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Dave Grohl’s ‘Sound City’ Film Explores Classic Rock Landmark

Jordan Strauss, Getty Images

Dave Grohl has always shown he is a man of many interests and talents. Now, he’s cast himself in the role of film director and producer. The subject is, or should be, of great interest to classic rock fans the world over.

Sound City‘ is a film about Sound City Recording Studios, one of the most renowned recording facilities in history. Countless classic records by acts big and small were made there. The Van Nuys, California studio opened its doors in 1969 and has now closed, but for over twenty years it was home to a vast array of artists.

We know… you want names! Neil Young, Spirit, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Metallica, Foreigner, Guns N’ Roses, Cheap Trick and Nirvana, to name a few. Albums such as ‘Rumors,’ ‘After The Gold Rush’, ‘Damn The Torpedos’ and ‘Nevermind’ all owe a debt to those hallowed halls. Or, you could say, “the words of the prophets were written on the studio walls…”

The idea for the film came to Grohl after he purchased a Neve 8028 recording console from the studio. The console, vintage 1972, has long been considered the creme de la creme of analog recording equipment. This particular board was used on many of the aforementioned classic albums. “When Dave got the board and put it in his studio, he had the idea to interview people who had recorded there.” producer Butch Vig told Pulse Of Radio, “he got a list of all the bands that had recorded there over 20 years, it’s huge. I mean, it’s amazing. And so Dave started calling up people and saying, ‘Hey, man, do you want to do the interview for this documentary?’ And everybody said yes.” Vig is also working with Grohl on the movie’s soundtrack.

“When he was doing ‘Wildflowers,’ Tom Petty said, ‘Sound City smells like 40 years of sweat, pot smoke and cigarette smoke,’” producer Brendan O’Brien recalled for MixOnLine.com. Grohl is very excited to have the project coming to light. “‘Sound City’ is a film about America’s greatest unsung recording studio,” he said in a press release, “it was the birthplace of legend. It was witness to history. It was home to a special few, intent on preserving an ideal. An analog church, a time capsule, the last bastion of a craft defied by technology. It was rock and roll hallowed ground.” Grohl is looking at early 2013 for the film’s release.

By the way, it wasn’t all big league artists that made their way there. The notorious LA punk band Fear made their classic album ‘The Record’ there and, in a bizarre scenario, in early 1969, Charles Manson recorded some demos there, before turning his “talents” to evil fare. For a list of artists who recorded there over the years, you can check out the studio’s official website.

Watch the ‘Sound City’ Trailer

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