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What is Hip?


L to R: Greg Adams, Stephen “Doc” Kupka, Mic Gillette, Skip Mesquite and Emilio Castillo

Photo © 2004, Rocky Barbanica, ROC Video Productions

Sy Klopps Studios in San Francisco welcomed a Tower of Power reunion recently when the original horn section, along with bassist Francis Rocco Prestia, dropped by with co-producer Steve Finch and engineer Gordon Briswell to lay down tracks for Mic Gillette’s forthcoming solo CD, Before I Go, out later this year. The new album is Gillette’s first solo venture after 35 years serving as lead trumpeter of Tower of Power, and recording for such acts as Santana, the Rolling Stones, Jefferson Starship, Rod Stewart and many others. The sessions also got the former Tower of Power bandmates together for the first time since 1972. Sy Klopps’ main tracking room, Studio A, is home to a Digi-design Pro Tools HD|3 Accel workstation and Control24, as well as choice Class-A outboard gear and a Hammond B3 organ. Visit the studio at To view live footage of Gillette and crew at work, log on to