The George Peckham
Part Four: The
By George Peckham
Geoff checked it out and made a few minor changes, but he was very happy with it. The only thing was we were still at Boston Place while our Studio was being re-built, so the desk had to come to Boston Place and go upstairs into the only office there. The desk was a massive one about fifteen feet long and we all had a go at getting it up the stairs, which we eventually did. I remember that the desk didn’t cost a lot of money and when it was installed into the new Studio it did give hardly any problems at all, in fact it was a good work horse.
Once we were finally all installed back in 3 Saville Row we then had to have a grand opening as now the Studio had cost the Beatles quite a lot of money and we all needed to pull together to get them some money back.
A good friend I knew was Tony Visconti. He was a very good Producer on the music circuit and he got involved with Mary Hopkin and later married her. Tony told me he was recording a folk singer called Marc Bolan who, through Essex Music, had made quite a few albums.
Tony said that he wanted Marc to get more into a kind of electric rock theme instead of the acoustic guitar vibe that he was into with a couple of mates. They were known as Tyrannosaurus Rex and within a short period he turned up with Marc to cut a new single, then more, and LPs, too. Tracks such as ‘Telegram Sam’, ‘Ride A White Swan,’ ‘Get It On,’ were just scratching the surface of what Marc was capable of. He was so excited to be bumping into Ringo Starr, popping into the cutting room to put some sessions for himself to get records cut.
One of Marc’s songs, ‘Ride A White Swan’ turned out to be quite sibilant, being very ‘ssy.’ This meant that on disc it would be very harsh on his ess’s and his ‘t’s, so I had Marc write down all the words so that I could underline the ‘s and ‘t ‘s in the song in order to
minimize the high frequency at those points and cut a good clear record for him. I wish that I had kept hold of his hand written lyrics as they would be in a frame today!
I also started cutting records for Led Zeppelin about this point: their 4 symbols LP named “Zoso.” Jimmy Page attended with a guy from Atlantic Records, Phil Carson from Production. He rang back a few days or so later saying that Jimmy had called him to say that he was really impressed with the quality of the record and very pleased that I had cut it so loud, too, and that he wanted me to cut ‘Zep’s records in future. So I did a couple of later LP’s – ‘Houses of the Holy.’
John Paul Jones attended that session. He was a really nice guy and he particularly wanted some of the bass line passages he had re-enforced with a
Moog synthesizer to stand out more. We did that and he said that he enjoyed working with me as I understood and was making positive comments which he hadn’t thought of, adding in certain passages. He also thought that what I had done on the cutting of “Zoso” was really very good and that was why he had asked to attend and oversee this LP. I think that I cut two more LPs for them after that one.
There was a guy who used to ring me over and over with a view to try to get a job at Apple as an engineer. His name was John Mills and due to his persistence I asked him to send in a C.V. about his experience in Studios which I would read.
I said that if I was happy I would then get him to come to the Studio and would interview him. I did this and I showed him around the Studio and the upstairs too. He was really impressed and was pushing me about getting a job as a sound engineer with us. He told me his track record was that he had worked at Tamla Motown Studios, then he had worked at Olympic Studios in Barnes, also that he had engineered at Pye Studios at Marble Arch.