VIP Recording Quickly Making Name For Itself In Southern California Music Circles

Written by on March 21, 2013 in CD / DVD Releases, Gigs / Tours / Events, Interviews, March 21, 2013, News To Shout About! - Comments Off on VIP Recording Quickly Making Name For Itself In Southern California Music Circles

Gerry Gallagher (pictured), owner of VIP Recording in Calabasas, behind the control panels at his state-of-the-art studio.


(Calabasas, Calif.) – VIP Recording is a new state-of-the-art recording facility located in the upscale enclave of Calabasas, Calif. With a vintage Trident A board (formerly owned by Randy Bachman of Bachman Turner Overdrive) and equipped with the most modern technology available in music today, VIP Recording has all that is needed to produce, record and edit professional sound recordings under one roof. The new owner of VIP Recording is longtime music executive and producer, Gerry Gallagher.
The 2,500 square foot, vaulted ceiling “Live Room” has a wonderful and authentic sound. The control room — in addition to being a state-of-the-art digital recording experience — has the capacity to work from “old school” analog tape format as well. The studio is truly unique in that it can boast a full-sound echo chamber. The “Live Room” houses a 1919 Steinway piano (with Midi) and the Steppenwolf B3 organ that “Born To Be Wild” was recorded on.

All Access Magazine publisher Debra Stocker (identified here as AAM) recently interviewed Gallagher about his exciting new venture.

AAM: What was the impetus behind your desire to open VIP Recording?

GG:   Well, let’s put it this way, the studio and the setup that I have put together is the culmination of a 35-year sensational journey and the fulfillment of a dream that I have always looked forward to. I have always had the dream and ambition to own and operate a studio that encompasses the utmost in technology but also incorporates the live sound and the “old school” way of recording. I learned music and music production by dealing with live sound and I love the “vibe” that comes from musicians playing off of each other. I always look forward to that “magic moment” when I know that I have a great take. It is that moment when you “feel” the music and not just hear the music!

AAM: Let’s discuss some of the equipment at VIP Recording.

GG: As well as having a Grammy-winning engineering team that I work with very closely, we have incorporated the utmost in technology and convenience and the best in “New School – Old School” recording capabilities. * Trident A range 40in/out 24 buss quad console* Altec 604E main speakers, Yamaha NS10M near field* Pro Tools HDx 32×32 recording system* (1) 24-track recording* Waves Platinum Bundle* Vintage Neumann Microphones* Microphone Catalog of over 100 quality microphones* Vintage Live Echo Chamber (unique in today’s recording studios)* Original Pultec EQ’s* Original Teletronix LA-2A leveling amplifiers* 1919 Steinway Piano* Hammond B3 organ used by “Steppenwolf” on hits such as Born to be Wild* Array of guitar amplifiers* 6,000 sq ft* Live and Warm-Sounding Tracking room* Small and large Iso-booth’s
* An additional production / edit bay room

AAM:  With over thirty-five years of experience, you’re no newcomer to the music industry. Where are some of the places you have previously worked?

GG: I have been blessed over the years. I have worked independently in administration, distribution and production with some of the biggest labels and bands in the business. I had the pleasure of working with such prestigious labels as Atlantic, Capitol, EMI, Columbia, and Warner Bros. I also had the distinct honor to work closely with some legends in Rock & Roll, artists like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Phil Collins, Frank Zappa, Paul Anka, Charlie Daniels, Aerosmith, Kiss, Mariah Carey, The Jacksons, Journey, El Chicano, Pete Brown (songwriter for Cream), Stevie Wonder, Chicago, The Who (John Entwhistle in regards to the soundtrack of the movie Jerry McGuire), Kim Wilde, Kate Bush, Abba, Wet-Wet-Wet, Simply Red (Mick Hucknall), Simple Minds (Jim Kerr), Anne Murray, Steve Miller, Dave Matthews, Elton John, ELO, Toto (David Paich), Nazareth, Booker T & The MG’s, Santana, Vikki Carr, Jessy J, Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones), Friends Of Distinction, and many more. However, the two significant influences on my music life have been Atlantic Records’ founder Ahmet Ertegun. Even to this day, I thank for the influence and friendship he showed me. I really miss Ahmet and will always be in his debt for opening the music world to me – his legacy and influence lives on! The other influence (albeit for only a 3-month period of time) was working with Frank Sinatra on his Jubilee Tour in Europe. I learned so much about being professional, being committed to your goals and demanding the most from the music. Again, I miss Frank as well but will always hold Ahmet and Frank in high esteem and adulation. They were both icons in this industry and I am amazed, honored and humbled that I could have learned from them and enhanced my career in music through them!

AAM: What are some of the main changes (for better or for worse) that you have seen the music and recording industry undergo through the years?

GG:  Music is always changing! Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but music always finds its way in the end and that is basically the combination of sounds that makes up music that appeals to listeners. The industry today reminds me of when I got into it thirty-five years ago…basically it is searching for its next new and exciting adventure.  Music and the music business is all mandated by what the public want, need and appreciate; so the key is to put together the right combination of magic that creates exciting music that will stand the test of time. The combination that I am trying to promote is the high technology of today and the excitement of live musicians playing off of each other and creating magical music. I have seen the most amazing technological changes over the past 35 years and these changes, when mixed with the live performing production that I specialize in, certainly is the “best of both worlds!”

AAM: Some of the higher-profile names that have already used the facilities at VIP Recording are David Paich of Toto and East L.A. old school legends, El Chicano. What’s been their response?

GG: David Paich is a good friend and he frequents the studio quite a bit. Just last week he stopped in to jam with “El Chicano.” Another local resident, Ray Parker Jr. (of “Ghostbusters” fame) also joined in. That is the “magic” that I spoke about earlier – the “magic” of such talents combining together to come up with that extra special sound that comes from live interplay of music. Alphonse Mouzon (Weather Report), Brian Auger (Oblivion Express),  Vikki Carr, Spencer Davis (Traffic and The Spencer Davis Group), Alex Ligertwood (Santana), Danny Hutton and Cory Wells (3 Dog Night), Alice Cooper, John Kay (Steppenwolf), Richie Sambora and so many others have frequented the studio or recorded here. Most significantly in regards to what I am involved in just now, El Chicano (as pretty much the studio “in-house” band) are finishing up a very exciting collaboration CD. The new El Chicano CD that I am producing has incorporated some friends that I have made over the past 35 years …that are now some of the biggest names in the business. It is an honor that they have consented to being guests performers on the CD! One of the highlights to this CD is El Chicano recording a song given to me by good friend Pete Brown (who wrote the classic hits “White Room”, “I Feel Free” and  “Sunshine Of Your Love” for Cream). Pete had written a great song that was destined to be Cream’s next hit in 1968 but the band split up! Pete has pulled that song off the shelf and has given it to me to record. I am so honored and I get chills every time I hear it … it is coming to life after fourty-five years! Producing this legendary song is indeed one of the highlights of my career! Watch for the new “El Chicano” CD coming out soon!

AAM: Discuss your plans to also open VIP Recording in both The Bahamas and Maui, and why these particular locations?

GG: A continuation of that dream come true and selfishness, you might say. I plan to slow down over the next 20 years or so, but I will never give up making music! I guess the Maui and Bahamas studios will allow me to enjoy the tropical climate that I love and still have the ability to record my music no matter where I am. Either way, the live musicians playing off each other is the key to my production and the allure of Calabasas, Maui or The Bahamas will be a big incentive in bringing in top quality musicians to join in on the fun and excitement of creating music together!

AAM: What level of growth do you see the studio achieving, say, five years from now?

GG: I would not want to put a ceiling on that! Music is changing all the time and I hope to continue to change with it. I look forward to All Access Magazine revisiting us in 5 years’ time and you guys can be the judge of where we have taken VIP Recording. All I can say, whatever level that is, we will be having fun doing what we do … making music!