Forty years ago, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band recorded some of their breakthrough Born To Run album at 914 Sound Studios in the small town of Blauvelt, NY. They spent a lot of time there—so much that occasionally the band pitched a tent in the studio’s backyard rather than drive home to New Jersey. Ultimately, however, they only used one song on the final album, opting to record the rest at The Record Plant in New York City. Still, if only a single song could make it to the finished LP, it was the right one: the propulsive title track. We all know what happened to Springsteen, but whatever became of 914 Sound Studios and its audio team?
Robert Brum, reporter for The Journal News, tracked down the team and the recording facility that was founded in 1971 by Brooks Arthur and the late, legendary producer Phil Ramone. Over the years, the studio and its Solid State Logic console recorded 16-track hits for the likes of James Taylor, The Ramones, Dusty Springfield and Ashford & Simpson, among others, and won a Grammy for Janis Ian’s 1975 album, Between the Lines. Everyone involved with the studio eventually moved on to other efforts—Arthur left for the West Coast to work with the likes of Neil Diamond, while Larry Alexander, assistant engineer, moved up to the Power Station in New York City; these days, he has his own studio at home.
And 914 Sound Studios itself? The “914” no longer applies—it came from the local area code, which changed years ago—and “Sound Studios” isn’t accurate now either: Today, the site where so much rock history was recorded is now a car wash.