I can hear my wife now. I happen to be lucky enough to live in Cleveland, and frequent the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. I can hear my wife groan, and roll her eyes just a bit. Just as I finish writing this blog I will tell her the good news with excitement. Yes, honey, the recording machine that The Beatles used on Sgt. Pepper is on display at the Rock Hall. I can her the most sarcastic little noise, as she tries to understand why a recording deck is so important in the grand scheme of things.
Maybe I can convince her to go with me to see it. Somehow I doubt it, but maybe. A Beatle nerd can dream can’t he. This is totally cool.
Here’s what we’ve read.
Beatles enthusiasts and recording buffs will now have the opportunity to view one of the pair of original Studer J37 Multi-Track Recorders used in the recording of the Beatles’ historic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. The J37 recorder, on loan from Studer’s own museum, will be included in the newly renovated exhibit dedicated to the Beatles at The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, scheduled to reopen later this month. The timing of this contribution to the museum coincides perfectly with Studer’s 60th anniversary in the professional audio and recording business.
The Studer J37 originally went into production in 1964 and became the first 4-channel studio-quality tape recorder on the market. The two recorders used on the album were located in Studio Two at the legendary EMI Recording Studios in London (later to become known as Abbey Road Studios).
“The Beatles exhibit has always been one of our most popular exhibits and Studer’s J37 multi-track recorder will make an exciting addition ,” said Jim Henke, Vice President of Exhibitions and Curatorial Affairs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
Bruno Hochstrasser, Executive Vice President of Sales for Studer remembers that period well, having served 37 years with the company. Also celebrating his 60th birthday this year, Hochstrasser noted, “The J37 made history as the first studio-quality, multi-track recorder to be produced. The Beatles use of it in the recording of the Sgt Pepper’s album was confirmation of the J37’s innovative legacy. Studer has an amazing heritage in the music business, with numerous major albums having been recorded on Studer tape machines. Loaning this piece of history to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame reminds us of Studer’s long association with the recording industry and especially Rock and Roll music.”
Andy Trott, President of twin companies Soundcraft and Studer (and a self-confessed Beatles ‘addict’) added, “A few years ago, when I visited one of Studer’s studios in our offices near Zurich in Switzerland, I saw this J37 for the first time and got a thrill at the thought of John, Paul, George and Ringo standing alongside it forty or so years ago listening to a take of Sgt Pepper’s! I hope visitors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will enjoy the experience of being in the presence of a piece of music history as much as I did”.
The eighth studio album for The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was recorded over a 129-day period using a pair of Studer J37s. The album was released on June 1, 1967 in the U.K. followed by the U.S. debut on June 2nd.
Geoff Emerick, the audio engineer behind the success of the album was asked to re-engineer a tribute album marking the 40th anniversary on June 1, 2007. For this recording, Emerick used two of the original Studer J37 multi-track recorders as well as two of the original EMI mixing consoles provided by Mark Knopfler and Lenny Kravitz. Additionally, Emerick borrowed essential vintage AKG microphone models from the AKG Museum in Vienna, Austria.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission both through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs. The Museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.
Pricing and Availability:
The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Wednesdays, the Museum is open until 9 p.m. Museum admission is $22 for adults, $17 for seniors (65+), $13 for youth (9-12), $18 for adult residents of Greater Cleveland. Children under 8 and Museum members are free.
Source: Sonic State