Electric Lady Studios
Front entrance in New York City in April 2013
|Address||52 West Eighth Street, Greenwich Village, New York City 10011|
Electric Lady Studios, at 52 West Eighth Street, in New York City's Greenwich Village, is a recording studio originally built by Jimi Hendrix and designed by John Storyk in 1970. Hendrix spent only four weeks recording in Electric Lady before his death, but it has since been used by many notable artists, such as Erykah Badu, The Roots, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Kiss, The Clash, AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, Michael Stanley Band, The Strokes, Hall & Oates, U2, Daft Punk, Kanye West, Christina Aguilera and D'Angelo.
Electric Lady Studio's current address 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 had invested jointly in the purchase of the Generation Club in Greenwich Village. Their initial plans to re-open the club were scrapped when the pair decided that the investment would serve them much better as a recording studio. The studio fees for the lengthy Electric Ladyland sessions were astronomical, and Jimi was constantly in search of a recording environment that suited him.
Construction of the studio took nearly double the amount of time and money as 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.
Designed by architect and acoustician John Storyk, 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 Jimi's creativity, but at the same time provide a professional recording atmosphere. Engineer Eddie 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 Jim Marron to manage the construction project and run the studio.
Hendrix spent only four weeks recording in Electric Lady, most of which took place while the final phases of construction were still ongoing. An opening party was held on August 26, 1970. The following day Hendrix created his last ever 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.
- Chris Potash, The Jimi Hendrix Companion: Three Decades of Commentary (New York: Schirmer Books, 1996), p. 94.
- "Lance Jost Designs Vintage Paintings". Retrieved 2007-04-09.
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