Pictured in Remote Recording’s Silver Studio (L-R): owner/manager Karen Brinton, engineer/producer Bob Clearmountain and Remote Recording’s Phil Gitomer
The key word is “legend”: Veteran recording/mixing engineer Bob Clearmountain was at the controls when Remote Recording Services' Silver Truck recorded the Rolling Stones at the 2,800-seat Beacon Theater (New York City) in late October. Clearmountain has recorded and mixed more than 30 Stones shows during the years, including the ones that appear in the Hal Ashby-directed documentary Let's Spend the Night Together — also recorded by a Remote Recording studio.
The Beacon performances and all of the pre-production/rehearsals leading up to the shows were also captured on film for a documentary that Martin Scorsese is making about the group. “We basically hit the Record button whenever anyone onstage started playing during the entire week,” says Clearmountain, who recorded the performances to Remote Recording's Digidesign Pro Tools HD rig. On hand were the modules in the truck's much-loved Neve VR console and a variety of outboard gear, such as the Apogee Electronics Mini-MP mic pre that Clearmountain used on Mick Jagger's vocal and on Charlie Watts' snare and bass drum.
A Stones show at the Beacon can't help but attract some high-profile fans, as well. Occupying more than a few of the prized seats were Bill Clinton and a large contingent of his guests, who were gathered to celebrate the former president's 60th birthday.
Count also among the fans in attendance Karen Brinton, owner/manager of Remote Recording. “Working with the Rolling Stones is always exciting, but having the opportunity to work with them in such an intimate environment at the Beacon made it even more amazing,” she says.
“Because the Beacon is so small, it was a much more intimate performance, which is quite apparent in the sound of the recordings,” Clearmountain says. “I love hearing them that way. The big highlight for me was the version of ‘You've Got the Silver,’ sung by Keith Richards with Ronnie Wood on slide acoustic guitar. It's always one of my favorite Stones songs and they totally nailed it — nearly a religious experience for me!”
Comparisons between the Stones film and Scorsese's magnificent documentary about The Band, The Last Waltz, will have to wait until this latest rock 'n' roll epic is released. But the popularity of the Stones movie seems almost guaranteed. Who wouldn't want to see the Rolling Stones at the Beacon Theater?