Unless I'm stuck at the airport with a dead iPhone, there's never really a reason to read Rolling Stone anymore, but I spotted this article, "Rick Rubin, Ian Astbury Recall 1987 Sessions: 'New York Was on Fire," on Facebook and it struck a chord.
Both the beardy producer and the Cult vocalist wax rhapsodic about their days recording the Cult's very metal Electric at Electric Lady Studios on West 8th Street (where U2 are rumored to be holding court these days). The pair also spout a load of laughable nonsense about Kanye's new record, but I loved this little nugget from Ian:
Astbury: There was an amazing store called Rock and Roll Heaven across the street [from Electric Lady Studios, where the album was recorded]. We'd go on a pilgrimage in there, perusing old magazines, posters, paraphernalia. They had the Led Zeppelin tree, Rick Griffin posters, obscure vinyl. It was a Holy Grail of this period we were enamored with. We'd take these artifacts back to the studio, like, "Check out this picture of Jimmy Page in Creem magazine from 1975!" We even had Zoso t-shirts made up.
Ian's actually talking about It's Only Rock N' Roll, of course, the shrine to all things rawk and metal that formerly held sway on a second-floor perch on West 8th, indeed across the street from Electric Lady (it's now a foot-rub emporium, I believe). I spoke at greater length about it here.
Weirdly, both Rolling Stone and Rubin himself assert that Electric by the Cult was Rubin's "first non-rap record – my first rock record," despite the fact the Rubin produced Slayer's watershed Reign in Blood in 1986. While Slayer's brand of satanic thrash might not as conventionally "rock" as Electric, it still remains very much a rock record -- and very decidedly a "non-rap record." Yet again, Rolling Stone doesn't bother doing their homework.
That all said, give it a click. Despite the errors and the rose-tinted revisionism, it's still worth a read.
And here's a taste of that record.