Sound City Studios Lost Main Man Tom Skeeter

Sound City Studios Lost Main Man Tom SkeeterCourtesy of zimbio.com

“We lost our main man, Tommy Skeeter, this week. Grateful to our @SoundCityMovie pals for introducing him to all of you.  Thank you to all the people who have stopped by the office to meet Tom in the past few years — he enjoyed the visits, and loved hearing how far people had come,” Sound City Studios announced on Facebook on Saturday, September 13th, 2014, explaining that the recording studio owner had passed away at the age of 82. In addition to owning Sound City, Skeeter was the president and co-founder of Carman Productions and CEO of Rainy Day Records.

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Sound City Studios was founded by Tom Skeeter along with Joe Gottfried in 1969 in California’s Van Nuys, an industrial neighborhood in Central San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. The studio became part of music legend when artists like Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Tom Petty and Nirvana recorded albums like Fleetwood Mac, After the Gold Rush, Damn the Torpedoes, and Nevermind, all major landmark records. David Grohl of Nirvana, made legendary studio a more mainstream topic when he released his 2013 documentary film, Sound City which, he told Rolling Stone, was a place he’d “always had a strong connection to that studio because Nirvana wasn’t meant to be the biggest band in the world.” He went on to describe what happened: “So when we went there for 16 days, we weren’t making that album with the intention that we were going to change the f–kin’ world. We just wanted it to sound good . . . The fact that what happened actually, happened, makes me think there’s something a more than just wires and knobs in that place. Personally, I have a strong emotional connection to it.”

That emotional connection extended to the famed Neve 8028 analogue recording console that Gottfried and Skeeter acquired shortly after opening the joint business venture – a crucial decision that affected the studio’s future at the time. Skeeter told Mix Magazine when Sound City was celebrating it’s 40th anniversary in 2009, “That turned out to be the smartest thing we ever did because that same original console is still sitting there in Studio A. Rupert Neve said it was probably the only console of that vintage that’s been in the same spot since it was manufactured.” When Sound City closed it doors to commercial recordings in 2011, Grohl purchased the Neve console for his own personal recording studio, having formed an attachment to it when Nirvana recorded Nevermind using it in 1991. RIP, Tom Skeeter, you will be greatly missed.

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