“Completely and Totally Insane” SF Prices Drive Out Local Recording Studio Tiny Telephone

Musician, songwriter, producer, and Tiny Telephone founder John Vanderslice announced that he plans to close his recording studio facility on July 1st due to the rising cost of running a small business in San Francisco.

For 20 years, the analog studio has been a valuable resource for working-class bands in the Mission District. Vanderslice opened the studio in 1997 and hasn’t raised the $350 daily rate for the main room since 2004. Some musicians that have recorded at Tiny Telephone include Sleater-Kinney, Spoon, Death Cab for Cutie, The Mountain Goats, tUnE-yArDs, Shannon and the Clams and Thao & the Get Down Stay Down.

Despite Tiny Telephone being consistently booked, the increasing cost of insurance, power, rent, and providing a competitive living wage to the staff of audio engineers have all contributed to the difficulty of maintaining a financially sound studio.

Fortunately, Vanderslice has been able to divert his clients to Tiny Telephone Oakland location, a studio he opened in 2016. He also recently opened a new recording studio in Los Angeles called Grandma’s Couch. Vanderslice himself moved to LA last year due to increasingly difficult financial challenges of living in SF. Vanderslice called the price of real estate in an In an interview last year following the release of a new solo album titled The Cedars, Vanderslice called the price of commercial real estate “completely and totally insane.”

Tiny Telephone in San Francisco is part of a four-building compound known as the Farm, comprised of converted industrial warehouses. Founded by conceptual artists Bonnie Ora Sherk and Jack Wickert, the complex has a colorful history since the 1970s as a hub for radical ideas, urban gardening, and DIY culture.

See also: John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone recording studio succumbs to SF reality

Written by Carlos Olin Montalvo

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