Rolling Stones' mobile recording studio to be renovated

Studio used to record 'Sticky Fingers' and 'Exile On Main Street' revamped for future use

Rolling Stones' mobile recording studio to be renovated

Photo: Phil Wallis/NME

The Rolling Stones' mobile recording studio is to be revamped and restored for use at a future music venue in Calgary, Canada.

As they grew to be one of the biggest bands of the '60s, the Stones grew tired of travelling to recording studios and keeping daytime hours. The moveable facility, which was built in 1968, allowed the band to record at Stargroves, the country home of frontman Mick Jagger.

After falling into disrepair, the studio was purchased by the National Music Centre in Canada in 2000 but has remained in storage since then. The plan now is to get the studio back to working order under the direction of John Leimseider, the National Music Centre's electronics technician.

"It's spectacular," Leimseider told the Calgary Sun. "Some of the most important albums of our musical lives were done on that. This is a piece of major history that has to be protected to death, so my plan is a very conservative restoration. There are people who will take consoles and rewire everything — we're not changing anything, and the plan is to clean it up and make it work perfectly."

Former Stones piano player and later road manager Ian Stewart hired various engineers and producers to construct the console in order to fit in the back of a van. Aside from Stones' albums 'Sticky Fingers' and 'Exile On Main Street', the mobile studio was used to record Led Zeppelin's 'III', 'IV', 'Houses Of The Holy' and 'Physical Graffiti', as well as Bob Marley's 'No Woman No Cry' and Deep Purple's 'Smoke On The Water'. Iron Maiden, Wishbone Ash, Fleetwood Mac, Status Quo and Santana are among other artists to have recorded using the equipment.

"It will be a component of our new building," said a spokesperson for the NMC, Naomi Grattan. "We'll have it parked by the King Edward Hotel stage, and our hope is that it will be available for use on new recordings."

The new National Music Centre is expected to open in 2015.

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