Robbie Robertson: Leader of The Band and Architect of Shangri La

Broken Record


Here's Rick Rubin Malcolm Glad Well Bruce Adam from Shangrila speaking with the studios architect Robbie Robertson. We had a fantastic take the other day a year. And I'm when I was telling the stories of Shangri la you know stories he envisioned this place and built it and it was unbelievable and it was mine it it you know the other guys in the band thought this was a good. Hi Dear but from big pink to. Sammy Davis Junior's house to the worcester. We made these records in not not in studios in other places where there was an atmosphere and it could be our atmosphere and ours. Sounds you know now and every thing was not on somebody else's will way of doing of somebody else's wave likes. You know you would go into the studio Rodeo. And there'd be these used to be these union guys they'd be like Oh looks like it's lunchtime or like what are you talking about lunchtime. We're we're you know we're about to do something something and and they'd be an IV. Like I I don't know this should be louder than don't touch that you know. Yeah so I don't want that I. Ah I don't WanNa do that so I said what we're going to do is we're going to make these clubhouse these workshop these studios does things that is our world and arm music are sound and whether it was true or not. I believed that that it gave it a character and a saying which it did for better or worse. What's what's interesting about? That too. Is that now. It's become more the norm. Yeah Ah that that said when you did it technologically. It was much more difficult to do like when you did it. You needed big studio equipment like today. People people can do it on their laptops so they can. It's easier to make that jump but when you did it. The infrastructure involved was not easy to pull off. It was unheard of except for Les. Paul Les Paul said. I'm going to build studio at my house and I'm GonNa Build an Echo Chamber into the side of this hill right. And he was going to do all of these things. I had an argument demint the other day with Van Morrison about being able to do this kind of thing and because he was saying I only liked the play live just with my band and I go in and we sing and they play this song and we can capture a moment. We've all done that. I know it really well. I played Ricksen music the other day. That was all like first or second takes in it. Was You know songs you've heard. Yeah sounds you've heard a lot so so anyway so van saying it's gotta be live and it's got to be governed by and that's the way it used to be in a way of being I said what about less paw. Aw He overdubbed. He made things he played on top of himself. He doubled tracked. Things invented it so so van says I know but he was magic you recorded at. Sammy Davis Junior House. Yes we made the band album. The brown album And we rented. Sammy Davis Junior House in the Hollywood sunset is at plaza in the Hollywood hills. And we all stayed in the House for the family and we turn the pool house where he used to have have his. Party's with Frank Sinatra the rat back and all these people we turn that Pool House into his studio and the record company Penny thought. This was the worst idea they ever heard. I thought this was ridiculous. He said Dr Fifteen minutes. We have the best studio in the world here. Franks not for records year right all of this stuff and I was like no no no. This is a different thing and finally finally they were like okay. Okay I guess I don't know what you're doing and it's probably going to be bad but serious June didn't show up in another another. Sammy Davis Junior. He owned he still owned the House. He didn't live there so the magic him like he lived there. Stepping in on one of your according to what the House was built lower. You go into the the bathroom in the sink was down here and it was. Everything was built to his specifications you know and and I it seemed like this is great. This is great. Sammy's world's amazing. And so we recorded the album there and then we mix it or we're going to mix the record and there's this guy in New York. Toni Mae was his name and he had mixed the is the brothers. It's your thing. Do what you WanNa they do. So it was such a great sounding record we said wow. Let's see we can get Tony Maiden Mick says and he worked with Phil Ramone and all these people are which so anyway comes in and he puts up the tapes and everything and he says These tapes are awful. I'm going to have to do a lot of work. Arcand this and I thought I don't know if I like that. So anyway. He did a mix. There was not what I wanted at all. It's not the way I heard it all so anyway we're like thanks. Tony See You know and on which songs with these these were on the band album was the night they drove old. DIXIE DOWN UP ON CRIPPLE CREEK Whispering Pines on was wrong with his mixes his mixes were a trying to make this slick and bright and end and there was a witness to it. There was a muddiness to it that that suited the music it was earthy and I I want it that right. But he didn't get the joke so that was okay so I went and mixed the album with guy another another guy at the at the the old Jerry Ragavan said factory in New York this guy of mixed the album we mixed at the guys in the band. We were all in their the in God at the way that that I wanted so we get it and then it's like okay. The guy the mastering in guy his name is Bob Ludwig. You GotTa get him to master your record. So we take the record to Bob. Ludwig and and He puts you know he puts on the tape the mixes and everything and he says Oh boy is like Toni. May He's like I don't know I'm GONNA try see if I can fix this or save this and I'm like That's really depressing. So I go on I tell the other guys I said. I don't know we might have done this all wrong. Everybody's saying it's it's terrible and that you know so the net. I don't know a couple of days later. Bob Ludwig calls me and he says I am such an an idiot. I am such a fool. I didn't get it I so get it. This is maybe be the most interesting record I've ever heard. He said I'm so sorry. And he told me Bob Ludwig he said I made the same mistake when sly stone brought me. There's a riot going on. I thought that that was a big mistake. Sue Two and he said and then I realized it you know I had to accept it the way that I accepted your record and So I was like 'cause I thought he was right hit on and if he had a state with that I don't know what would have happened. So he you you know he mastered at hardly did anything to it in in the mastering and it was just one of those things it was a homemade saying it did have that character to it and that was part of its

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