22 Jun 2013

Musical Chairs featuring Michael Grafton-Green - Desk Jockey

From Musical Chairs, 3:30 pm on 22 June 2013
Michael Grafton-Green

Michael Grafton-Green Photo: Supplied.

Michael Grafton Green walked into Abbey Road Studios in London in the late 1950s, and managed to score himself the best apprenticeship possible - as a technician in the recording industry, just as the music scene was moving into overdrive.

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He soon found himself in the studio working with a raft of rising stars from Cliff Richard and the Shadows, the Hollies, Cilla Black and Shirley Bassey to The Beatles.

Employed as a tape operator, second engineer and disc cutter, a big part of the job was working closely with the artists and producers to determine which musical ideas could be accomplished using the early 4-track equipment.

As recording technology improved, and artists became more adventurous, Grafton-Green worked on more experimental projects including The Beatles Abbey Road and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band albums.

Back in New Zealand from 1969 he manned the mixing desk at HMV studios in Wellington, editing tapes and cutting vinyl masters for local artists including Anna Leah, Quincy Conserve, Blerta, Mark Williams, Rockinghorse and Lutha.

These days Michael Grafton Green specialises in restoring old recordings, including work for the Australian National University.

Produced by Keith Newman for Radio New Zealand National.

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