Go Your Own Way

As many residents in Marin already know, the Plant in Sausalito is associated with a big chunk of music history: Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, records by artists like Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Carlos Santana and John Fogerty, and tons of other classic albums we love were all recorded there. But the history of the studio has been as complicated as its name changes over the years. The iconic space has gone through many iterations, starting off as the Sausalito Music Factory and then being called the Record Plant before finally becoming the Plant in 1982. It was also seized by the government on the basis of drug-related charges a few years after that, and while great work still came out of the studio once that issue was resolved, it never regained the magic of the ’70s and ’80s. Fortunately, the spirit of the Plant will live on thanks to John Vanderslice. The musician and recording-gear junkie, who operates the successful Tiny Telephone Recording in San Francisco, is opening up a sister studio in Oakland and is bringing the Plant’s famous mixing console with him. “The Neve 8068 we bought from the Plant is really interesting on a few counts,” he says. “It’s the end of the line for the great era of Neve; two years after this console the company was completely restructured, and it made some pretty lousy consoles for the next couple decades. So it’s the product of a great company at the absolute peak.” And listen up, artists, he says: “The fidelity never improved after this console, and this board is actually two 8068s put together — it’s amazing and very rare. There are only a few of these consoles in the country, and there are fewer each year.” The board is currently being rebuilt with the help of the Neve specialist on the West Coast, Garry Creiman, so it can be ready for the opening of Tiny Telephone Oakland later this year. tinytelephone.com