Written by Andy Harris for MusicBham.com. Photos courtesy of Analog on Third.
Brad White has come a long way from making primitive sounding cassette tapes of his high school band. One of his early recording techniques included placing a GE tape recorder on the other side of his bedroom door. “The sound of our band would go through the door, and the door would be just enough of a buffer to get a decent sounding recording. I have tapes upon tapes of us recording those practices,” explained Brad. White and his wife Lea have come a long way, and together they now own and operate the Oneonta recording studio, Analog On Third. The couple had an opportunity to record Billy Corgan in mid-January for his Thirty Days project, a venture that will take him across country to record new pieces at lesser-known studios, selecting destinations by word of mouth and sharing videos of his experiences along the way.
Brad and Lea, lifelong fans of The Smashing Pumpkins, met for the first time at Billy Corgan’s tea house, Madam Zuzu’s, in Highland Park, Illinois, the night before Corgan’s renowned solo performance at the Ravinia Festival in August of 2014. When they heard about his Thirty Days project, Brad and Lea jumped at the chance to get Corgan to travel down to their studio for a session. Corgan’s website stated that the public should contact their assistant if they saw that the artist was coming to the area. “I started watching it like a hawk as soon as he left Illinois,” said Brad. “When he got to Nashville, I sent a message to David Lagana (videographer and storyteller) that we would love to have them here in Oneonta.”
Lagana asked for pictures of the studio, and after Corgan approved, Lagana let Brad and Lea know that the team would arrive on Sunday afternoon. “We got everything ready for him. We even went to Whole Foods and got a lot of vegan/gluten-free items for Billy as well,” said Lea.
After Corgan and his traveling team ate at a local Mexican restaurant, they came in the studio and looked around. They were met by the closest friends and family of the Analog on Third staff. “Corgan laid around for a while and thought about what songs he might play,” said Brad.
After some careful musing, he played the following set: “Lost Highway” by Hank Williams; the traditional “Oh My Darling, Clementine”; “Presence of the Lord” by Blind Faith; and “End of the World” by Skeeter Davis. After performing a few takes of each song, Corgan took photos and previewed to Lea and Brad two songs from his upcoming album.
Video compilation from Corgan’s day in Oneonta:
Corgan’s visit provided Analog on Third with a healthy amount of free advertisement as well. Brad was pleased to point that out. “People started showing up near the end of his performance since we live-streamed a little bit. Some were even driving from Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. The phone has been ringing off the hook since his visit.”
Are you sitting on the next Siamese Dream? Want to record where Billy Corgan recorded? Got something else in mind? Give Analog on Third a call at (205) 559-3061 or check them out on Facebook and Instagram.