Auctioneer to sell off Pink Floyd recording console

Dark_Side_of_the_MoonAn Abbey Road Studios EMI TG12345 MK IV recording console is to be sold by Bonhams at their TCM Presents…Rock and Roll Through the Lens sale in New York on 27 March 2017. It will be on view to the public at Bonhams Knightsbridge from Sunday 19th March until the sale.

The console was used extensively between 1971 and 1983 in studio two, and was used to its full potential by rock royalty Pink Floyd to record their landmark album, The Dark Side of the Moon. Recently voted the Number One Rock Album of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine, the album remained in the charts for 741 weeks. The Dark Side of the Moon was released to critical acclaim in 1973 and was the turning point in the band’s commercial success. Launched against a backdrop of the Vietnam War, the recent moon landings and a departure from the era of flower power, this album echoed the popular consciousness of the time.

One of only two custom made by EMI engineers, it was commissioned as an update for the MK II model. Considered as ‘the greatest console ever constructed,’ by Brian Gibson, the world authority on TG consoles and an ex-engineer from Abbey Road, Pink Floyd utilized this desk with producer Alan Parsons to create a timeless ten track album full of atmospheric soundscapes that explored the evolution of neo-psychedelic art rock and jazz and blues-rock, and was testament to superior engineering of this equipment.

Producer Alan Parsons with the "Dark Side of the Moon" console years later. Image courtesy of http://www.artandscienceofsound.com video.

Producer Alan Parsons with the “Dark Side of the Moon” console years after the album’s creation. Image courtesy of http://www.artandscienceofsound.com video.

In its time at Abbey Road, the console was used by some of the greatest names in pop and rock history including; Paul McCartney and Wings, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Kate Bush. The console is in full working order, and is accompanied by a letter of provenance from Ken Townsend, former Abbey Road Studio Manager and a copy of the album The Dark Side of the Moon (1973).

The department advises that the estimate, although unpublished, is a significant six-figure sum.

Katherine Schofield, Head of Entertainment Memorabilia in London commented: “We are hugely excited to offer such an important item of music engineering used by iconic bands and legendary artists. Made for the powerhouse that is Abbey Road Studios, the engineers forward thinking together with the military precision of EMI craftsmanship has created one of the best sounding recording consoles ever made. The association with one of the UK’s most relevant and successful bands, Pink Floyd, highlights the fact that this is far from being any ordinary console.’

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s largest and most renowned auctioneers of fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with sales also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com

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