It’s been 12 years since the AES hosted its annual U.S. convention in Los Angeles, so we decided a few months back to put together an All-L.A. Issue to celebrate the return. Our apologies to New York, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, Nashville and all the other big cities and small towns where great music is made and stellar audio is produced. But this month it’s all about the City of Angels, La-La Land, Tinseltown, the Entertainment Capital of the World.
We’ve done similar issues occasionally over the years, and they’re a lot of fun to put together. We editors get together and start hashing out ideas, looking for a proper blend of tribute/historical material and today’s energy. Often, we find, the same talents that formed the history are still vital today. Case in point: Jackson Browne, the subject of this month’s Mix Interview with Blair Jackson. A pivotal songwriting/producing force in the 1970s who is just as vital today, putting out a dynamite new record just this month, recorded in his own Groove Masters Studio out in Santa Monica. Then there’s The Roxy, The Whisky, The Wiltern and McCabe’s, along with the granddaddy of all L.A. venues, The Hollywood Bowl. All remain strong and are moving forward, embracing both new technologies and new styles of music.
On the cover, we feature Doug Rogers, who purchased the property at 6000 Sunset Boulevard in 2006 and renamed it EastWest Studios, creating synergies with his software sounds company. This isn’t just any property. It’s the famous Western Recorders space built by The Father of Modern Recording, Bill Putnam, in 1961, then owned by Allen Sides and becoming part of Ocean Way, before being renamed Cello, and finally EastWest. The equipment has changed over the years, though it retains an emphasis on vintage gear. The interior style has changed, too. The walls, the rooms themselves, have not been touched.
Finally, one of my favorite pieces inside pays tribute to the session players from the 1970s, the Golden Age of L.A. Recording, a different time to be sure, one that followed on the heels of The Wrecking Crew and brought a new, fresh, rock ’n’ roll energy to town. Lest anyone think this is a nostalgic piece, read on. Those who talked to us for the article remain just as active today. It’s just different.
So, AES, and all you attendees from out of town, welcome back to Los Angeles 2014. It’s a pretty special place.