NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Gene Micofsky plays a song on the piano in the very rehearsal studio where the Eagles were inspired to make their hit song ‘Hotel California’ in 1977.
Until recently, Micofsky was reportedly not allowed to rehearse at Alley Music Studios when it opened in 1973. For the next 45 years, the Alley was an invitation-only rehearsal and recording studio with a roster of some of the best musicians in the world. the greatest creators of success.
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“I actually grew up on my dad’s records, so all the guys that played here and hung out here are all my childhood idols,” Micofsky said.
At the time, no one was allowed to talk about the aisle or tell anyone outside of the music industry what happened in the aisle. So, for over four decades later, no one outside of the music industry knew about or was allowed in until now.
“There is a lot of magic in the room. I don’t know, you feel it. You know when you come in here and play here,” Micofsky said.
John Strand took over the aisle in 2017.
“The Eagles wrote the song ‘Hotel California’ about this place and it’s about the hallways and the mission bell and everything that’s happened over the years of creativity. Linda Ronstadt was just a huge part of the place.The Red Hot Chili Peppers made their stage debut here in 1984. They had been here for 30 years.Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Michael Jackson were there for four albums, Prince was there for two albums. There’s been 1,800 visits to this place, that’s astronomical. It’s never even heard of before,” Strand said.
While Strand maintains its incredible history, it has also made some changes, like opening the doors for the first time to new artists and audiences.
“We are looking to develop new talent. We are looking to nurture promising people,” Strand said.
Every room and hallway is still filled with relics from the thousands of artists who have passed through the doors over the years. Album covers have been turned into floor tiles and floor-to-ceiling vinyl records look like wallpaper.
“You have the most eclectic group of people here, from country to folk to rock to metal,” Strand said.
In the room called The Basement, hundreds of famous signatures adorn the brick walls. Micofsky and Strand paint the walls for some of their favorites.
“Thomas Petty, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Marley, Minnie Ripperton, Jackson Brown, Santana, Etta James, Tony Orlando. Here’s Paul McCartney here. All the Beatles actually. And that’s cool, Stevie Wonder might actually sign his name,” Micofsky said.
The alley has also become a concert hall. So while you might want to sit at the same piano Linda Ronstadt played, you can also listen to new tunes from the next generation of legends.