The Sad Fate of One of the 80’s Greatest Recording Studios

By on July 1, 2015

If you were a fan of Rush in the early 80s, you’ll remember this video.

The clip was shot where it was recorded: Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec. At the time, this was one of the  state-of-the-art facilities on the planet that held Rush in its thrall–seven Rush albums were made there, earning the place the nickname “Rush’s Abbey Road.”

Morin Heights Floor Plan

But it was more than just them; Le Studio also attracted clients like David Bowie (Tonight, the follow-up to Let’s Dance), The Police (tracks from Synchronicity), Keith Richards (Talk is Cheap) and Bryan Adams (You Want It, You Got It). Some of the songs for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack were recorded there by the Bee Gees.

And like Rush, April Wine made one of their music videos right in the studio. This is from Harder…Faster.

The logo of Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec

Sadly, after it was sold by Andre Perry, original builder/owner (and then sold again), the place fell into deep, deep disrepair and is now a hunk of junk. It was put up for sale in 2008 but with no takers over seven years, you can see why things have become rather, well, desperate.

The place isn’t hard to find, which is why it’s become a pilgrimage destination for Rush fans. If you ever happen to make a trip, make sure you read the pool table, which is covered with messages from those who came before you.

There was a glimmer of good news in mid-June. Those handy with a hatchet, axe and saw (Rush fans get the reference) as well as a toolkit and any number of power tools, anyone could have bought Le Studio for the low, low price of $18,000.

Yes, that’s eighteen thousand dollars. The town of Morin Heights was set to put the building up for auction on Wednesday (June 17)unpaid taxes, don’cha know–with the outstanding amount of $18K as the starting bid.

Who would might have stepped up, given the property’s condition and lack of any electronic gear? Rush fans are a hearty breed and a couple of sentimental buyers emerged from the weeds. For example, there was a Kickstarter campaign called launched by a Quebec drummer named Richard Baxter who is hoping to raise enough money to buy and restore the facility.

This is all very interesting. So what happened at the auction on June 17?

So what happened? Who bought it? And what’s going to become of the place?

(A) Nothing.

(B) No one.

(C) We still don’t know.

The current owner of Le Studio prevented the auction from happening by stepping up and paying off those back taxes. That means we’re right back to where we started back in May: a dilapidated studio, stripped of all its gear that’s in the process of being reclaimed by nature. The place will continue to be a home for squirrels and the odd raccoon. Don’t expect either species to release anything anytime soon.

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