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“Supertramp in Paris ’79” Restored at Cups ‘N Strings

Pictured at Cups ’N Strings Studios are (from left) engineer Grant Johnson, Cups ’N Strings owner Bruce Maddocks and Supertramp producer Russel Pope. Photo by David Goggin.

Supertramp co-producer Russel Pope recently visited Cups N’ Strings Studios in Santa Monica, Calif. to supervise the delicate restoration of 24-track analog tapes recorded at the multi-Platinum band’s renowned 1979 Paris concerts. The tapes were recently discovered in the Northern California barn of the band’s drummer, Bob Siebenberg.

“The condition of these tapes was appalling,” explains Pope, who co-produced the original project with Peter Henderson, the live engineer for the Paris concerts. “And the film footage has been sitting in the vaults since the day it was shot. Everything was stashed away and now it’s all being re-assembled. I’ve worked with Bruce Maddocks on a number of restoration projects here at Cups ‘N Strings and without his expertise we could have been in big trouble.”

“The 2-inch analog tape masters were a bio-hazard,” adds Cups ‘N Strings owner/chief engineer Bruce Maddocks. “They were covered with cow dung. We cleaned them up as best we could before putting them in the convection oven for baking, which produced some very penetrating odors. Luckily, we were able to salvage all of the tapes and transfer them successfully to Pro Tools.”

After transfer to digital, the tapes will be shipped to London where they will be mixed by Peter Henderson. The final editing and post-production will take place at director Peter Clifton’s studios in New Zealand. Clifton is known for such concert films as Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same.

“With today’s technology, I think the final results will be even better sounding than the original double album,” says Pope. “Everyone thinks we did all sorts of overdubs, but we did only two. There was a buzz on a synthesizer that we had to replace, and there was one harmony by the sax player, John Helliwell, that was redone. The rest was left as it was recorded originally.”

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