Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The House That Nat Built.

(click images to enlarge)

While working for Capitol/EMI as an in-house Production Designer, our Creative Services department was eventually moved into the legendary digs of the Capitol Records tower in Hollywood. I couldn't have been more thrilled, of course, especially when I was granted my own office on the 8th floor with windows and a full view of the Hollywood sign and its rolling hills.

And not unlike Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" with Devil's Tower, I had a penchant for drawing the tower during meetings, at home, etc. Thankfully, of course, I never worked into mashed potatoes or worse. Included above is one such drawing of mine from 2008, done from memory.

As a buff of both history and music, I reveled in the every square inch of its circular interior, as designed by architect Welton Becket. From attending staff mixers in the historic Capitol Studios having access to Frank Sinatra's microphone and Nat King Cole's piano to seeing the likes of Barry Manilow and more in the lobby and thinking of every artist who walked those halls from The Beatles, Beach Boys and Les Paul to The Band and Beastie Boys. Indeed, the tower and its past were a constant source of inspiration for both me and my design.

* All photos by yours truly except lower right, taken by Steve Silvas.

To download a 34 page, 4.5mb PDF I created featuring historic images, postcards, beautiful pages from the grand opening booklet from April 1956 and more – simply email me at and I'll send it your way.