As a musician I worked in various studios across London. One of them was a dodgy but characterful place called Backstreet Studios on Holloway Road.
Here’s my Top 3 magic moments there:
1. A rock band called ‘Empire’ rehearsed every Saturday afternoon in the hope that they would find the next Freddie Mercury. After three years of auditions they gave up trying. For a laugh their geeky keyboard player pranced around like a Spinal Tap version of Freddie. They became The Darkness.
2. A shy but pleasant musician called Chris booked his band into studio 4. ‘My band is called Cold Play’ he said. After writing it down he jumped in ‘but it’s all one word’. I wrote it down ‘Coldplay’ and thought to myself what a ridiculous name. Two weeks later he rang up to inform us that he’d got a deal. Well done I said. ‘Yeah thanks’ he replied, ‘my dad’s best friend is the head of accounts at Universal’.
3. One Sunday afternoon a band walked past Studio 1 and stopped. They listened at the door for a minute then turned around asking ‘Who in their right minds would do a cover of a Boomtown Rats song and do it that badly?’ I didn’t have the heart to tell them. It was Sir Bob himself.
Fun days in a long gone studio. Backstreet was demolished and replaced by Costa coffee. It’s opposite the Emirates Stadium.
This post originally featured on Pete Maher’s facebook page. An ex backstreet customer shared one of his magic moment experiences. This in itself highlights the crazy world of Backstreet Studios:
Elvis Pelvis: Ahh man we had such an awesome time there. Most memorable moment was ‘house engineer’ Chris getting angry with Brett Watterson about something the PA was doing and started to punch himself in the face.
Bands that used Backstreet Studios include:
Suede, Manic Street Preachers, Bob Geldof, Saint Etienne, Pulp, Joe Strummer, Ian Hunter, The Buzzcocks, Boy George, Hawkwind, The Damned, Glenn Matlock, Boney M, The Real Thing, Clare Grogan, Keane, Razorlight, Coldplay, The Darkness, The Selector, Madness, Tony Rolfe.