Recording equipment from former Tears For Fears studio to be sold off at auction

Equipment from the former recording studio where groups such as Tear For Fears and The Smiths created some of the ‘80s biggest hits is being sold off at auction, according to a report by the Bath Chronicle.

Wool Hall, which was formerly owned by Van Morrison, was also used by the likes of Annie Lennox, Paul Weller, Stereophonics, Joni Mitchell and The Pretenders. It was where Tears For Fears recorded their 1985 US No. 1 album, Songs From The Big Chair, and The Smiths recorded their final album Strangeways, Here We Come in 1987.

The little-known studio in Beckington, Somerset, is said to be one of the music industry’s best-kept secrets however. Auctioneers Gardiner Houlgate, in Corsham, Wiltshire, are now selling off the mixing desk, speakers and other studio items before it is turned into homes.

The studio is housed in a 16th-century wool store, and was originally founded by Tears For Fears as their private facility when they were based in Bath. It was then made available for wider use in 1986 and sold to Van Morrison in 1994, who then sold it to a private owner in 2002.

Among the equipment up for auction on Thursday 8 March will be a Euphonix CS3000 mixing console, a pair of Boxer T5 speakers, and the studio’s snooker table, used by many artists.

Other items up for sale include a Guild acoustic guitar owned by Eric Clapton from 1978 to 1999, which is expected to fetch between £7,000 and £10,000. The auctioneers will also be selling a black 1990 Rickenbacker 660/12 guitar, which is signed on the scratchplate by the late Tom Petty.

"Wool Hall’s not been used as an active studio for some years, but it’s still a shame to see it go,” said auctioneer Luke Hobbs. "There’s been some terrific music made there, much of which is still relevant today. The studio was one of the West Country’s best-kept musical secrets. Very few people knew it existed, including me – and I was in a band in the area."

This story was originally reported by the Bath Chronicle on 25 February 2018.