domingo, 4 de marzo de 2012

Friar Park George Harrison

Friar Park is a 120-room Victorian neo-Gothic mansion in Henley-on-Thames once owned by an eccentric lawyer named Sir Frank Crisp and purchased in January 1970 by musician George Harrison. Since the early '70s, the property has become synonymous with the former Beatle's state-of-the-art home studio, known as FPSHOT.
Another claim to fame for Friar Park is that Harrison notoriously put the whole property up as collateral in order to fund the Monty Python comedy team's movie Life of Brian after their original backers, EMI, pulled out at the last minute. As a huge fan of the group, Harrison simply wanted to get to see the film − something that his friend Eric Idle has often described as "the most expensive cinema ticket in movie history".

The Friar Park estate was owned by Sir Frank Crisp from 1875 until his death in 1919. It then passed on to Roman Catholic nuns belonging to the Salesians of Don Bosco order. The nuns ran a local school in Henley, the Sacred Heart School, but by the late 1960s Friar Park was in a state of disrepair and due to be demolished.

In early 1972, Harrison installed a 16-track tape-based recording studio in a guest suite, which at one stage was superior to the one at EMI's Abbey Road Studios. By 1974, the facility had become the recording headquarters for his company, Dark Horse Records. The album covers for projects Harrison recorded there usually mentioned "'F.P.S.H.O.T."' − or Friar Park Studio, Henley-on-Thames. These include the bulk of his own albums, from 1973's Living in the Material World onwards; among them, Dark Horse, Thirty Three & 1/3, George Harrison, Cloud Nine and Brainwashed. Overdubs for the two Traveling Wilburys releases, recording and filming of The Beatles' 1995 Anthology project, interviews with family and friends for posthumous documentaries such as 2003's Concert for George, the 2005 Concert for Bangladesh DVD release, and Martin Scorsese's George Harrison: Living in the Material World in 2011 − all were carried out there at FPSHOT or just downstairs in the main part of the house.
Besides the records by Harrison or artists he produced, the studio was also used by Shakespear's Sister to record their 1992 album Hormonally Yours.

Friar Park: Wednesbury, Midlands Occidentales WS10, United Kingdom.


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