by CHUCK KIRKPATRICK
(COOPER CITY, FLORIDA)
Before I went to work full time as an engineer at Criteria in 1967, I worked for Jeep in his small repair shop/labaoratory on Sunrise Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. For a year, I helped wire the first two recording consoles Jeep ever built; the first of which went to King Records in Cincinatti, and the next to Criteria's newly built studio "A". My position at Criteria filled that left vacant by David Harrision who decided to go on the road playing saxophone with Wayne Cochran. Ironically, years later, David and Jeep would attempt a collaboration to design and build recording consoles. The partnership did not work out, and David went on to build his own line of the infamous Harrison consoles. In the meantime, Jeep became what I called 'the Henry Ford of the recording equipment industry', manufacturing consoles, electronics, and tape machines assembly line style. Jeep's equipment literally changed the industry and for a time was the most commonly used and seen equipment in studios around the world.
Criteria was the proving grounds for many of Jeep's equipment prototypes. Breakdowns of these prototypes on paying client sessions could sometimes make for uncomfortable situations. But, that's how R&D was done in those days!
My first few years at Criteria were relatively quiet ones. Most of the studio's business was local; ad agencies doing jingles, bands and singers recording demos, etc. When Atlantic Records came to town, everything changed overnight. The studio went 24 hours a day with all 3 existing rooms going full-tilt. 18 hour days behind the console were commonplace. Sometimes I slept at the studio rather than drive the 22 miles home for only 3 hours' sleep.
I left Critria in 1972 to go to California with my band GAME. I returned in 1979 and worked there for another 3 years until the recording industry began to take a dive. No longer able to work a 40 hour week for lack of sessions to engineer, I left in 1983 to join the band Firefall.
My recording credits will be found at ALLMUSIC.COM.