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Rolling Stones Mobile Vintage Studio

Did you know that the Rolling Stones owned the world's first-ever mobile recording studio? The mobile studio, which was built into the back of a BMC truck (later a DAF F1600 Turbo tractor), was not only used to record some of the band's greatest albums (e.g. 1971's Sticky Fingers and 1972's Exile On Main St.) but also other famous albums by Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, The Who, Black Sabbath, Bob Marley, Dire Straits, Carlos Santana, Simple Minds, Level 42 and Iron Maiden.

The Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, known as RSM, is arguably the most famous project of its kind in rock history. Some time ago, the band released a mini-documentary that recalls the legacy of the RSM where they explain why it was built and its influence on rock music at the time.

The idea for the mobile recording complex came from producer Glyn Johns and keyboardist Ian Stewart, who wanted to furnish the truck with equipment similar to that found in London's Olympic studios. And they didn't skimp on the equipment. For example, there were many custom components, Helios console and a high-end 3M M79 tape recorder costing 79,000 dollars, which today would correspond to an investment of around half a million dollars.

The Rolling Stones decided to sell the studio in the 1990s, after which the truck was used to record live albums by Patti Smith and punk icons the Ramones, among others. The RSM is now part of the National Music Centre's exhibits in Calgary, Canada, and thanks to a sensitive renovation that took a year and a half, it's not only still fully functional, but you can rent it as a musician.

Tagy The Rolling Stones

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For Insounder, I am mainly responsible for the news section and articles covering the gear of well-known musicians. I have been playing guitar in various bands for years and I also teach this beautiful instrument.