It is notable as the location where many classic albums had been recorded, including those by: Heart, Bachman–Turner Overdrive, Loverboy, Queensrÿche, Skinny Puppy, 54-40, Spirit of the West, Jane Siberry, Sarah McLachlan, and Tegan and Sara.
In 1946, aided by Al Reusch, a musician, big band leader, and one of the first DJs in Vancouver, opened one of the very first recording studios in the country in Vancouver and christened Aragon Recording Studios. By 1954, Reusch had acquired sole ownership of the company and subsequently built Mushroom Studios in 1966 at 1234 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver.
Built from the ground up as a first class audio recording studio, the facility was originally an orchestral recording room for special sessions by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Author of "The Audio Cyclopedia", and award-winning acoustician Dr. Howard Tremaine, consulted on the original acoustic design and equipment installation, which led to Diana Ross and The Supremes, becoming some of the first clients, followed shortly by Led Zeppelin.
As Reusch apparently did not like the idea of recording post-Beatles rock and roll, he sold the facility within five years to Jack Herschorn who had previously co-founded Studio 12 on West 12th Avenue with Tom Northcott. He appointed Mike Flicker as Chief Engineer, Howard Leese as program manager and Charlie Richmond as Head Technical Advisor.
In 1971, Herschorn brought the original Universal Audio vacuum tube mixing console along with other purchases formerly housed at United Western Recorders north to Vancouver and installed in Aragon. Custom built by engineer Bill Putnam, it had been housed in Studio A at 6050 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood since 1957, and had recorded hundreds of hits by such artists as Bing Crosby, Nat "King" Cole, Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles.
In a sponsorship deal, the studios were named "Can-Base Studios" and only later became renamed to the current "Mushroom Studios" name, after the recording label that was originally housed there. The studio gained prominence when Heart's hit debut album Dreamboat Annie was recorded at the studio and subsequently released on their in-house label Mushroom Records.
The studio was updated in the 1980s to accommodate over 50 musicians in semi-isolated concert format to do film scoring for dozens of feature films and movies of the week from Chuck Norris to a redo of The Dirty Dozen. The studio was recognized for the film score album of Top Gun.
For the seven years between 1999–2006, John Wozniak of Marcy Playground fame owned and operated the studio, and in 2006, Rob Darch, owner of Hipposonic Studios, bought the building but not the equipment therein and rechristened it to Hippowest.
For four years, the original equipment remained at Hippowest for clients' use, but at the end of 2010, the console and all electronic gear were moved cross country to a new location on Queen Street West in Toronto, Ontario, custom installed and is currently operated by a team at Mushroom under the guidance of John Wozniak.
- History of Mushroom - via the Internet Archive
Archived with photos