Procol Harum

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Chris 'The Grouts' Michie

Broken Barricades studio diary


Chris Michie, Technical Editor of Mix magazine, sends BtP this studio diary: contemplating this will give the Procol student much insight into the time spent on this album and the egregious hours worked by the musicians involved.

Studio dates for recording sessions for Broken Barricades (related interview here)

These are most of the dates for the recording sessions for Broken Barricades at AIR Studios, compiled from my 1971 diary. The sessions might have begun in December 1970.

Though many sessions are listed as starting at 5:30, most actually began at 2 pm. Because I was on salary at AIR (about 17 pounds a week), I was paid overtime only after 5:30 pm and at weekends. So my diary is really only a record of my overtime hours. (Chris Michie)

Sunday January 3

2:30 pm - 2:30 am

Monday January 4

5:30 pm - 1:30 am

Wednesday January 6

5:30 pm - 1:30 am

Thursday January 7

5:30 pm - 2:30 am

Monday January 11

5:30 pm - 4:30 am

Tuesday January 12

5:30 pm - 1:30 am

Wednesday January 13

5:30 pm - 3:00 am

Thursday January 14

5:30 pm - 3:30 am

Thursday January 21

5:30 pm - 12:30 am (marked "Procol Mix" in diary)

Saturday January 23

2:00 pm - 12:00 am (marked "Procol Mix" in diary)

Monday January 25

5:30 pm - 3:00 am (marked "Procol Mix" in diary)

Wednesday January 27

5:30 pm - 6:30 am or pm - could be either. It could have been the last marathon mixing session, plus sequencing, finishing at 6:30 the next morning. But if the mixes had all been completed, a session from 2 to 6:30 pm might have been long enough to sequence the album and make 7 ips copies for Chris Thomas and the band to listen to. In either case, the question remains: what were the next three February and two March sessions for?

Monday February 22

5:30 pm - 2:30 am

Tuesday February 23

5:30 pm - 3:00 am

Wednesday February 24

5:30 pm - 3:00 am

Thursday March 11

5:30 pm - 4:00 am

Thursday March 25

5:30 pm - 8:00 pm. Marked as "Chrysalis" in the diary, so this could be unrelated to Procol Harum. Chrysalis acts who recorded at AIR during this period included Procol Harum and the Mick Abrahams Band. Or it might have been booked in order to listen to test pressings of Broken Barricades

Thursday May 20

5:30 am - 6:30 am. Marked as "Chrysalis" in the diary, and following an all-night Climax Chicago session. Another Procol listening session?
Though I probably kept a similar diary during the period September 1973 - February 1974, when I was again a tape-op at AIR Studios and worked on the Exotic Birds and Fruit sessions, it has since disappeared.

Thanks, Chris!


Index for Chris Michie pages

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