Sound City

Synopsis: The history of Sound City and their huge recording device; exploring how digital change has allowed 'people that have no place' in music to become stars. It follows former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighter Dave Grohl as he attempts to resurrect the studio back to former glories.
Director(s): Dave Grohl
Production: Variance Films
  2 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
107 min

Okay, you ready? Yep.

We're rolling.

We were just kids... with nothing

to lose and nowhere to call home.

But we had these songs...

And we had these dreams.

So we threw it all in the back

of an old van and just started driving.

Our destination - Sound City.

Watching the world through a

windshield, there's no looking back.

We left everything behind.

When you're young, you're not

afraid of what comes next.

You're excited by it.

We were driving a van that could

break down at any moment...

Going on tours that could be

canceled at any moment...

And playing music with people

who could disappear at any moment.

We had no idea that the next 16 days

were gonna change our world forever.

But I remember pulling into the

parking lot and thinking, "Really?

This is Sound City?"

You know, it's weird, like,

when you walk into Sound City,

you either love it or you hate it.

Looks kind of dumpy.

It's a sh*t-hole.

Everything was secondhand.

It was something of a time

warp, I think, or something.

Brown shag carpet on the

wall - that's the kind of thing

that you would do to your van.

It was like, "Well, the place

is already kind of trashed, so

anything goes, you know?"

It was dirty.

Didn't really feel like I wanted

to sit on any of the furniture.

You could record there and

not come back for 15 years and

walk in, and it's the exact same

as the last time you were there.

The parking lot used to

flood, and it used to make a

wave that came up the hallway of

Sound City.

Sound City was like, you

know, you could put your

cigarette out on the floor.

A bottle of Jack Daniel's got

spilled all over the carpet.

"Who cares? It's Sound City.

Who cares?"

I always say, you could, you

know, piss in the corner and

nobody would complain.

It was just a little more

f***ed-up than I thought it

should be.

But walking down the hallway and

seeing all of those platinum

records on the wall...

Tom Petty.

Fleetwood Mac.

Rick Springfield.

Neil Young, man.

Cheap Trick.

The Chili Peppers.

Rob Halford.

Pat Benatar.


Guns n' Roses.

Nine Inch Nails.






Johnny Cash.

Carl Perkins.


R.E.O. Speedwagon.

Time for me to fight

Michael McDonald.

Mick Fleetwood.

Buckingham Nicks.

Like a rainbow in the


Stevie Nicks.

Masters of Reality.

Frank Black.


Rick Rubin.



Dude, how many f***ing amazing

albums have been made there?

Vincent Price, Telly Savalas.

We would record anything.

Anybody would walk in the door

that could pay the bill.

Tom is this big, tall, lanky,

gomer-y kind of guy that just

fell off the turnip truck.

He wants you to think that,


First time I was ever walked

in a recording studio.

First time I'd ever even seen one.

Southern man

I was with a west Virginia

holding company that was

buying little businesses.

Joe Gottfried and another guy

had started Sound City in 1969.

He was actually the vocalist for

the U.S. Army.

When he was in the army, he was

stationed at a hotel in


A friend of his, Joe Leahy, who

was a big-band leader and had

done music for CBS, and they

were the two main guys in the

studio when I came in, in 1970.

Keith Olsen was the

chief engineer.

The only reason why the

studio business survived was

because the building ownership

was Tom, and Tom would not

foreclose on them.

They were about one week away

from being closed by the IRS.

They owed taxes.

It was kind of chaos, to be

honest with you.

But there was an opportunity to

get into the entertainment

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Mark Monroe


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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Sound City" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 May 2021. <>.

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