Capitol Records September 28 2015
This summer I had the great honour of visiting Capitol Records in LA to show them my work. I considered long and hard what would be appropriate to paint and take along on the trip. In the end I decided it should probably be by England's biggest export to America and indeed the rest of the World, The Beatles. In the U.S. they were on the Capitol Label. It also seemed sensible to pick a tune from 1965, 50 years ago. There were three No.1s in America in 1965, Help, Ticket To Ride and Yesterday. I'd already painted Help on the UK Parlophone label so that was out. And then, with a little serendipity, I realised that Yesterday had actually been at No.1 in the U.S. the day I was born. It was never a single in the UK at that time, as the other Beatles had vetoed it not considering it 'a true Beatles song'. Just McCartney on his Epiphone Texan guitar with George Martin's first major orchestral arrangement for the group.
So I was confident when I wheeled my flight case into the legendary Studio 1 that I had something good to show them. I wasn't really prepared for their reaction, you forget when you live with the pieces all the time, but they had never seen anything like it and all got very excited. Internal calls were made and I soon had quite an audience. Had I ever painted Sinatra?, what about Blue Note etc etc. All fabulous to hear. I was then whisked away on a tour of the amazing record stack of a building. They are rightly very proud that it is now listed and protected from ever being turned into a luxury hotel which until quite recently had been threatened. So much of the World's great music was born here, it's unthinkable that it could have all been torn down.
We walked passed Sinatra's vocal booth, Nat King Cole's piano and Nelson Riddle's orchestra stand through to the control room and the beautiful Neve 88RS-72 desk. Next, on to the tape library where I was handed Capitol's Beatles masters including Yesterday and Today, Revolver and Rubber Soul. Are you all envious yet?. And then I was taken up on the roof - wow !! Just behind me top right you can make out the Hollywood sign. And yes I am posing (come on who wouldn't).
They wouldn't let me take the piece away so it now sits in the studio. And I'm happy to report that we are in discussions about working together to celebrate 60 years of the iconic building on 2016.
Since my last email I've also been busy with a number of commissioned pieces which are now available as prints on the website. Once again you can take advantage of the 15% discount code which you paste in when prompted at the checkout. BWV1ZYSATV7W