There would be no Grandmaster Recorders without talking about Alan Dickson. A native of Southern California, Alan grew up in the burgeoning Hollywood music scene in the 1960’s. After a stint of touring Europe and Asia, along with living in Italy (studying opera!), Alan came back to Hollywood just as the British Invasion and its American Rock and Roll counterparts were taking over pop culture and music as we now know it.
After deciding to hang up his hat as a professional musician hat by 1970, Alan decided to build a private recording studio so he could work on his own productions and cultivate the next generation of talent. He purchased the old Bijou silent movie theater on Cahuenga Boulevard, which gave the studio its original name, Bijou Studios. Cahuenga was the spot for studios in Hollywood, some of which still exist. The Bijou was also across the street from Martoni’s, an Italian restaurant that was a hot spot for the working musicians that played on sessions all up and
Next Alan partnered up with Billy Nickerson, head of R&B for the famed William-Morris Talent Agency. It was through Billy that R&B’s top talent came through The Bijou, starting with Stevie Wonder. Wonder was writing and rehearsing his classic “Songs In The Key Of Life” here while the control room was still being completed.
By the late 70’s and into the 80’s, Bijou Studios started seeing more Country and Rock acts come in and record. From David Bowie and Ringo Starr to Johnny Mathis and Bonnie Raitt. All these artists loved the relaxed atmosphere and unique design that Alan and the Bijou had to offer.
By the late 1980’s, the name had changed to Grandmaster Recorders, Ltd. This was at the request of an artist that will remain nameless, but if you ask politely, we’ll tell you. With the advent of the Compact Disc and interest in vintage recording equipment becoming greater, Grandmaster saw a massive influx of rock and roll bands coming in. The Red Hot Chili Peppers recorded their first recordings here and The Black Crowes completed their FIVE TIMES platinum album, “Shake Your Money Maker” here.
By the 1990’s and 2000’s, Grandmaster Recorders had worked with some of the heaviest and most visionary bands like Tool and Queens Of The Stone Age to the signature anthems of No Doubt and Foo Fighters to the more intimate passion of Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. Grandmaster Recorders fits in nicely with all styles of music and can put it’s signature sonic stamp on things, while never getting in the way of the artist’s true vision. We love it all.
down the block. After a tip from local studio experts, Alan contacted studio designer Don Davis to help him build his dream. Alan and Don spent months in Tucson, Arizona coming up with designs and concepts for these special rooms you now see and hear.