Dave Grohl to Direct and Produce 'Sound City' Documentary
Sound City’s visual legacy is in good hands.
Dave Grohl will direct and produce Sound City, a documentary about the historic San Fernando Valley recording studio, and he knows a thing or two about it: Nirvana made its watershed album Nevermind there.
That, and the Foo Fighters frontman bought the legendary Neve 8028 analog recording console that had been the studio’s showpiece since 1972. The unit, now in Foo Fighters' private studio in Northridge, Calif., was used to record acts ranging from Neil Young and Elton John to Guns N’ Roses and Metallica to Mastodon and Arctic Monkeys. Even Josh Groban.
Grohl had been rumored to helm the doc for a while; he told The Hollywood Reporter just before Grammy week in February that such rock all-stars as Petty, Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham and Trent Reznor would appear in the film, which will premiere at Sundance in January.
“Sound City is a film about America’s greatest unsung recording studio,” Grohl said in a release Tuesday. “It was the birthplace of history. It was a witness to history. It was home to a special few, intent on preserving an ideal. An analog church. A time capsule. The last bastion of a craft defied by technology. It was rock ’n’ roll hallowed ground. And it was our best-kept secret.
“Now I want to tell its story,” he added.
Sound City will be Grohl's directorial debut.
Roswell Films, a unit of Foo Fighters label Roswell Records, will distribute the doc. Sound City will reunite writer Mark Monroe (The Cove) and editor Paul Crowder (Dogtown and Z-Boys), who worked together on Once in a Lifetime, the 2006 documentary about the North American Soccer League’s New York Cosmos, which Crowder co-directed. Sound City also is being produced in conjunction with Jim Rota, John Ramsay and Therapy studios.
A theatrical release date has yet to be announced.
Founded in 1969 in Van Nuys, Sound City Studios’ résumé includes rock, pop, soul, punk and metal. It’s where Fleetwood Mac recorded Rumours, among the biggest-selling albums of all time. The hit list is impressive: Young’s After the Gold Rush, Spirit’s Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, The Grateful Dead’s Terrapin Station, War’s Why Can’t We Be Friends, Johnny Cash’s Unchained, Rage Against the Machine’s eponymous debut and a half-dozen Petty albums including Damn the Torpedoes and Hard Promises. That’s just scratching the surface.
It closed as a commercial studio in May 2011.
Watch a trailer for Sound City below.