Time Capsule master reels of classic Denver recordings saved by gracious real estate agent
UPDATE (05.06.11 - 2:02 p.m): Just before lunchtime, Martin Anderson discovered another batch of master reels, more than a hundred by his guesstimate. Since then, he's sent over an updated list of bands, and there's some very prominent bygone Denver bands on the list, including Pinhead Circus, the Psychedelic Zombiez, Malice In Wonderland, Rorschach Test and Dick and the Chicks, among others. Click through for original item and full list.
Just some of the 200 plus master reels left behind in the former Time Capsule Studios space
Original item (05.06.11 - 08:12 a.m.)
Tucked inside the sleeve of the latest Foo Fighters record you'll find an inch long piece of tape that resembles a film negative. If you're not paying attention when you rip open the packaging, you'll miss the sticker on the shrink wrap letting you know that the whole thing was recording entirely in analog in Dave Grohl's garage and that the sliver of tape is a section of the actual master reel, which Grohl decided to destroy and offer to fans as a one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia.
"So anyway," Grohl recently told our sister paper, the LA Weekly, "everyone was so precious about tapes, so afraid they're gonna shed or break or something will happen to them, weather, 'you have to be really careful with them.'
"And that just made me want to destroy it," he continued, "to prove a point to everybody to show how intangible a real tape can be. I thought, let's chop it up into a million pieces, and give it to the people who buy the album, so they can hold it in their hands and see it. A lot of the records you buy, there's nothing you can hold in your hand, it's all 1's and 0's, this digital cloud floating in the ether. but with analog albums, you can hold it in your hand."
Mr Grohl, of course, is a rock star. He can afford to be so frivolous with his music to make a point. Fortunately, Martin Anderson doesn't have a similar sense of subversiveness coursing through his veins. Earlier this week, Anderson, a local real estate agent, was assigned to oversee the bank-owned property at 10th and Perry that used to house Time Capsule Recording Studios, and as he made his way around the place, he stumbled onto shelf of what he later learned were master recordings that had been left behind.
Master recordings of sessions from Crestfallen and the Fluid, among others
Once upon a time in the late '80s and early '90s -- before the rise, ease and prevalence of modern, digital-recording technology -- Time Capsule was the studio of choice for countless, aspiring, penny-pinching Denver bands. The no-frills studio offered outfits an affordable option for recording at a time when it seemed like only well-heeled, label-funded acts could afford to make records.
During its heyday, a steady parade of storied Denver bands passed through the doorways of Time Capsule, everyone from the VSS and Christie Front Drive to the Fluid and Jux County to Random Victim and Crestfallen to Angellic Rage and Peace Love and Destruction. And the master tapes of sessions by those bands and about 140 others were the ones left behind, including what we presume is Joshua Novak's Dead Letters, one of the most recent albums recorded there last year.
You're looking at an important piece of Denver's music history
According to Anderson, the property at 1042 Perry isn't in the best shape, but after it gets cleaned up in the next few weeks, it will be back on the market. From the looks of it, the previous owners took everything of value, but left a few clues of behind of what may have led them to move on. "Whoever owned it before, turned it over to the bank," says Anderson. "It's a really sad story. All the stuff that's left upstairs... there's notes from different artists saying, 'Hey, sorry I didn't make my payment this month.' Or, 'Sorry I didn't pay you for the time. You can put some interest on it.' It's really sad."
The cabinets are full, top-to-bottom, with master reels, according to Anderson
Sensing that perhaps he had stumbled onto something valuable -- if nothing else to the bands responsible for the recordings -- Anderson graciously assembled a list and began trying to locate some of the groups whose master tapes he has, so he can return them to their rightful owners rather than tossing them, as many people might. With that in mind, he's even gone to the effort of befriending the acts he could find online and sending them messages.
"If it takes being friends with Orgy of Satan on MySpace," he says with a laugh, "well, you know, I'll take one for the team."
Many of the groups, of course, have sadly long since gone the way of Time Capsule, making Anderson's search that all the more challenging. We've offered our help with the search. If you're were in one of the bands or know someone from one of the acts listed, drop us a line and we'll help make sure you're reunited with your masters.
Click through for the full list of master reels and additional pictures