Page 2 - John Babcock with the Studer J37 Recorder at Abbey Road Studios In 1993

by John Babcock
(Apopka, FL)

Me and the J37

Me and the J37

On this area of this great site is a photo taken of me in 1985 at Abbey Road Studios in london, when I was working there on one of my albums with 2 j37 Studers. I was surprised when I saw myself included here, so I thought I would contribute a few more pics and comments on the subject. I have been a Singer/songwriter muscian and recording music for more than 30 years now. And I never had more fun than working at Abbey Road studios in Beatles studio 2 were I did many sessions from 1985 to 1995. I had the pleasure of meeting a few people who worked at the studios with The Fab and were still there in the '80s and '90s! They shared great stories with me and I got to see and use alot of the vintage gear that was used by The Beatles and many other great artists back in the day. I have put up another photo of myself with the Studer j37 taken at Abbey Road in 1993 as well as a couple of session pics, and a shot of myself with an EMI BTR Twin track recorder. This machine is what the first Beatles record was made on. The cooest thing I did over the years I recorded at Abbey Road is I got to use The Beatles u47 mics they personally used on their sessions when I did mine. It was amazing. Thanks for allowing me to share and Thanks!!!

John Babcock

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Jul 19, 2013
EMI BTR machine
by: Luke Pacholski

Hi John, I already mentioned this to Chris:

The BTR machine pictured appears to be a BTR2 modified for stereo use by the BBC in the '70s:

The Beatles' stereo and twin-track tapes were recorded on BTR3 (stereo) machines. Also, as far as I know, all of Abbey Road's BTR machines were repainted gray in the '60s, which would also indicate this particular machine came from outside of Abbey Road. What it was doing there in 1993 isn't clear.

Luke Pacholski

Jul 19, 2013
E.M.I.Abbey Road Studio

John: Excellent article on you! I can share in your enthusiasm. My own experience was not as exhilerating as yours. Thanks for sharing this!
Brief extract from an interview conducted on myself when I launched my book 'Rockin' in the Desert' and just finished my 'Guitar Men' (Barnes & Noble) this year.

RDM: As I was getting ready to leave for Europe, Billboard Magazine published an article about my upcoming trip and what all I planned to do when I got there.

When the article was published, I immediately received promo records from American record companies. I recall one was Dick Dale’s (“The Surfin’ King”) first record “Let's Go Trippin’” on the Gardena label, Paul Revere and the Raider’s first recording “Like, Long Hair” also on Gardena, and one by Sugar Pie DeSanto, “Goin’ Back to Where I Belong” on Veltone.

I flew to Europe in May, 1963. My first stop was to visit a large British record promoter, "Bunny" Lewis at Ritz Records in Knightsbridge, London. He played the Don RAY records of Alvie Self and was impressed. He mentioned to me that Alvie’s “Young Singer” was reminiscent of Tommy Roe’s “The Folk Singer.” I told him Alvie made his record a full year before “The Folk Singer” by Roe was released. Lewis then recommended I visit his music colleague in Cologne, Germany. (This I did a few days later.)

My next stop was to visit EMI. Roland Rennie, the recording engineer at EMI who was in charge of a new group, The Silver Beatles (later The Beatles), took me into what later was called the Abbey Road Studio and previewed my own recording of “Blackmail” b/w “The Crash.” Also, Rennie previewed Alvie Self's “Let's Go Wild” and “Nancy” which he considered had “promise,” but with the advent of the British beat groups, they put any American repertoire aside for later and nothing I presented at that meeting was issued.

I then flew to the Netherlands and met with Dureco (Barclay Records), the label that recorded Bridget Bardot, before finally heading off to BFN (British Armed Forces Radio) in Cologne, Germany. Dureco liked the Don RAY material but tried to have me issue their records in the U.S., rather than issue Don RAY products. They offered me at eight cents a record the opportunity to release “Hawaiian Tattoo” by the Waikikis. Don and I both thought Hawaiian guitar music would not be a big seller, and how wrong we were as Jack Kapp (KAPP Records, New York) released it that summer and “Hawaiian Tattoo” sold over a million copies.

AG: What an interesting piece of music history!


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