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The Day the Music Died: Hollywood’s Famed Record Plant Closes Doors

March 1, 1991

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Record Plant, one of the music industry’s leading recording studios and rock hangouts for more than two decades, closed its doors Thursday.

″Hotel California″ was recorded there by the Eagles, ″Songs in the Key of Life″ by Stevie Wonder, ″Rumours″ by Fleetwood Mac, ″Nick of Time″ by Bonnie Raitt and portions of ″Rock ‘n’ Roll″ by John Lennon. The Rolling Stones, Elton John and Neil Diamond made records there.

Bruce Springsteen was supposed to record there next week, but the studio’s owner, London-based Chrysalis Group PLC, announced unexpectedly that it was putting the building up for sale, saying the Hollywood studio was too expensive to maintain.

The Record Plant was known for its first-rate sound equipment and client attentiveness. It opened in 1969 at 3rd Street and La Cienega Boulevard, the first recording studio to offer a spa, bedrooms and lounges.

Six years ago it moved to Sycamore Avenue and got rid of the bedrooms and spa but kept the opulent lounges.

″We’re losing a little piece of history here,″ said studio manager Rose Mann. ″We’re losing a good clubhouse too. No one could go by the Record Plant without stopping in. And they liked to hang out here.″

Rod Stewart stayed 18 months once while recording an album, said studio vice president Dave Ellman. Crosby, Stills & Nash liked to have palm trees brought in and Axl Rose used an exercise bike in one $200-an-hour studio.

Increased competition has made it necessary for studios to be either large and backed by corporate financing, or so small that they can be run on a shoestring, said Joe Kiener, vice chairman of Chrysalis USA in New York.

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