Interview from NPR / Dave Grohl: The legendary Sound City soundboard story

sound_city-2Mildly obsessed.  That’s my self-diagnosis regarding Dave Grohl’s new Sound City documentary.  I think the idea of a ratty rock studio and a magical sound board is highly addictive.  Team it with a tour, promoting the premiere of the movie with a band called The Sound City Players – essentially the Foo Fighters, with rotating cast of Rick Springfield, John Fogerty, Rick Nielsen and Stevie Nicks.  I’m hooked. Cool, fun, loud little clips on YouTube.  Check them out.  And here’s a story from NPR about the legendary sound board in the Sound City control room. The board (that Grohl believes has soulful and magical powers) that recorded Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours,  and Nirvana’s Nevermind, for goodness sake.  Grohl now owns it, moving it from the original home to his house.

It wasn’t much to look at: a nondescript building in the San Fernando Valley with hideous brown shag carpeting on the walls. But from the 1970s on, the Sound City recording studio turned out a ridiculous amount of great music: classic recordings by Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine and many others.

Dave Grohl and his bandmates in Nirvana were practically unknown in 1991 when they pulled up to Sound City in a rusted white van. But the album that came out of that session, Nevermind, turned rock music on its head.

In his new documentary and accompanying soundtrack, Sound City: Real to Reel, the Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters founder pays homage to that studio — and its distinctive soundboard.


VIDEO: Rick Springfield with Dave Grohl and Sound City Players

Highlight of the music weekend: Dave Grohl’s new movie Sound City debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and he had a concert featuring Rick Springfield, John Fogerty, Stevie Nicks and more…but it sounds like Springfield stole the show… (VIDEO BELOW)

from Movieline review: Rick Springfield’s set resonated even more with Sundancers judging from how violently their dancing and jumping shook the club’s floor.  It was an extended moment of pure rock bliss in which all the labels that get applied to music in terms of what’s cool (Foo Fighters) and what’s not (Rick Springfield) fell away and infectious, enduring pop music was celebrated for its essence. Grohl introduced the former General Hospital actor as “the one, the only, fucking Rick Springfield,” and the band played together on a number of the former pop star’s 1980s radio hits, “I’ve Done Everything For You,” “Love Is Alright Tonite” and “Jessie’s Girl.” And watching the beatific look on punk pioneer-turned-Foo-Fighter Pat Smear’s face as he played along to these Top 40 hits was indisputable proof that a good song is a good song.

As Grohl said archly between songs: “You’ve cracked the code, Rick Springfield. You’ve figured out how to write the perfect song. Goddamn you.”

Meanwhile, Springfield rose to the occasion of playing with one of the most balls-out rock bands in show business. In Sound City, he reveals somewhat sheepishly that Pat Benatar’s husband Neil Giraldo was pulled into the recording studio to lay down the famous guitar riff to “Jessie’s Girl” because the song’s producer didn’t think Springfield’s playing was up to snuff.”  But that humiliation was very much in the past at Friday’s concert. Onstage at Park City Live, Springfield behaved like a bona fide guitar god as he traded licks with Grohl.

FROM ROLLING STONE: The supergroup grew out of Grohl’s Sound City documentary, which goes inside the fabled Van Nuys recording studio where Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Metallica and Nirvana recorded some of their most acclaimed albums.


Hear Live music from Sasquatch Festival this weekend – webcast with Wilco, Foo Fighters, The Decemberists, and more

I love that technology gives us the the ability to hear live concerts via the web. While it used to be the domain of radio to broadcast shows as they happened, it now either Sirius/XM or music websites that carry most of these events. And they do a better job than radio has done in the past 25 years.

And our friends at NPR shift lots of shows to their website, including this weekend’s Sasquatch! Music Festival at The Gorge Amphitheater in George,WA.

You can hear bands that just stopped by Indy (Old 97’s), a preview of those that will be here soon (The Decemberists, Iron and Wine) and many Americana/rock bands that won’t (Wilco, Foo Fighters). The festival runs from Saturday (May 28) through Monday night (late night for Indiana, since it is on the West coast)

So drop by, tune in and rock out. Tell them NUVO sent you.


Saturday, May 28
•9:20 pm: Rebecca Gates
•9:45 pm: Iron & Wine
•10:50 pm: Aloe Blacc
•11:15 pm: Bright Eyes
•12:20 am: Wye Oak
•12:45 am: Death Cab For Cutie

Sunday, May 29
•3 pm: The Antlers
•4 pm: Washed Out
•4:25 pm: Sharon Van Etten
•5:10 pm: Fitz and the Tantrums
•6 pm: Dan Mangan
•6:15 pm: Tokyo Police Club
•7:05 pm: The Thermals
•8:10 pm: Basia Bulat
•8:25 pm: Cold War Kids
•9:15 pm: Typhoon
•10:05 pm: K-OS
•10:35 pm: Mad Rad
•11 pm: Flaming Lips
•12:35 am: J. Mascis
•1 am: Modest Mouse

Monday, May 30
•2:20 pm: Wavves
•3:20 pm: Ratatat
•4:25 pm: City and Colour
•4:40 pm: Old 97′s
•5:30 pm: Archers of Loaf
•6 pm: S. Carey
•6:25 pm: Gayngs
•6:50 pm: Guided By Voices
•7:55 pm: Noah and the Whale
•8:10 pm: Sharon Jones
•9:15 pm: Flying Lotus
•10:20 pm: Gold Panda
•11:25 pm: Das Racist
•12 am: Black Mountain
•12:30 am: Wilco