Former Sunset Sound Recorders engineer Peggy McCreary said she and Van Halen engineer Donn Landee remixed the band’s 1978 debut album in one weekend.
McCreary shared the story during her interview for the Sunset Sound Recorders YouTube channel.
“We remixed the whole album in a weekend,” said McCreary. “It was just the two of us. [Don] just said he needed to do this and he just needed to concentrate so it was a whole long weekend of just remixing.”
McCreary was asked if the weekend remixing was done without producer Ted Templeman knowing.
“[Ted] might have known, [Don] might have just asked that he wanted to do this by himself,” said McCreary. “He needed to concentrate. It’s hard to concentrate when there’s a lot of input and energy around. He needed that quiet. The guys [in the band] were young and enthusiastic and there was a lot of energy.”
In exchange for McCreary’s assistance, she said Landee gave her a color TV.
“I told him, ‘All I want in life is a color TV with a remote,’ ‘cuz I was so poor all I had was this little TV,” she said. “So after that weekend and I gave him such shit he came to my house with a color TV! [laughs]. It was really sweet. He said, ‘No remote.’ Remotes were expensive then but at least it was color.” [laughs]
McCreary is an accomplished audio engineer, sound effects editor and foley mixer and spent many years at the famed Sunset Sound recording studio in Los Angeles. Along with Van Halen she has worked with Prince, Booker T. Jones, Toto, Kris Kristofferson and Little Feat and others.
Below are parts 1 and 2 of McCreary’s Sunset Sound Recorders interview.