Those Were The Days
Having spent the majority of life in recording studios, I must admit that one of my favorites is now for sale again. Blue Jay Recording is on the market and includes not only the fabulous location and physical real estate, but the electronics as well. “The Jay” is contained in an “earth house” structure and has always been a world-class place to record.
From the earliest days when Aerosmith utilized the Sony MCI gear, to the installation of the first SSL Desk in the area all the way up to the changing of hands from Bob to Kevin and Marcus (who changed it from SSL to Neve) Blue Jay has always been a superb setting for those engaged in making records. Just a few towns over from Weston, The Jay was an easy commute compared to traveling to New York City or other locations. The quiet suburban setting meant no parking hassles and the BBQ and Lounge with full kitchen kept everyone happy.
At one of my many sessions there, Bob, who had just bought his wife Janet a new convection oven for their home close to the studio, was nice enough to allow it to be used for baking some of my masters from Unique Recording (now defunct) so that we could finish the records. Bob came in another time when I was there with Artie Shaw to share some shells that he collected with his wife on Cape Cod. Everyone was always super cool to you and went out of their way to please you.
Blue Jay was not just a studio, it was a place to enjoy time with people and make new friends. There were so many projects going on at any given moment, it was not uncommon to run into whoever happened to be working there. Ben Orr and Roy Orbison are no longer with us and it is thanks to the studio that I was fortunate enough to spend time with them. It was also thanks to The Jay that I became friends with Ed Goodreau who was humble and well versed not in just the technology and how to use it to it’s maximum, but a true musician as well.
Many of the Clients that recorded at “The Reel” (Sounds On Reel Recording Studios, Weston, Massachusetts) also spent time at Blue Jay including Dawna Hammers, who at the time was married to one of the top people at Kurzweil in Waltham, Mass. The Live Room at Blue Jay was smaller than was available at nearby Mission Control in Westford (which had a gymnasium sized recording room, but a cramped control room with the first “split” SSL) but always accommodated even large projects such as the ones Artie Shaw did. Later on, an ISO Room was added before Bob sold the studio to the current owners. Many would record drums at Longview Farm or in the geodesic ISO Room at Normandy Sound and then continue production at Blue Jay. The “Closet” at Blue Jay offered some of the finest state-of-the-art and vintage microphones and there was always a helpful staff there that would accommodate the needs of any project.
Today, the owners are hoping to keep the history of this world famous facility alive which is a blessing since the majority of the top recording studios around the globe where all the hits came out of are now defunct. I took a great deal of video footage and photographs over the years at Blue Jay (besides the work I did there) and looking back at all the changes, it would be a wonderful thing indeed to see Blue Jay continue as it has since it first opened.
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