must cost a fortune to maintain a big old building like that.  Driving past it on Sunset, I always wondered if one day I'd see the wrecker's ball taking it down, or perhaps come back from a vacation to see a vacant lot there.  There had been rumors of closings and buy outs, now this.

I'm sad to think this might be the end.  Maybe new blood will come in and the place can keep working.  The acoustics in those rooms are just incredible.  Hearing piano or strings in Studio 1 will give you goosebumps.  I hope the place survives.

See my website for some United/Western history and the old United Recording "Newsletters"  http://studioelectronics.biz/newsletter.html
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Arf! Mastering

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2005, 12:53:28 pm »

Having seen many large NYC rooms have their oxygen supply cut off by project-studio recording and get gobbled up by real estate prices to vanish forever (A&R, CBS 30th St, RCA, Media) I can only empathize and hope that the former UW rooms get a new lease on life.
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mcsnare

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2005, 02:32:57 pm »

Hey Eric! I wondered if you were the same person. Glad to hear you are still in the game. I just recently worked with Charlie Sexton on a couple of projects, we reminisced about that project a couple of times. I think I worked with Rail at OWR as well. Best of luck to ya.
Dave McNair

Myerberg

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2005, 10:30:01 pm »

               Hello to everyone who has been touched by this grand facility and to everyone else who is concerned. I figured what better forum to place this message then my hero George.

    The facility was closed by it's owner by surprise on friday. It is a bankruptcy and this is how businesses are closed and also how they are purchased and reopened. You can be assured that there are people working towards this goal, but I don't know what the future holds or if this goal is even possible. There are forces at work both malevolent and benevolent so throw your good vibe's to the great 6000 Sunset blvd. The great Tradition it stands for: Room as an instrument, a recordable 'Vibe" Always booked, with the best most gracious clients anyone could ever ask for! BILL PUTNAM BUILT 6000 TO LAST! A TOAST TO BILL TONIGHT AND TAKE OUT THE GOOD BOOZE!

To my Blood sister Candace Stewart. We proved that it really is all about the "LOVE"

A big shout out to Mr. Jim Scott THANKS!!!

To anyone who dances on this grave... A Phoenix has been known to rise, wings of fire burn your eye's.

Below you will find the e-mail I had sent to my engineering staff at Cello I feel it sum's up my feelings and no shit I did wake up this way.

Hey,
   I woke up this morning California Dreamin' with Jimmy Webb music in my head, Frank's fingers snapping I could smell Dean Martins martini. Nancy's boot's walking down the hall Mr. Wilson's crooked "smile" The wrecking Crew on golden time!...........I was up all night thinking, will all these moments be lost in time like my tears in this rain?? I know this is a fire we all must pass through, on the other side If it is to be Western Recorders and if it is not to be? Well.... we all got the greatest ride there ever was! Because of all of your efforts, 6000 is truly the best it has ever been and we have all served this Legacy proud. In-spite of our owners disinterest Candy and I have done our best with only our wit's to keep the old girl going over these last 6 years and now someone with $$$ needs to take this burden from us.
   I just want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. Your spirit for this place. Your loyalty to Candy and I gives me pause and great pride.I love you all for it. You are all the finest professionals I have ever worked with. It is my hope that we are all together soon to continue this great mission and serve this great Legacy. If our paths part ways let us always remember the great times and great music we shared.

So drink a toast to 6000 and pray for safe passage though this fire.

My last day as your Chief Engineer 1/28/2005

ROCK&ROLL!!!!!!!

Gary Myerberg-Lauter
Chief Engineer-Director of Technical Operations
Cello Studios
6000 Sunset Blvd
Hollywood,Ca
90028
323-871-5955
323-871-5974fax

Always do right- this will gratify some and astonish the rest."
- Mark Twain (1835-1910)
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Extreme Mixing

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2005, 11:01:59 pm »

To Gary and Candy,

We are all wishing the best for 6000.  I had the honor of working there a few times, and I loved every minute that I was in the house.  I also did a week of 5.1 mixing in the A&M 5.1 Euphonix room before its big change, a few years ago.  It is a sad day for this business.

Steve

profesrgeo

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2005, 12:28:14 am »

Hi All,

Just a bit of an idea?

Should a wrecking ball, or even the hint thereof appear on the horizon, a local campaign to designate the building an historic landmark may be an effective tactic to prevent disaster.  

I know diddly about Hollywood's historic preservation ordinance and its criteria for designation but it would be hard to imagine that 6000 wouldn't pass muster.  Chess Studios in Chicago is a landmark.  Chicago's ordinance virtually prohibits demolition of a designated structure.  



again, just an idea?

geo


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David Kulka

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2005, 01:06:52 am »

I had wondered about the landmark status issue too.  Gary Myerberg, didn't you tell me that you had looked into this at some point?  Can you enlighten us on this point?

Also Gary (or anyone), looking at the Cello web site today, I noticed that the history page states that the Beatles Sgt. Pepper album was recorded at Western.  I assume that the writer meant "part of" the album, but even that's a little hard for me to believe.  It's an intriguing claim, though.  Comments?
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Rail Jon Rogut

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2005, 01:27:01 am »

Designating it as an historical landmark would make selling the property practically impossible.. and since the company isn't a viable operation -- would mean that the creditors would be screwed (as well as the owner of the assets).

While I'm the last person to wish any harm to the structure... I highly doubt that would be in the owner's or the creditor's best interests.  Most of the creditors are small rental companies and tape suppliers who can't afford to not get paid.

The best bet is that it be placed up for auction and hopefully a studio with a better history of studio management will take over and salvage whatever is left.

I'm sorry Gary.. but you were nowhere near 6000 Sunset during it's "best years".  I've heard far too many stories in the last 4 years to even consider it coming close to attaining the stature of what it once was.  I'm actually pretty angry at the existing management for placing the property in the precarious position it now faces.

Rail
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djui5

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2005, 03:36:28 am »

I'm gonna tear up..


This is horrible.

I always wanted to work at Cello......dreams are good I guess.


My condolences to all who work there
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Dave Rosen 1st

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2005, 05:37:39 am »

The problem with the closing and reselling of 6000 Sunset, is that the rooms will most likely be dismantled. The first question that comes to mind is what is the current debt??  Who is the current owner of the building?? Are there any leans??? Is there any possibility that the Studio could be kept intact??  What are the tax liabilities??  

6000 Sunset is far to significant of a facility to be torn down.  It is imperative that a solution is found. Although It is far to early to see if this can be an actual reality I do have some ideas of possible buyers.  If anyone has any insight into some of the numbers we are talking about please have them contact me.  

In the mean time I look forward to reading postings of 6000 Sunset Stories
from The Cash is King Market" through the Western years, onto the Ocean Way years (especially 1984 -1991 my own personal favorite) and finally the Cello years..

As I think I speak for all that have either worked or performed at 6000 Sunset There is a felling you get from these walls that you can not duplicate anywhere else in the world.  

Dave Rosen
World Link Digital
(818) 842-2828
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profesrgeo

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2005, 09:49:35 am »

"Designating it as an historical landmark would make selling the property practically impossible"

It depends.  Designating locally may have that effect.  In fact the landmark designation process is commonly used as a thwart to redevelopment in my neck of the woods.

Getting 6000 on the National Register of Historic Places would have no effect on the value or saleability of the building (unless local ordinances protect National Register properties). National Register designation simply opens the door to some significant tax releif and does not have any real teeth.  I assume the zoning on the site allows a far greater degree of development.  The incremental difference in value between the existing and potential develpment forms the basis for the tax releif.  The vehicle for securing these tax advantages is a facade donation.  

This designation along with the tax releif may make the facility more arttractive to buyer interested in continuing the current use of the facility.


geo
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George Massenburg

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2005, 10:22:02 am »

Wow.  I spent the day at Peabody yesterday feting Alan Kefauver on the 20th anniversary of the recording program there.

And now this...

I'm stunned.  We made a lot of great records there.  It's almost unimaginable that there wouldn't be a Studio 1 to do an orchestra in (in fact I just mixed a record that had been overdubbed in Studio 1).  

But having seen it, I think the roof and structure are rotted away like you couldn't imagine, and I'm not sure that the building's salvagable at any realistic price.  I'd like to be wrong.

George
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Eric Rudd

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2005, 10:42:54 am »

Dave Rosen 1st wrote on Sun, 30 January 2005 10:37

 the Ocean Way years (especially 1984 -1991 my own personal favorite) As I think I speak for all that have either worked or performed at 6000 Sunset There is a felling you get from these walls that you can not duplicate anywhere else in the world.  

Dave Rosen
World Link Digital
(818) 842-2828


Dave Rosen???? THE Dave Rosen!!!????  Wow, what a blast from the past! How are you???

I am very proud to be part of the brotherhood that has worked within those historic walls. My years were from 1987-1994. I started as a "gofer" only days after graduating college and worked my way up to freelance work by the time I moved to Nashville in the spring of 1994.

It was literally my home for 8 years (I often had to sleep in a corner room on some packing blankets because my night session went late and I had an orchestra to set up for the next morning).

I remember going to dinner with Allen Sides one night. We had just finished our dinner and were waiting on dessert when a Frank Sinatra song came on the Muzak of the restaurant. Allen pointed at the speaker in the ceiling and said, "I was there in Studio 1 at Western when that was recorded. I was a runner working at the studio at the time."

I hope that this situation can be remedied and the studio can be saved. It's unfortunate that we are now into a generation who have never experienced studios like these, or the smell of analog tape for that matter.

A request: Those of you (Rail, Dave R., etc) who are out in California, please keep us up to date as you hear things.

Best,
Eric Rudd
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Gil

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2005, 11:30:06 am »

Perhaps Jerry Cubbage of Coast Recording Equipment Supply would be interested?  He bought Devonshire and kept it as a studio.

The last time I was at Cello I literally bumped into Kevin Killen in the hallway.  A great place with a great history and vibe - like many others posting here I would hate to see it become a parking lot.

-g
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WhyKooper

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Re: Cello Studios closes down
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2005, 12:51:16 pm »

Didn't they just load that place up with new consoles etc in the past few months?  
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