Sandler reveals connection between Code Morale and The Rolling Stones

The story of my acquaintance and friendship with the unique Chris Kimsey began with the recording of the group's album "Moral Code". The event itself was something unimaginable. In addition to many merits and achievements, the English producer, sound engineer and musician was not only involved in the creation of a number of albums and films of the legendary The Rolling Stones, but also their main "procurer". When the fate of a great band hung in the balance due to internal squabbles and scandals, it was Chris who was able to bring a fresh wind of change to the work of a group that was on the verge of collapse and disappearance from the world musical orbit.

In the late 90s, I bought a unique studio on wheels. It was a bus, completely assembled in Germany, on it, just like in the main studio, the legendary Neve-3 console, Studer tape recorders, and the most unique rare vintage equipment were installed. In fact, I then had two identical recording studios - one stationary, the second on wheels.

And it was in this bus, from which kilometers of cables were laid to the stage, that the legendary recording of the Moral Code group, their famous concert at the Moscow Art Theater, which was written by the amazing Chris Kimsey, took place. His personal creative baggage includes work at the iconic Abbey Road studio in London, recordings in addition to The Rolling Stones for Duran Duran of the London Symphony Orchestra and many others. But the main thing, of course, was working as a producer on the albums of The Rolling Stones Undercover and Steel Wheels, sound engineering on the albums Sticky Fingers (1971), Some Girls (1978), Emotional Rescue in the 80s. Chris has also worked with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on Tattoo You and Emotional Rescue as chief engineer and associate producer...

Legendary person. We found a lot of common ground in matters of music, recording, technique of playing instruments, musical equipment. Often visiting London, I was also a guest at his studio, where we later met more than once. There I got acquainted with the cult musicians of England. We talked a lot about musicians, about where the global music industry is headed, and about the fact that, despite all the new fashion trends, the public needs good quality music, on which we grew up.

Chris told me the amazing story of the reunion of The Rolling Stones, in which he himself was a direct participant. After the breakup of the group, Mick Jagger's solo album Primitive Cool failed, and it became clear to everyone that the legendary team needed to discuss all the differences and unite again. The musicians met, resolved all their issues and began work on the album. It was then that fate brought them together with Chris. He faced an incredibly responsible task - from a huge amount of material to select those songs that will be included in the first album after the group's reunion. Steel Wheels - "Steel Wheels" - was released in August 1989. Chris did a great job - each of the 12 songs on the album was a clear hit. But I was absolutely struck by the story of the studio where the album was recorded, which Chris then told: “We were recording on the island of Montserrat, where the AIR studio, owned by the Beatle producer George Martin, was located, and after the disc came out, this studio was destroyed by a tropical hurricane” Hugo", it was left in ruins, so Steel Wheels is the last album recorded in it."

And there are many amazing and interesting stories associated with my studio bus, starting with the story of its purchase. I bought it from a film company whose office was in Beria's mansion in Sokolniki. Impressions from visiting remained for life, the aura there is just terrible, continuous negative. You can’t say anything - a place “prayed” by a devilish character and his era. In the meantime, the company was closing, everything was being sold. I got the bus with a "dowry" - it was full of films, many of which are still in my archives, I gave something to collectors and documentarians, the rest is still in the warehouse.

It didn’t take all hands to sort it out right away - there was no time, it was necessary to put the studio into operation. When they finally looked at what was on the tapes, they were shocked: unique recordings of concerts, historical chronicles, party congresses. Rare materials! And a couple of years ago I met with a wonderful sound engineer who saw a photo of this bus and told how he hunted for it in the 90s. Every day I went to that company, found out if they would sell it, and then they told him that the bus had already been sold. I didn't even know about all this.

Such amazing stories. My first studio is long gone, the studio bus still exists, but now it is more of a museum on wheels. And although the AIR studio was destroyed by a hurricane, all the legendary albums recorded in these places by unique masters continue to be popular, in demand and loved by the audience. This is where the real power of real quality music lies.

Published in the newspaper "Moskovsky Komsomolets" No. 28957 dated January 25, 2023

Newspaper headline:
Mystery of music on wheels

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