In 1968, Jimi Hendrix and his manager Michael Jeffery invested jointly in the purchase of a small club hidden in the basement of a non-descript building in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Unfortunately their initial plans to re-open the club were abandoned when the local mafia added pressure for fees to compete in the neighborhood. It was an unwelcome association, and since commercial studio fees for Electric Ladyland sessions were so lofty, the pair instead decided to convert the space to a highly specialized and custom-built recording facility.
Designed by architect and acoustician John Storyk, the studio was made specifically for Hendrix, with round windows and a machine capable of generating ambient lighting in a myriad of colors. It was designed to have a relaxing feel to encourage Hendrix’s creativity, but at the same time provide a professional recording atmosphere. Engineer Eddie Kramer upheld this by keeping everyone on the straight and narrow while recording.
Hendrix spent only two and a half months recording at the Electric Lady Studios, most of which took place while the final phases of construction were still ongoing. Following a mastering session at Sterling Sound on August 26, 1970 they held an opening party later that day for Electric Lady Studios. Hendrix left for London after the party and never returned. Early on September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix choked on his own vomit and died in London.
Words by: DUNCAN QUINN
Sadly, Jimi never lived to see his Electric Lady become the mecca for legendary recording artists from across the globe. From the Rolling Stones to the Clash and AC/DC its hallowed walls have hosted the great, the good, and the criminally intoxicated.
More recently it played host to a rather upmarket affair as Christie’s Auction House held a private Post-War and Contemporary Art viewing there. Attended by the great and the good of the art world. Fueled by champagne and cocktails. And performed to by the Drums.
Subsequently Leonardo Di Caprio allegedly purchased the Andy Warhol painting of Marlon Brando which had been on display for a cool $20,100,000.
Heady stuff indeed.
Maybe its the greatest club that never was.
The Electric Lady Studios: 5*…Rock ‘n Roll Mecca
Warhol: 5* The Genuine Article
Christies Auction House: 5* The Art Of Art
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