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  • Writer's pictureTapetown

Hidden Gems: The Enigmatic Tunnels of Sound City Studios


outside of of the recording studio at sound city studios in California

While Sound City Studios is renowned for its exceptional sound quality and iconic recordings, there is a lesser-known secret that lies beneath its foundations: a network of mysterious tunnels. This intriguing feature of the studio has rarely been discussed or written about, adding an air of mystique to an already legendary location.


These hidden gems of underground passages were originally constructed during the Prohibition era, when speakeasies flourished in the United States. Sound City's founders, Tom Skeeter, Joe Gottfried, and Tom Brewer, stumbled upon these forgotten tunnels while renovating the building in the late 1960s. Rather than sealing them off, they decided to incorporate the tunnels into the studio's design, embracing their historical significance and utilizing them for creative purposes.

The tunnels, accessed through a concealed entrance in the basement, wind their way beneath Sound City Studios, branching off into different directions. Their original purpose was to provide discreet passage for patrons seeking a secret escape during the era of illegal alcohol consumption. However, once Sound City took ownership, these tunnels took on a new life and became a unique asset for musicians and producers.


Over the years, the hidden passageways have served various purposes within the studio's creative ecosystem. Some artists and bands have used them as intimate spaces for writing lyrics or finding solace during intense recording sessions. Others have transformed them into impromptu recording chambers, experimenting with the unique acoustics and capturing sounds that resonate with an enigmatic quality.

The tunnels themselves are shrouded in mystery, with no official records documenting their full extent or origins. They have become a canvas for graffiti and artistic expressions, with musicians leaving their mark on the rough walls as a testament to their time spent in this hallowed ground.


While the tunnels remain a well-kept secret and gem, they represent a hidden dimension of Sound City Studios, a sanctuary where musicians can escape the pressures of the outside world and explore their creative depths. It's an ethereal space that blurs the line between past and present, connecting artists to the vibrant history that permeates every corner of the studio.


As Sound City Studios continues to inspire musicians and shape the future of music, the tunnels serve as a tangible reminder of the studio's unique journey. These hidden gems stand as a symbol of the secret treasures that lie beneath the surface, waiting to be discovered and embraced by those who are fortunate enough to traverse their enigmatic depths.

In the end, the tunnels of Sound City Studios embody the spirit of artistic exploration, reminding us that even within the most revered and celebrated spaces, there are hidden narratives waiting to be uncovered.


Read more about Sound City Studio here: https://www.tapetownstudio.com/post/about-a-studio-sound-city

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