Delta Riffs, Texas Sagebrush, American Blues
Peter Frampton's Studio Pt 2
We moved in to our new house mid-August. Exactly one week before the kids started school. "Ready, FIRE, Aim" is what I called this process. A bit sloppy, but it worked. (And no one was injured.)
Mr. Frampton was on tour until the end of August, and asked if he could leave his studio equipment in the house until mid-September . This included (not kidding) 30 guitar amplifiers, speaker cabinets, tape machines, drum sets, cables, microphones, etc… . He had to finish the tour before he could get organized in Nashville, and send for his gear.
This wasn't much of a problem, and I was happy to comply because it was a huge task to unbox and put away all of our stuff, let alone start on the studio.
I have had a few houses over the last 25 years, and I have to say that Mr. Frampton was the most gracious homeowner I have ever bought a house from. It takes years of living in it to master all of the idiosyncracies of a home, and this one has a lot of 'personality'. Alarms, coded doors, 6,423 light switches, sensors and a 13 zone sprinkler system posed unusual challenges, but he was immediately available to help me figure everything out.
It is a bit strange, having one of your guitar heroes help you get the sound system in the basement working. Over the phone. On a tour bus somewhere in Texas.
When Frampton's tour was finished, a production service was scheduled to come and remove all of the gear, and Peter himself would be here as well to make sure they had gotten everything.
Two huge box trucks arrived, and six burly dudes began packing up the studio, except for the mixing console. It turns out that he would be moving his recording gear into a studio in Nashville, but they already had a on just like it down there, and a bit newer. I made a deal to keep the SSL here in the house. (Way cool.) Now he didn't have to remove the windows to get it out of the room!
So the doorbell rings in the early afternoon, and here he is: Mr. Peter Frampton! My wife and one of my daughters answered the door with me and we said "Welcome home!" Hahaha...
I found some scattered personal items of his around the house, and made sure he got them. He showed me a few things that I should know around the house- like an alarm linked to a water sensor that will warn you if the basement is flooding, and where the hide-a-key was stashed. He hung around for a few hours and we got to chat about the house, did he like Cincinnati and his killer Guitar Circus tour.
I realized that we had some things in common: we both save EVERYTHING! Every manual, every remote control, any kind of gizmo adaptor. (See wifey? It's not just ME!) And dimmers- they're everywhere. I love dimmers on the lights. You can really dial in the mood with the proper lighting. First thing I did when we moved into my last house was to put dimmers on about 20 light switches. And the obvious similarities; we both are songwriters and lead guitarists, gear heads, and lovers of German cars.
What impressed me about the man most was that he is completely down-to-earth, and one of the most gracious gentlemen I have ever met. Not only has been wildly successful in his career, but he sets a great example as a human being. He is generous and kind of spirit. It would be great to get to know him better.
(It must be tough being a celebrity and having to frequently interface with people that may treat you only like what they picture you to be- instead of who you really are.)
Anyway, back to the studio: with everything cleared out I could start moving my stuff in and try to make noise in there. Yeeha!
Funny thing is, it took a visit from his local sound engineer to make thr proper connections so I could listen to iTunes or a CD in there! My old studios were like riding a bike, and this new one is like flying a helicopter. How do you turn this damn thing on?
~Steep learning curve in the road ahead~