A legendary recording console will be auctioned off by Bonham’s next month. The Helios mixing desk, originally installed in Island Records’ studio on Basing Street, London in 1969, was used to lay down several rock classics, most notably Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” It was also used by the likes of Free, the Rolling Stones, Bob Marley (for “I Shot the Sheriff”), David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens, Eric Clapton, Sly Stone, Jimmy Cliff, Harry Nilsson, Jeff Beck, Mott The Hoople, and Steve Winwood and is expected to go for a six-figure sum at the December 11 auction.
Bonhams Specialist Claire Tole-Moir told Just Collecting News that it’s “hard to overestimate how crucial a role this console has played in the British rock and pop scene.”
“Songs and albums recorded on this bespoke console and its original parts rank among some of the most recognisable and best-loved pieces of music in existence, and have resulted in Grammys, Brit Awards and multiple number one spots. This console is a piece of Britain’s modern cultural history.”
The console is actually a hybrid of two separate studio desks built by Helios Electronics. The second was installed in the studio owned by guitarist Alvin Lee of Ten Years After in 1973. Both were purchased by Elvis Costello and Chris Difford of Squeeze and then melded together at their HelioCentric recording studio which was opened in 1996. This revered piece of analog gear is now seeking a new home.
Thank you Nimrod Erez/TB!