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Eel Pie Studios

45 Broadwick Street  Soho &  Ranelagh Drive  Twickenham

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First things first, there were two studios that went by the name of Eel Pie. They were both set up and owned by Pete Townshend of The Who and were located at Twickenham and Soho in London

Eel Pie Studios - The Boathouse -   Ranelagh Drive, Twickenham.

The Boathouse is situated on the south-west bank of the River Thames in Richmond. The property was previously known as  Waite's Boathouse and was built in the 1960s by Bill Sims, a boat manufacturer  whose company built racing boats including those for the Oxford and Cambridge boat race. Local neighbour Pete Townshend  and friend of Bill Sims  commissioned  a 55ft launch from the company, complete with on-board office so he could commute along the Thames.

"I lost my license one day for driving home drunk from Olympic Studios at four in the morning, and started to moor a little speedboat there that I used to commute. It took about 55 minutes during the day, making phone calls and eating breakfast like a Lord. At night we could get home in 30 minutes. It was wild.”   Pete Townshend

In 1975 The Boathouse was sold  to Townshend who converted it into the Meher Baba Oceanic Centre for  followers of  Meher Baba,  the spiritual guru whose teachings had inspired Townshend. The building was totally renovated to include a film dubbing and editing unit, a cinema and a recording studio (known as Oceanic Studios).

In September 1981 it was decided that the studio should be run as a commercial facility so it was rebuilt with the acoustic design by Keith Slaughter and the technical  installation  by Roger Knapp. It became known as Eel Pie Studios  running at the same time as Eel Pie in Broadwick Street. 

Equipment included an SSL  4048E desk, two Studer A-800 24 track tape machines,  two Ampex ATR 102 ¼ inch and ½ inch stereo machines. Outboard including a Delta Lab DDL Lexicon 224, UREI 1176, LA 3, LA 2a,  BEL Flanger, Phaser, MXR Flanger, Vocoder EMS and Bosendorfer Grand Piano

Townshend sold the property in 2008. In September 2009 planning permission was granted for The Boathouse to have change of use to a single private dwelling.

 

September Sound Studios

In the 1989, part of the upstairs of the  building was taken over by the band Cocteau Twins and set up as September Sound Studios. The equipment included an Amek Hendrix  and an Otari Mx 80 24 track tape machine.

 
"Then to make matters worse, I eventually tried to combat that and took the rest of the building over and built one, two and eventually three more studios in order to retain a space for myself. But the overhead was such that we had to rent all of the studios to pay for the building and the staff. It became so frustrating that I couldn't do any of my own work".               Robin Guthrie  Tape Op

Amek Hendrix Console
The Amek Hendrix Console in the Control Room at September Sound

The Dutch Barge 'Grand Cru'.

'Grand Cru', a floating studio, moored on the river Thames, just outside The Boathouse and also owned by Pete Townshend.

 'Around this time the studio I was using was a converted Dutch barge called 'Grand Cru'. It had once carried live eels which I thought was amusing because my company is called 'Eel Pie'. The mixing desk was an old Neve which was later sold and is now somewhere in the USA. The barge is still berthed out-side my large studio in Twickenham, and is used at the moment by my old mate Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds'   Pete Townshend

 

Eel Pie Studios - Broadwick Street, Soho

In 1978 Pete Townshend took over the lease of 45 Broadwick Street, the former premises of video company Molinare. The Molinare building already had an established 24 track studio built in the upper half of the building. This was used initially but as there was no service lift available it was decided to rebuild a new facility on the ground floor.

In 1983 the equipment included: Neve 8058 32/24 Desk

3M M79 24 track  -  2 x Studer B52's  - EMT 140 plate -  Lexicon 224

'At this time I ran two successful fully commercial recording studio complexes. The building in Broadwick Street was also used by my book publishing company, and as the base for The Face magazine for a while. The room upstairs was equipped with a small Neve which is now in a San Francisco studio used by Tom Waites'.            Pete Townshend

Recorded at Eel Pie

ANNETTE PEACOCK   "I HAVE NO FEELINGS" 

BELOUIS SOME   "BELOUIS SOME" 

BILLY NICHOLLS   "UNDER ONE BANNER" 

BOB WESTON   "STUDIO PICKS" 

CAPTAIN SENSIBLE   "WOMEN AND CAPTAINS FIRST" 

CHRON GEN   "CHRONIC GENERATION" 

COREY HART   "FIRST OFFENSE" 

DAMNED   "PHANTASMAGORIA" 

ENDGAMES   "BUILDING BEAUTY" 

FLOWERED UP   "A LIFE WITH BRIAN" 

GRAHAM PARKER   "THE REAL MACAW" 

HOUSE OF LOVE   "BABE RAINBOW" 

ICICLE WORKS   "BLIND" 

JOHN OTWAY AND WILD WILLY BARRETT    "JOHN OTWAY AND WILD WILLY BARRETT" 

MARILLION   "FUGAZI" 

MEDICINE HEAD     "TWO MAN BAND" 

MOTÖRHEAD   "ANOTHER PERFECT DAY" 

NAKED EYES   "BURNING BRIDGES" 

NOVA   "BLINK" 

NICK LOWE AND HIS COWBOY OUTFIT    "NICK LOWE AND HIS COWBOY OUTFIT" 

NICK LOWE AND HIS COWBOY OUTFIT    "THE ROSE OF ENGLAND" 

PATRICIA KAAS   "JE TE DIS VOUS" 

PAUL CARRACK   "SUBURBANVOODOO" 

PETE TOWNSHEND   "WHO CAME FIRST" 

PETE TOWNSHEND   "EMPTY GLASS" 

PETE TOWNSHEND   "ALL THE BEST COWBOYS HAVE CHINESE EYES" 

PETE TOWNSHEND  "WHITE CITY" 

ROGER WATERS   "THE PROS AND CONS OF HITCH HIKING" 

ROGER RUSKIN SPEAR   "UNUSUAL" 

SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES  "NOCTURNE" 

SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES   "HYAENA" 

STRAIGHT EIGHT   "SHUFFLE AND CUT" 

STRANGEWAYS   "STRANGEWAYS" 

THE WHO  "QUADROPHENIA" 

THE WHO  "WHO BY NUMBERS" 

THE WHO   "ENDLESS WIRE" 

THIN LIZZY  "THUNDER AND LIGHTNING" 

YOBS   "THE YOBS CHRISTMAS ALBUM" 

 


 
 

 

 

       Studio Index

The Boathouse -   Ranelagh Drive, Twickenham.

 

  

Eel Pie Studios - Twickenham - 1985

 

 

Eel Pie Studios - Broadwick Street

 

 

 

Recorded at Eel Pie