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Studio Diary

Food fans flip out! Forget recording — what do Pop stars eat while they're working? Lovable liquid-luncher and hardened drinker Trynka tucks in. Bon appetit!

Skeletal Family; Too fast to live, too young to diet

Can you picture it? There you are at Trident, on the phone, probably talking to a friendly gossip columnist or something, the party at the other end sounds a bit muffled and there's this weird smell pervading the place. You look around furtively, check your armpits, no they seem OK, you're pretty sure you changed your socks this morning so it can't be that, oh no, what's this, the handset, it's bleeding, unscrew the receiver, eeuugghh somebody's put tomato ketchup and chips inside the handset. Frankie Goes to Hollywood have obviously been in.

Mick Jones has more normal eating habits. Big Audio Dynamite have also been in at Trident recording an album, and Joe Strummer dropped in too. No Mick, you wouldn't exactly describe him as a Gourmet, even he couldn't bring himself to eat the cake they'd made him for his birthday party, cos it was made in the shape of the BAD logo, see, which is in vivid red and grey. Nobody knows what they used for the colouring either. Hugh Masakela was in mixing an album with Pete Woolscroft producing, and they didn't have any cake or eat it either.

Over at Eden they don't have the fun of walking the streets at two in the morning trying to see if they can find a sausage sandwich, because they've just opened a new kitchen and games area. People who've been making use of these facilities, maybe interspersed with the occasional bit of recording, include Killing Joke, doing some mixing with Zeus B Held at the controls, and Red Box, who've been working with David Motion. Brilliant, yer Killing Joke offshoot have been recording their next single, with the esteemed production team of Bill Drummond and David Balfe.

Up the M1 in Scouseland, Amazon Studio is the original veggie-pride capital. (After all, the Smiths did record Meat is Murder there.) Even they were somewhat taken aback though when James came in for their last session; they're all vegans which means no animal products like milk or eggs, and instead of bringing a van full of guitar cases, drums etc, rolled up in a Transit full of these big sacks. The sacks, and there's enough of them to fill Amazon's entire storage space, normally big enough to contain a couple of steel bands plus the Scotch Dragoon Guards, are full of millet and corn. Not to mention the cartons of soya milk. So I won't... Recent visitors to Amazon with good, ol' fashioned Junk-adulterated bloodstreams include Echo and the Bunnymen who are recording a new LP, OMD who are doing some overdubs on their latest album, and New Order, whose Peter Hook has been sighted eating an Egg McMuffin — sans egg. Weird, eh, pop-pickers? There have also been unconfirmed reports of Ivo, who is producing the new This Mortal coil project at Blackwing, furtively sneaking off to the greasy caff around the corner. John Fryer, (no relation) who is also associated with this epic, is furthermore known to be the only example of humanity who exists on a diet exclusively composed of buttered currant buns...

There's been much activity in Good Earth in the last month. More 4AD personae have been committing songs to tape, in the well-fed shape of The Cocteau Twins, whilst Chilli (or should that be Chilean?) fans Latin Quarter have been recording a new single for Arista. Working Week have been working on an LP with Ben Logan producing, with time off for lunch breaks, and London Records' artistes The March Violets were in recording a single with Andy Hill producing and Trevor Vallis engineering. Mick Kahn, alleged non-carnivore, was doing his own thing in terms of engineering and producing an LP, whilst It's Immaterial were working on something that probably doesn't really matter with Dave Bascomb producing. Current favourite eating place for Good Earth patrons is The Equatorial on Old Compton Street, which specialises in Singaporean cuisine. Or whatever 'kitchen' is in Singaporean.

If you're well sussed you will obviously get all your dietary preferences put on your recording budget, but record companies seem to have balked at paying for sushi, the Japanese raw fish which is commonly found at Flexible Response in Bradford. Skeletal Family, and the Unforgettables (a Dance Society offshoot) were presumably consoled by the fact that a new Macdonalds is opening in the town soon.

Up to Palladium in Edinburgh, and Lawrence from Felt doesn't really eat anything at all. At least it leaves more time for recording. Billy Mackenzie and Paul Haig have been recording some demos, diets unspecified and Xymox have been working on their latest 4AD release; their drummer just eats nuts. Nothing controversial about that, you say, and you might well be correct, but sources at the Power Plant vehemently deny that any of their recent clients have been seen in the vicinity of a hamburger or a plate of chips. They're obviously waiting for a better offer from the News of the World. So unfortunately we don't know if any vegemite sandwiches have been consumed by Men at Work during their recent work with Robin Millar. That well-known purveyor of music for muesli-lovers Tom Robinson has been doing some work with Mick Godfrey, and Vince 'Haircut' Clarke has been working on an unspecified project with well known being Flood.

Next month... Boy George in 'regularly eats food allegations'. Studio spokesman denies all. Are we heading for a new puritanism in our eating habits? Keep in touch for less details.

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Charvel 2B Bass

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International Musician & Recording World - Copyright: Cover Publications Ltd, Northern & Shell Ltd.


International Musician - Sep 1986

Recording World

Feature by Paul Trynka

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> Charvel 2B Bass

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