INTERVIEW: Stevenage recording studio pioneer on working with The Beatles

PUBLISHED: 13:06 03 January 2013

A young Eddie Veale (left) at John Lennon’s studio in Tittenhurst Park with music producer Phil Spector (in glasses) and an Apple engineer, with Lennon's wife Yoko Ono coming into shot

A young Eddie Veale (left) at John Lennon’s studio in Tittenhurst Park with music producer Phil Spector (in glasses) and an Apple engineer, with Lennon's wife Yoko Ono coming into shot

Archant

THE pioneer of the UK’s first professional home recording studio for Beatles’ legend John Lennon has been speaking about his encounters with famous faces in music after being commended for his work.

Stevenage resident Eddie Veale’s chance meeting with Beatles’ manager Neil Aspinall in the summer of 1969 helped launch a career in the recording industry which spans more than 40 years.

Since then the 72-year-old has designed and built some of the most famous recording studios in the world, working with three of The Beatles, as well as Pete Townshend from The Who, Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmore and Eric Clapton.

Eddie, who still runs his recording company Veale Associates from his home in North Road, has now been awarded a Sound Fellowship from the Association of Professional Recording Services in recognition of his work.

Following the award, Eddie has been reminiscing in an interview with the Comet about working with such esteemed company.

His first solo project was to design and build a studio for John Lennon at Tittenhurst Park, Ascot, the first home studio of its kind in the UK.

Building started in August 1969 and needed to be ready by Christmas 1970 for the recording of Lennon’s first solo album, Imagine.

“John was quite impatient and wanted the studio built extremely quickly which just wasn’t possible,” said Eddie, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Stevenage in his spare time.

“No sooner had we started getting what I would call noise out of it John was anxious to get in and start work and he was in the studio working before we’d actually finished it. That had a completely different complexion on what I was doing as I became involved in the music. I ended up working as an engineer for the recording of Imagine.

"John, Ringo and George were all very interesting characters and nice guys although they liked to get things done"

Eddie Veale on working with three of The Beatles

“Then John was in the States after being a bit silly and was unsure when he’d be able to return to the UK. Ringo was looking for a home at the time so John decided to sell it to Ringo.

“He then introduced me to George Harrison who bought a place out at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire – his aspiration was to have a home studio. What George wanted was something quite unique, he wanted all the latest stuff and 40 years on it is still in use. I always had a good relationship with George and his wife and am in contact with his son Dhani.

“John, Ringo and George were all very interesting characters and nice guys although they liked to get things done. It wasn’t so much that they were short-tempered but sometimes they were short on words. The one thing that was the same with all three was they wanted the latest and best technology. It was a good time although my focus was always more on the work than the people it was for. I just got on with the job and I think that’s why I ended up working with all three.”

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