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“…he turned up at reception with a crow on his shoulder” and other tales from Advision with Peter Woolliscroft – 512

Produced by Wayne Hall and Jeffrey Crecelius

Mark and I met someone who can fill in a few more gaps in the Yes story this week. We managed to track down and speak to Peter Woolliscroft who was only a short time into his studio engineering career at Advision studio in London when Yes turned up to record Tormato. He shares his recollections of the sessions which are rich and extensive and it was a pleasure to welcome him to the show. Listen out for revelations about Tormato and a little bit about Peter’s extensive list of work with some of the biggest names in rock and pop.

  • How were things set up at Advision for Yes?
  • Would it have been better to employ a producer?
  • Who walked into reception accompanied by an avian pal?

Listen to the episode and let us know what you think!

Peter’s name and Advision Studios in the Tormato credits
Watch out for the North drums at 8:36 and Rick playing the Birotron at 2:34 and elsewhere.

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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from:

8 replies on ““…he turned up at reception with a crow on his shoulder” and other tales from Advision with Peter Woolliscroft – 512”

Another terrific deep dive into Yes in the studio, and the underestimated ‘Tormato’ album. It would be fascinating to get Peter Woolliscroft back at some point, among other things to run through some of the other tracks in order to find out how they were realised.

I must be one of a fairly select group of people – presumably including Kevin – who actually really enjoy the interweaving of (and contrast between) Steve’s crisp, fast guitar lines and Rick’s flurrying on the new Polymoog. It is one of the sonic components that makes this album unique.

I’m not sure what a heavyweight producer would have changed, but I’m guessing the overdubs would have been done differently. I fear that those original tapes will never be found… but I’d *really* like to hear a top quality remix of ‘Tormato’. Recovering the music live, if done well, would also likely lead to its rehabilitation within many fans’ estimation of the Yes catalogue – as has deservedly happened with ‘Drama’.

An excellent delve into the gear land of Tormato. Finding the key people that actually worked on these projects brings up some real goodies and story changing truths.

Get him back for a part 2, and run through the tracks technically that he worked on.

I look forward to the next deep look into some aspect of Yes soon, well done again.

A gem of an episode. We hear so many ‘stories’ which when repeated are presented as become facts. It’s so revealing to hear from somebody who was in the room. So no more blaming Dolby. Also I had never heard that the intention was to record a ‘live’ album in the studio. When I heard of all those takes I couldn’t help but hear the distant voice of a certain Bill Bruford saying ‘yep, that’s why I left’.
Peter Woolliscroft came across as an erudite chap and I hope you are able to get him back on for a part two.
Well done chaps a real coup.

All those tapes! 17 boxes and 32 takes just for one song! How many must there have been for the entire album? And they must be somewhere…

Love the Tormato interview with Peter, really interesting as I have often thought that the removal of the terrible Circus of Heaven for say Squires You Can Be Saved and somehow remix the entire album and do something about the guitar and keyboard sonic frequency clashes, this album could be really good. Oh yes and replace the awful cover with the shots of the band.

Great interview,
I remember Peter from Advision
When I worked there as a 17 year old, back in the day. What a lovely helpful, talented guy.
Fantastic memories of a great studio with so much musical history there.

That’s me at 17 reading Studio Magazine 1978. Upstairs in the dubbing theatre in Advision, as a projectonist. That’s where Martin Rushent started. I loved hanging out with the engineers downstairs in studio 1 and the mix room studio 2. Stayed late after work and asked so many questions. All the amazing engineers at Advision were so supportive to a young whipper snapper like me.
I was so lucky to work through the amazing analogue days of multitrack through MIDI and into digital.
As an interesting point, digital recording experiments started at Advision because Feldon Audio, who were Advision’s technical team. Based in the basement.
Sony digital recording onto video tape. 1’s and 0’s on video tape. Umatic if I remember.
Andy Whetstone was the dubbing mixer when I joined Advision, and Roger Cameron was the other guy who interviewed me.
Advision was an amazing place, at the top of its game when I was lucky enough to be there.

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