Happy Birthday Maida Vale


The BBC's Maida Vale studios . . .

The sound desk at Studio 4.

Earlier today I was alerted by the fine people of Twitter to the fact that today is the 75th anniversary of the BBC’s famous Maida Vale Studios, a place very dear to my heart.

Those of you who know me will know that I’ve been ‘involved’ with the band Magoo for more years than I care to remember, ostensibly managing them but in fact as a sleeve note mentions somewhere more accurately – in charge of ‘telephones and typewriters’.

When I first started working with the band I only really had one goal and that was to record a session for the late great John Peel (yes him again). I made a vague deal with them that I’d help as much as I was able as long as when or if (not sure what I thought at the time) they ever got to record a session for John Peel I would be allowed to appear on it.

So you can imagine what the 12th December 1995 meant to me, as that was the day Magoo travelled down to the BBC’s Maida Vale recording studios (number 4 I believe) to record their debut session for the John Peel show.

As ever with these events I don’t recollect much about the day, other than feeling wildly overawed and hugely out of place. After all this was the place that almost every band I’d ever loved had come to record – Joy Division, Pixies, The Smiths, The Specials, Sonic Youth and of course the mighty ever present Fall. This was the place where Delia Derbyshire had laid out huge lengths of tape loops to produce the theme tune to Dr Who for the Radiophonic Workshop. The place even that the BBC Symphony Orchestra called home.

And here we were.

Magoo recorded four tracks that day, namely Baxter Preminger, Eye Spy, Goldwyn and last but not least Valley As A Whole which features just a single chord played by yours truly – but boy what a chord.

Happy birthday Maida Vale.

Magoo at Studio 4, Maida Vale.

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