Country musicians Kira Isabella and Aaron Pritchett pose for a photo prior to rehearsal at Music Makers studio in Surrey on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 10. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

‘It has been really fun’: Owner of Newton music studio wants to sell and tune out

Country artist Aaron Pritchett was at Music Makers on Thursday, with band and Kira Isabella

Bob Douglas has put his popular music rehearsal studio up for sale, for more than a song.

In Newton, the White Rock resident has owned and operated Music Makers since 2011, and now he’s looking to enjoy retirement in other ways.

“It has been really fun, but it’s a lot of work going back and forth, and I have other stuff I want to do,” Douglas said. “I might want to go back playing (music) while I still can, and do some other things, too, like travel.”

On Thursday afternoon, country artist Aaron Pritchett and his band booked Music Makers’ penthouse studio to rehearse for a 35-date, cross-Canada tour that starts Friday (Jan. 11) on Vancouver Island and includes a date at Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre on Tuesday (Jan. 15).

“I didn’t even know this place existed, I have to admit, because of the fact that when my band and I rehearse it’s basically at sound-check for a show,” said the North Delta-raised Pritchett, who lives in Nanaimo these days.

“They’re such great musicians, and that’s not just pumping their tires. The other thing, too, is that everyone lives all over the place, and they’re out of town a lot. Getting everyone together like this is rare, for rehearsal, but this is something special, prior to us going on tour.”

Music Makers includes two 400-square-foot spaces on the first floor and a second-floor studio of nearly 1,000 square feet. The asking price is $649,000.

Studio clients have included Lee Aaron, Darby Mills (of Headpins fame), Jerry Doucette, Alfie Zappacosta and metal band Obsidian. A few years ago, North Delta-raised rock quartet Theory of a Deadman “locked out” the upstairs room for eight days. “They came in to write some of the tunes for a CD they were about to record, so that was pretty cool,” Douglas recalled during an interview in 2016.

Born and raised in East Van, Douglas played bass on the local scene in the 1960s and ’70s. He was in The Reign and, later, Five Man Cargo, which was managed by Bruce Allen for a time and, according to a post at the website Pnwbands.com, once “spent a year in the basement on the turkey farm we rented on 152nd and Fraser Highway, Surrey, and recorded enough material for an album which was never released.”

In his time away from Music Makers, Douglas is part of the “Blue Crew” that stages concerts at White Rock’s Blue Frog Studios. Douglas’ role is “front-end management” – a greeter who looks after concert-goers, pretty much.

With Music Makers, he’s ready to let go and move on.

“I’ve been talking about selling for about a year now,” he said, “and I had a number of people from the industry who were interested but you know, the building, the unit, is worth a lot of money, and if I were selling the business it wouldn’t really be a challenge. This is my retirement fund, right. Ultimately we want the studio to keep running, that’s my hope.”

Pritchett, who’s touring with Ottawa-born musician Kira Isabella, called Music Makers “a great little rehearsal space” for him and his band.

“Absolutely,” he said, “and it’s so unassuming from the outside. To get to tighten up those things in your show that you need to, this seems perfect. This is the type of place you want for that.”

• RELATED STORIES:

Longtime rocker’s music hub makes noise in Newton.

Lee Aaron video shoot rocks Surrey studio with ‘Diamond Baby Blues’ sounds.

Echoes of Pink Floyd in Surrey, times two.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

BREAKING: Cloverdale McDonald’s employee tests positive for COVID-19

McDonald’s Canada immediately shut down the restaurant

Southridge students raise $5,600 for hospital meal program

GoFundMe campaign funds two months of meals at Peace Arch Hospital

Surrey kids get cooking during free SuperChefs camps pushed online by pandemic

‘Enthusiastic’ launch of program, which sees ingredient pickup at one local school

Court awards woman $143K for two Whalley rear-ender crashes, one by a bus

In both cases, Brigitte Bergeron’s vehicle was hit from behind while stopped at an intersection

Surrey RCMP searching for missing woman last seen in Crescent Beach

Milcah Kasomali-Chirumbwana last seen at 4:35 p.m. July 5 in the 12300-block of Beecher Street

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Abbotsford school vice-principal accused of getting Instagram ‘confessions’ page shut down

@A.S.S.S.Confessions page claims school officials contacted families to find out person behind page

Recreational chinook openings leave First Nations frustrated on the Lower Fraser

Limited recreational openings for chinook on the Chehalis and Chilliwack rivers being questioned

Most Read

l -->