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Emitt Rhodes: Home Studio

When my wife and I visited Emitt at his Hawthorne home recently, we were given the tour of his studio. It is located in the garage behind his house, directly across the street from his parents' old house where he recorded the Dunhill albums. Unlike the studio he had set up back in those days, his current studio is a fully equipped modern recording facility, decked out with digital recorders, a huge console and a varied collection of new and vintage gear.

The inside of the studio is MUCH larger than it looked from the outside. I was surprised at the size. I didn't ask Emitt, but I suspect he may have added to and enlarged the orginal garage. There is a good size control room (seen below) that looks out into the studio proper.

View from the control room.

If you've opened the cover of Emitt's first LP (or the CD) you've seen him sitting at an organ in his old shed studio. This type organ is called a harmonium. Emitt still owns the exact same instrument used on the album! It sits in his new and improved studio. Seen in the picture below is a decorative top piece that he had taken down in the earlier studio setup.

Emitt's harmonium

After selling his first album to Dunhill for the grand sum of (gulp) $5,000, Emitt spent the funds on new gear, including a brand new grand piano, which he ended up using extensively on Mirror and Farewell to Paradise. This, too, still sits in his studio next to the harmonium. Also seen in the image below is one of a number of Neumann U-87 microphones that Emitt employs.

In one corner of the studio is a drum isolation booth (sorry, no picture) in which Emitt has a couple of sets of drums (actually, you can just barely make it out in the first picture on this page showing the view from the control room; it's in the upper right corner.) Also against one wall is an upright piano which I didn't take pictures of. I wish I had now; Emitt has since told me that it was the same piano he used on the first album (looked of a more recent vintage to me ó he's taken good care of that thing.)

I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was too busy checking out all the gear tucked away here and there. Lots of nice little odds and ends. Over dinner we talked about his guitars among other things. He's replaced all of the older ones he used on the albums. He now has a Takamine acoustic which he says plays much better than his old Martin. He didn't mention what he got in place of his old Gibson, but he did mention that he got rid of it.

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