RCA studio 1  
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with Jonny Fun

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8th Avenue

Take 1234567

And it had to end somewhere.
In those days, the idea that bands could survive into their 50's was unthinkable, if not actually disgusting. By 1981, already the Stones had gone on far too long.

And the Stones had something else to answer for. 'It's only rock 'n roll but I like it'. Well, that's the end of that, then.

But The Movies took their chance to make an album for RCA in New York. This took serious negotiation in London's Montcalm Hotel, starring for RCA the avuncular Ed DeJoy, who later went totally mad and bought the rights to Pinkie & Perkie. But he made up for that by getting the band to NY.

They went without founder-member Jamie, who carted his drums off to play elsewhere. That was a shame, as it would have been a Right Thing to make the last album all together. But it was not to be, and that was the beginning of the end. Even though Growler brought along his mate Terry Popple who was a heavy hitter.

New York was one vast round of parties, and whoop-de-doo. Sometimes. It was memorable to stay at the Chelsea Hotel, to see Quentin Crisp filming himself in the lift, to get the food (Smiler's deli and the Flaming Steak) and the 24-hour TV. But RCA was in a mess, presidents were falling like flies, and the company forgot all about The Movies. This is not surprising for a company, now defunct, whose top acts were (if we are to believe the photos on the luminous cubes in its offices on 6th Avenue) none other than Roger 'Whistling' Whitaker and that Irish guy with the flute. Though I think David Bowie figured somewhere. He came in one day for an interview and made a mess of our nice studio. Jefferson Starship ditto.

RCA deposited the band in studio A1, their biggest, seen above. And (after some days in the Chelsea, which was cultured but draughty), in the Milford Plaza Hotel (on the left. Once known as the Manhattan; it still sported the giant M) on 8th Avenue, an easy walk through the west side theatre district through Times Square to the studio on 6th, Avenue of the Americas. And then the company retreated into its internal politics, and months passed. Whole seasons passed. No-one in their right mind is going to say 'Hold on there, RCA, I no longer want to be living in this luxurious hotel just off Times Square doing not a lot. Kindly throw me into the street and take away my meal ticket'. No.

They did make a record. No producer, but a couple of red-hot engineers. Amazing that you can live off Times square for months, totter back from the studio at 3am every night, and never once get mugged. And they liked doing it so much they all went back to the UK, and came back to New York AGAIN, just for the mix. But this had all taken so long that the album (Motor Motor Motor), the band, everything had gone completely off the boil. They somehow dredged up the energy to finish the mix and get what remained of RCA to release it.

But that was it. Returned to the UK, they were in every way exhausted, and it was over. A little luxury at the end - and hotel-hopping in a RCA limousine would be a happy memory if I could remember it - and then Thank you and Bye Bye. Mutual. Had enough. Went separate ways.

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