Recording at Bell Sound

The recording studio at New York City's Bell Sound in 1959 appeared a lot more basic than I had expected considering this was where Dion and the Belmonts, Elvis Presley and other big pop names were said to be recording, and because our Buffalo New York recording was considered to be inferior in sound and possible record sales to what could be produced at the Bell Sound studio.

I recall how difficult it was in those days to record a proper balance of my drums. We had to cover my bass drum so that it would not dominate the other instruments. I have a feeling that the reason I can't make out my drum beat on "I'm Happy" is that they hadn't at that point in the session been able to figure out how to get a balanced drum sound without completely muffling the drums. The drumming in "Runaway", however, is much more precise and musically satisfying: I can hear the rhythm and blues snare drum off-beat with the triplet cymbal feel which is reminiscent of the way I thought I had learned to play some 20 months after I had purchased my first drum set in April or May of 1957, and learned my first drum rhythms by copying Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk part one" off-beat by striking the cymbal and snare drum on only the 2 and 4 beats without playing the 1 and 3 cymbal rhythm, sort of a pause bang(cymbal&snare)pause bang(cymbal&snare).

This very old photo sure gets around; it has outlasted numerous other band photos through the years. I remember when it was taken probably in 1958/1959. It appeared in a Toronto Sun newspaper article in the 1970's when The Consuls had become Little Caesar & The Consuls, and had achieved recognition for their "Hang on Sloopy" recording. It also appeared in Part 1 of the March 2011 Bravo television series Rock and Roll Stories, and about a month ago I received another copy of it from the cover of the Consuls ' recent CD via the group's drummer Sonny Milne's email. It also appears with the group's You Tube recording of "I'm Happy". Then the Consuls were Ernie on acoustic bass, Peter De Remigis on drums, Norm on saxaphone, Bruce singer pianist clapping without an instrument, and Gene on guitar standing to the right. It was this group of individuals who recorded "I'm Happy" and "Runaway" in New York City.back to The Consuls

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