Sound City Studios Turned Scruffy Kids Into Superstars09:27
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Dave Grohl, left, is pictured at Sound City. (Roswell Films)
Dave Grohl, left, is pictured at Sound City. (Roswell Films)

"It was just a little more f***ed up than I thought it should be."

That was Dave Grohl's first impression of Sound City Studios — the lived-in, shag carpeting on the walls, Van Nuys, Calif. recording studio that the former Nirvana drummer remembers changed his life forever.

Sound City launched bands like Nirvana, and bands like Nirvana kept relaunching the studio.

It was a place where drums sounded like thunder and a hand-built mythical recording console called the Neve 8028 pole-vaulted musicians into stardom.

Kurt Cobain, left, and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana at Sound City Studios in 1991 (click to enlarge). (nirvananews.tumblr.com)
Kurt Cobain, left, and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana at Sound City Studios in 1991 (click to enlarge). (nirvananews.tumblr.com)

Those musicians include Tom Petty, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Rick Springfield, REO Speedwagon and Pat Benatar, to name a few.

From its opening in 1969 to its closing in 2011, Sound City produced more than 100 gold and platinum albums under the tutelage of owners Tom Skeeter and Joe Gottfried.

In his film "Sound City," Dave Grohl chronicles the recording studio's rise in the 1970s — and again in the '80s — to its descent into the analog graveyard with the advent of the digital age.

Grohl speaks with dozens of musicians, producers, engineers and managers — all of whom have fond memories of the studio, and of Paula Salvatore, who managed Sound City from 1981 to 1990.

"My job was just to manage the craziness and run it, try to book it," Salvatore told Here & Now's Robin Young. "When I went in there and I would hear tracks and smile at everybody, and everybody smiling and liked how it was sounding, it was just such a rush."

Guest:

  • Paula Salvatore, senior director and manager at Capitol Studios. She's also the former manager of Sound City.

This segment aired on June 5, 2013.

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