Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Mint

I was invited to a recording session at "The Mint" on Pico Blvd; a long time recording facility.  As part of a promotion for a larger project, "A Little Help From My Friends" was being recorded in a Joe Cocker style with a gospel type groove.

I found my way to the recording room, which in this case, was in the back of the facility adjacent to an alley.  As I walked in, they had already laid down tracks for the bass, drums, a smokin' lead guitar and vocals that sounded like a cross between Cocker and David Lee Roth.  It actually sounded pretty good.

What delighted me was how old a room this seemed to be.  It made me think that a lot of heavy metal and poodle rock bands in the 80's must have recorded there.  There were cut out magazine pictures covering most of the walls and the whole bathroom.  Nude women, women in S&M get up's, jazz and rock greats.  It was basically a very large music collage.

The room had one very big mixer board, some sort of computer program on a Mac such as ProTools, an area cleared for talent, another room that lead towards the front of the facility which I didn't go into, and then a large black leather couch and chairs.  The studio smelled of ripe hemp and was akin to those black Hollywood clubs such as the Roxy, where, when all of the people and excitement are cleared out, all that is left is black painted plywood.

They recorded horn sections and then brought in six sexy young women for back up vocals, each one seeming to be doing a certain amount of self-promoting with business cards and some good shots of flirtation.  It all went swimmingly and I was proud that as little music production as I do these days, I was able to keep ahead of the talent in many cases as to what the "musical director " (lanky long-haired rocker man) wanted out of his performers.

The one thing that I came away with me from the evening though was that, given that my financial resources are limited right now, I have not been out of my "circle" for a while, remaining mainly in the area I live and work to save gas.  But tonight brought me to another place; the center of something being created which I have missed.  I'm not sure if that "place" was the past since I've done a certain amount of music recording in my day, or just somewhere different; I think it's the latter.  Quite a step outside of my circle.