Paul McCartney finds Nirvana
Updated 29 July 2016.
Grohl’s Sound City doco climaxes with Paul McCartney/Nirvana collaboration
Shots of a studio console and a driver’s eye view of a car driving about, with Dave’s glum voice over and guitar-strumming-under, are not really my idea of entertainment.Nevertheless, since “Sound City” was the former Nirvana drummer’s directional debut, you can forgive him such teething problems; especially considering I was watching the film on a laptop. Even so, I did keep putting off watching it longer than was necessary. The other day, though, I gave into my younger son’s nagging and saw Sound City on the big screen (well, on a TV screen) where it was much better – once it got past those first boring ten minutes – than on a laptop.
|Producer, Rick Ruben, left, with Dave Grohl at the legendary Neve console.|
Sound City Studios was where Nirvana recorded their seminal “Nevermind” album in 1991. The star of the film appears to be the studio’s custom-built analogue recording console. One of only four in the world, it was designed by English engineer, Rupert Neve, described as a genius in the film. Each console was intricately hand-built; making each unique. Through some fluke of nature, the majestic Neve console and the scruffy old Sound City recording studio combined to make the place a fantastic place to record drums. As producer Rick Ruben says in the film, “You can record guitars almost anywhere. Drums really change from room to room.”
|Stevie Nicks: just one of Sound City’s many talking heads.|
Up until then, Sound City Studio was struggling to make money.
|Sound City Studios, LA, back in the day|
“We’d record anything to pay the bill”, says founder, Tom Skeeter, who converted the studio from an old Vox amps factory. The Fleetwood Mac session and the resulting publicity saved the day.
make a movie about Sound City.
|A scene from the film. Dave Grohl and Paul McCartney.|
first time Nirvana had reformed since Kurt Cobain’s death. McCartney punches out a mean riff on his square Bo-Diddley-style guitar.
Paul McCartney and the Nirvana guys later won the GRAMMY for the Best Rock Song at the 56th Awards in Los Angeles, beating the Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Muse and Gary Clarke Jnr. See below.