The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Recording console built by Elvis Costello and used to record Stairway to Heaven stars at Bonhams sale
The HeliosCentric Helios Console. Photo: Bonhams.


LONDON.- On 11 December, Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Sale will take place and offer an incredible array of important Rock, Pop and Film memorabilia. One of the highlights is the unique HeliosCentric Helios Console which is an amalgamation of two recording consoles used by some of the best-loved artists of the last 50 years.

The ‘super console’ was constructed by Elvis Costello and Chris Difford (from the band Squeeze) in 1996 after consultation with Dick Swettenham, a former employee of Abbey Road and Olympic Studios. They used part of the Island Records Basing Street Studio 2 Helios Console (1970-1974) and part of Alvin Lee's Helios console from Space Studios (1973-1979).

The two consoles were combined in 1996 after Difford and Costello acquired both from storage in order to set up their own studio HeliosCentric Studios ‘which would be for everyone to use – a chapel of music in a quiet spot.’ They sought advice from the original creator of Helios, Dick Swettenham, and carefully amalgamated the pair to create what is arguably one of Swettenham’s first, last, and largest project.

The newly combined console was installed on a peaceful farm in Rye that became a haven for musical artists and has been in constant use ever since. Artists who have used the console in both their original and amalgamated guises include: Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Jeff Beck, Stephen Stills, Jimi Hendrix, Mott The Hoople, Cat Stevens, Free, KT Tunstall, Athlete, Paolo Nutini, Sia, Olly Murrs, Dido, Pet Shop Boys, Scouting For Girls, David Bowie, Paul Weller, Mud, Gary Barlow, Supergrass and Keane.

Department Specialist Claire Tole-Moir comments: ‘It is hard to overestimate how crucial a role this console has played in the British rock and pop scene. It is entirely unique, being an amalgamation of two already incredibly influential and important consoles, and in its current form has hosted some of the most popular bands of recent years. 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.’





Today's News

November 28, 2018

Toomey & Co. Auctioneers sets out to redefine collecting with new sale

J. Paul Getty Museum acquires recently discovered 16th century painting by Antwerp master Quentin Metsys

Senegal wants restitution of 'all' its artwork: minister

French museum chief hits back at call to return African art

Hillenburg, SpongeBob SquarePants creator, dies at 57

San Antonio Museum of Art receives gift of more than 850 photographs

The original Plaza Hotel portrait of Eloise offered at Bonhams New York

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris opens exhibition of works by Sylvie Fleury

Hauser & Wirth announces institute devoted to art historical scholarship

Phillips announces highlights from the December Design Auctions

'Kahlil Gibran: The Garden of the Prophet' opens at Immigration Museum in Melbourne

Legendary vehicles on view at the Taubman Museum of Art

Recording console built by Elvis Costello and used to record Stairway to Heaven stars at Bonhams sale

Artists for Studio Voltaire: A selling exhibition to benefit the redevelopment of Studio Voltaire

Tiancheng International opens Spectrum of Life: A selling exhibition of Japanese contemporary art

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver Director Adam Lerner to step down in 2019

Schedel sells for €148,000 at Ketterer Kunst's Rare Book Auction in Hamburg

Getty Research Institute acquires rare gastronomy collection, announces related research grants

The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art appoints Gary Ryan as Executive Director

Netflix to adapt Roald Dahl classics to small screen

Momentary announces new hires in lead-up to 2020 opening

Collection of automobilia, Americana and bronzes will be offered by Miller & Miller Auctions

Hood Museum of Art appoints Jessica Hong as Associate Curator of Contemporary Art

C'est Fou! Christie's France to offer an eclectic collection of around 1000 lots

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- The Morgan receives a major Renoir drawing unseen for over 50 years

2.- Recording console built by Elvis Costello and used to record Stairway to Heaven stars at Bonhams sale

3.- On December 9, estate jewelry & more goes up for bid at Turner Auctions + Appraisals

4.- French museum chief hits back at call to return African art

5.- David Castillo Gallery to present works by a stellar group of artists at Art Basel Miami Beach

6.- Ancient Chinese painting auctioned for almost $60 million at Christie's Hong Kong

7.- Exploring the watery remains of France's sunken Roman port of Olbia

8.- Exhibition examines eroticism in paintings and drawings of the male and female nude

9.- Thieves nab Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting from Vienna auction house

10.- Israeli archaeologists unveil rare stone mask dating to the Neolithic



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