Caribou Ranch documentary in the works

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Caribou Ranch, near Nederland, was a major recording studio throughout the '70s and early '80s. The 178 artists who recorded there over the years include such legends as Elton John, Billy Joel, the Beach Boys, Frank Zappa and Joe Walsh. But when a fire destroyed the control room in 1985, owner James Guercio closed the studio. More than two decades later, Mark Brown wrote a piece about Caribou Ranch for the Rocky Mountain News; he says the article was well received and garnered e-mails from around the world. In addition, it acted as the springboard for a documentary that Brown is collaborating on with Guercio, Kenny Passarelli and others.

After scoring interviews with Billy Joel, Joe Walsh, Earth Wind & Fire and others when they were in town for concerts, Brown says they have about 60 to 75 percent of the documentary filmed. They also have dozens of hours of historical footage, about 10,000 photos, studio documents and unheard music to work with.

"I think it's one of the last great untold stories," Brown says. "People wouldn't want to see another Woodstock documentary, I don't think."

Here's the trailer for the film:

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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