Tom Skeeter, owner of the legendary Sound City recording studio in California, has died. He was 82.
The studio issued an official statement on their Facebook page over the weekend, saying: “We lost our main man, Tommy Skeeter this week. Grateful to our Sound City Movie pals for introducing him to all of you. Thank you to all of the people who have stopped by the office to meet Tom in the past few years– he enjoyed the visits, and loved hearing how far people had come.”
Skeeter founded Sound City in 1969 with business partner Joe Gottfried. Based in an industrial park in Van Nuys, the studio was the recording location for a number of legendary albums, including Tom Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush and Nirvana’s Nevermind.
Of course the studio – and its Neve 8028 analogue recording console – were the subject of Dave Grohl’s 2013 documentary film, Sound City. Whilst promoting the film, Grohl said of the studio that is was ” “…America’s greatest unsung recording studio. Deep in California’s sunburnt San Fernando Valley, it was the birthplace of legend. It was witness to history.”
The console now resides in Grohl’s own Studio 606, after he purchased it from Sound City when they shut their doors to commercial activity in 2011.
“I always had a strong connection to that studio because Nirvana wasn’t meant to be the biggest band in the world,” Grohl told Rolling Stone. “So when we went there for 16 days, we weren’t making that album with the intention that we were going to change the fuckin’ world. We just wanted it to sound good . . . The fact that what happened actually, happened, makes me think there’s something more than just wires and knobs in that place. Personally, I have a strong emotional connection to it.”
Rick Springfield, who worked with Skeeter and Gottfried for many years, posted a tribute on his Twitter feed. “Tom Skeeter (partner in Sound City Studios & my co-manager through the ’80s) has passed away. A southern gentleman. RIP Tom. xo Rick.”