Recording studio

Sausalito’s dream recording studio is reborn

North Bay has always been home to many world famous musicians, actors and artists.

Soon, once again, it will become the home of a legendary recording studio that has played a big part in our nation’s musical soundtrack. It was, and will still be, Sausalito’s most legendary concert hall: the Record Factory.

Sausalito’s Record Plant, originally the Record Factory, was established in 1972 to be a special, quirky and laid-back recording studio, a far cry from the music scene of New York, LA and other major cities.

It was so much more; a world in itself.

“It was a community center. It was a place where things happened when things were happening,” said rock critic and writer Joel Selvin. The special thing: it also featured a series of live radio broadcasts on Jive 95, KSAN.

It opened on Halloween 1972 with John Lennon and Yoko Ono among the guests.

Closed for 13 years now, Jim Rees and other music enthusiasts with solid business credentials want to ensure that it not only reopens, but is reborn.

“It has to be saved, you know, for future generations,” said Jim Rees, Record Factory partner.

Long ago and right here, a young girl named Stevie Nicks sat down at a piano and made up a song called “Dreams”.

It’s on this album; one of the greatest albums in rock’n’roll history, recorded here.

For 36 years, years, until 2008, it was one of the country’s legendary recording locations, producing blow after blow after blow after blow, gold, platinum and diamonds in many genres and five of the 50 best-selling albums of all time. Prince made his first recording here. Even an 11-year-old Beyonce first recorded here on the recommendation of Stevie Wonder who recorded Songs in the Key of Life in the same studio.

Rick James, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Linda Ronstadt, Jefferson Starship, Huey Lewis, John Fogerty, The Grateful Dead, The Doobie Brothers, Heart, Journey, and the list goes on and on.

Rock legend David Freiberg recorded here as a member of Quicksilver Messenger and Jefferson Starship.

“It was the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company and a whole bunch of others. And, everyone went to other people’s concerts when they weren’t playing, you know. ‘rooting for everyone It was really cool the way it should be,’ said Frieberg.

“Lots of great creative moments. We wrote, Love will Find a Way, right there,” said Pablo Cruz guitarist and vocalist Dave Jenkins. “Every time we were here it was almost like being in church for us because of our respect for this place,” said Jeff Watson of Night Ranger.

Later this year, The Record Plant will come back to life for live recording and broadcast performances around the world. “Billions of dollars in music have gone through this building. Now we’re getting a ton of interest in the recording,” Rees said.

There is a lot to see.

“It’s kind of a virtual time capsule. You walk in and it’s like you’re stepping out of the ’70s,’ 80s, and ’90s. The gold records are still on the wall. You know, you’ve got the redwood kind, Funky, psychedelic stuff on the walls Studio B just like when Fleetwood Mac recorded Rumors and Studio A was like when Metallica recorded Load and Reload, ”Rees said.

Everyone here is like a child in a candy store.

“I listen to a lot of it. Bob Marley, everything that’s been recorded here. I’ve listened to it a lot,” said Brady, Rees’ 9-year-old son.

Thanks to the visionary investors, the music will be produced again at the Record Factory very soon.


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