Too Much Passion

The Escondido recording studio that played a role in the careers of New Found Glory, Unwritten Law, blink-182, and Ike Turner closed its doors last month.

In 1989, New Yorker Don Lithgow founded DML Studios in downtown Escondido. Seven years ago he moved DML to the industrial park near Highway 78 and I-15. Last month he packed up his equipment and moved everything to his home in Murrieta so he could be closer to his kids. He says he will still record bands.

"The landscape of the business has changed drastically in the last ten years," says Lithgow, 47. "It's very affordable now for musicians to record themselves. They can buy an MBox for $500 and record their songs at home. Big studios that have cost millions and millions of dollars have gone by the wayside. The Hit Factory in New York closed down, and it's condos now....

"In the '80s and '90s, the big issue was being able to find a room to record in. You couldn't get a room because there was such a demand. Today I see these studio guys at clubs, hitting up bands, trying to get business."

Lithgow says he started working with blink-182 "...when they were still just known as blink. When they were still going to Poway High School."

As the band's sound man, Lithgow says he did dozens of lousy gigs in back yards and coffee shops. Eventually, manager Rick DeVoe entered the picture, and the band soon became successful.

"The best musician ever was Ike Turner. Tommy Lee beats up Pamela Anderson, and he sells a million records. Ike had a hard time after that movie [What's Love Got to Do with It?]. The people are the losers here because they didn't get to hear a lot of incredible music Ike had written."

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