A Musical Odyssey :: The UK Connection
On the Trail of Guardian Studio's
Terry Gavaghan

A Record of Correspondence Between The Sleuths:
Graeme Robinson ~ Darlington, UK
Bill Hillman ~ Brandon, MB, Canada

Graeme's piece is under construction



Kind regards,
Graeme Robinson
Darlington, UK

On 15 Feb 2010, at 20:13, Bill and Sue-On Hillman wrote:
Bill down the street from Guardian Studios in Pity MeMany thanks for the great Gavaghan info, Graeme. I've finally purchased a slide/negative scanner which I haven't used yet . . . but I'll be sure to delve into the old UK slides to see if I have something on Terry that would be suitable. Mick Sandbrook of the band "Raised on Rusks" who was the bass player on our session might have some more info

Do you know if any other musicians experienced the appearance of the "ghost" in the studio?

We drove by the old Pity Me location two years ago returning from the Phil Collins' Tarzan Musical opening in Holland. . . brought back some good memories.

Bill Hillman
Brandon, Manitoba, Canada

A Few Memories of the Recording Sessions at 
Terry Gavaghan's Guardian Studios ~ 1979

From The Stories Behind the Songs
Scrapbook of the Third Tour of England
Album No. 9: On Tour in England
Journal Excerpts

The recording of the song, Lady Luck, was the culmination of a joint international project. We spent a week in Durham's Guardian Studios with Desperado, a Middlesbrough-based English show band. After pooling our efforts on the backing tracks, we each did our own version of the final vocals and mix. The result was that they had songs to release as singles and we had enough originals and covers for a complete album. I felt that we needed synth arrangements and since our regular keyboard player, Kevin Pahl, couldn't accompany us on this third tour, I hired one of the musicians whom we had met in the local clubs. He did a fantastic job for us and we really weren't too surprised when we learned five months later that he had joined Mark Knopler's Dire Straits as a regular. 

Desperado was comprised of Alun Edwards (vocals, congas, percussion), Mick Sandbrook (vocals, bass), John Whittingham (vocals, guitar), Colin Bradley (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Paul Duckers (drums) - all from the Middlesbrough, County Cleveland area. Paul Rodgers of Bad Company had come out of this group a few years before. 

The Hillmans with Terry at the Guardian Board
The Hillmans work the board with Terry at Guardian StudiosIt was while recording the vocal tracks for this song that we were drawn into the realm of the supernatural. The hour was late -- around midnight at Guardian Studios, Pity Me -- the bed tracks were in the can, and we had just removed the drums from the isolation cubicle which was to double as my vocal booth. Sue-On had gone across the street to make a telephone call while Terry, Alan and Mick sat staring at me through the control room glass, waiting for me to sing along with the backing tracks of Lady Luck. Part way into the song there was a brilliant flash of light around me and someone turned off the 24-track recorder. Wondering what the problem was, I looked inquisitively toward the guys at the console. They had strange looks on  their faces and I heard Terry's voice over the cans, directing me to come in. 

My first thought was that something had happened to destroy the master tape. Terry phoned his neighbour friend while I tried to get Mick to tell me what had happened. The neighbour rushed in saying, "She's back!???" All three in the control room had seen a brilliant light radiating from a negative image of a small person standing close to me!

Terry explained that years ago a young girl who lived here in this row house, the one that he had converted into his studio, had run out into the path of a lorry and had been struck down. They carried her into this room and had laid her dying body on a sofa in the same area as the vocal booth. The ghostly image of this girl has appeared frequently, usually in conjunction with some calamity - in this case her visit must have been brought about by my singing. 

Stories about the 'ghost' (Guardian Angel?) abound and her picture is displayed in the pub down the street. I suggested to Terry that he should include the story in his advertising, but he seemed very reluctant -- in fact, he was afraid it would drive away business. I saw no ghost but I did see a brilliant light... and the shocked and frightened looks on my cohorts' faces. 

~ Bill Hillman
Volume 9: On Stage In EnglandVolume 9: On Stage In England with Desperado
Graeme's entry is being revised.
Cheers, aye, aha..
Reasons to be cheerful!
Kind regards,

Graeme Robinson's
Circulation Sound Studio

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