A SHORT BIOG OF PROPRIETOR GEOFF HODGKINSON

From beginnings as a semi-pro bass player in cover bands - a hobby that lasted for more than 15 years - and eventually a mortgage etc. to manage, I found that the day job was more 'important' and so I retired from playing. Even the Jazz Bass got sold! Nasty! I still get that urge to load the van at lunchtime each Saturday.

To maintain a link with music I set up a small recording studio in Hampshire based around a J37 Studer 1" 4-track purchased from Abbey Road (yes!). We were told it had been used on Sergeant Pepper, though we never had any provenance to back that up.
No, I don't still have it ... unfortunately! I do, however, still have a battered old Premier tambourine that stayed with me all those 15 years and was used on the night I played with the Rolling Stones. You can see it hanging up in the main studio when you come.
After 5 years of juggling studio and day job I decided the day job really had to come first. And so the first studio closed.
You never forget music however. On business trips to USA I made pilgrimages to some of the main music centres - New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, Lubbock (where?), Chicago, Detroit and New York. I visited the studios of Stax, Sun, Motown, Chess and the Brill Building, and stood on the very spot where Elvis recorded Blues Suede Shoes. (Note to all musicians: If you want to understand modern music you have to visit Memphis - you'll find all the elements there, including the civil rights backdrop.)
Below are a selection of images taken on those visits over the years.
After a career in journalism, photography, film making, publishing and web design I've returned to music. After running down my daytime company I returned to being a freelance and was able to start Johns Park Studio in order to re-juvenate that first love. We're based in a purpose-built, self-contained studio located near Okehampton, with stunning views of North Dartmoor. With 3 hectares of serene garden and paddocks to explore - including an orchard, a well, a derelict cottage, a tree house, standing stones, a chess pit, a summer house and a pub just 500 metres away, it's the perfect place to be creative.
Find out more about the studio itself on our STUDIO page.

Below is also a special oil painting by my sister Lynne Reeves, who's turned herself into a highly regarded artist working from Romsey. She painted/made this for my 2018 birthday, incorporating some embarrassing stuff from my past. It's on the wall of JPS Control Room (see also below). Some of you may understand the references she's included. That's a pic of my first bass bottom left, for example, and the name of my first band is in there too.

Sister Lynne's great painting

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