Electric Lady Studios
Electric Lady Studios is a recording studio in Greenwich Village, New York City. It was built by Jimi Hendrix and designed by John Storyk in 1970. Hendrix spent only ten weeks recording in Electric Lady before his death, but it has since been used by many notable artists.
Front entrance in New York City in April 2013
|Address||52 West Eighth Street, Greenwich Village, New York City 10011|
|Location||New York City, New York|
|Opened||August 26, 1970|
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Electric Lady Studios' current site has a long history. The basement housed The Village Barn nightclub from 1930 to 1967. Abstract expressionist artist Hans Hofmann began lecturing there in 1938, eventually retiring from teaching in 1958 to paint full-time.
In 1968, Jimi Hendrix and his manager Michael Jeffery bought a newly defunct nightclub called The Generation in New York's Greenwich Village—a venue that Hendrix had frequented for impromptu performances and late-night jam sessions. The Generation had been known for live acts as diverse and legendary as Big Brother & the Holding Company, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Dave Van Ronk, Sly & the Family Stone, and John Fahey. Instead of renaming the club and continuing with the live venue business model (Hendrix's original vision for the project), advisors Eddie Kramer and Jim Marron convinced Hendrix to convert the space into a professional recording studio, as studio fees for the lengthy Electric Ladyland sessions were astronomical, and Hendrix was constantly in search of a recording environment that suited him. Architect and acoustician John Storyk designed each structural detail, and from there Electric Lady Studios were born. It was the only artist-owned recording studio in existence at the time.
Construction of the studio took nearly double the amount of time and money planned: permits were delayed numerous times, the site flooded due to heavy rains during demolition, and sump pumps had to be installed (then soundproofed) after it was determined that the building sat on the tributary of an underground river, Minetta Creek. A six-figure loan from Warner Brothers was required to save the project.
The studio was made specifically for Hendrix, with round windows and a machine capable of generating ambient lighting in myriad colors. It was designed to have a relaxing feel to encourage Hendrix's creativity, but at the same time provide a professional recording atmosphere. Engineer Kramer upheld this by refusing to allow any drug use during session work. Artist Lance Jost painted the studio in a psychedelic space theme. Jimi Hendrix hired Marron to manage the construction project and run the studio. Hendrix spent only ten weeks recording in Electric Lady, most of which took place while the final phases of construction were still going on. An opening party was held on August 26, 1970. The following day Hendrix created his last studio recording: a cool and tranquil instrumental known only as "Slow Blues". He then boarded an Air India flight for London to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival, and died less than three weeks later.
Into the following three decades, Electric Lady was used to record albums by many popular artists. The start of the 2000s saw the studio acting as a home to the Soulquarians, but soon Electric Lady faced a period of financial hardship. By 2010, the studio was taken over by investor Keith Stoltz and studio manager Lee Foster, under whose leadership the studio hosted sessions by Kanye West and Daft Punk. Electric Lady was renovated and expanded, with a new mixing studio added to the second floor and the third turned into a self-contained unit including Studio C, a private lounge, and another mix suite.
List of artists recordedEdit
Many artists have recorded at Electric Lady Studios, including:
- Ryan Adams
- Jack Antonoff
- Arctic Monkeys
- ASAP Rocky
- Dan Auerbach
- Erykah Badu
- David Bowie
- The Cars 
- The Clash
- Daft Punk
- Lana Del Rey
- Bob Dylan
- Guns N' Roses
- Billy Idol
- Led Zeppelin
- John Lennon
- Dave Matthews Band
- Frank Ocean
- Lou Reed
- The Rolling Stones
- The Roots
- St. Vincent
- Patti Smith
- The Strokes
- Kanye West
- The White Stripes
- Stevie Wonder
- Frank Zappa
- Chris Potash, The Jimi Hendrix Companion: Three Decades of Commentary (New York: Schirmer Books, 1996), p. 94.
- "Lance Jost Designs Vintage Paintings". Retrieved April 9, 2007.
- "The Believer - A River Runs Through It". The Believer. 2015-01-01. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
- Schillinger, Liesl (August 12, 2015). "Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios Turns 45". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
- "A Classic Now More Classic: Electric Lady Studios Expands, Adds Neve, API Consoles". SonicScoop. 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
- Frere-Jones, Sasha (August 28, 2018). "Electric Lady Studios Is Where Music History Is Made". L'Officiel. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
- Moskowitz, David (2010). The Words and Music of Jimi Hendrix. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 79. ISBN 978-0313375927.
- Pareles, Jon (20 January 2017). "Residente Chases His Muse, at the Genetic Level". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- Trendell, Andrew (September 6, 2017). "St Vincent unveils new single 'Los Ageless' and announces new album 'MASSEDUCTION'". NME. Retrieved September 6, 2017.