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Meet Rick Eckstein of West L.A. Studios in West Side of Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rick Eckstein.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
So here is a little background about me and West L.A. Studios. Back in 1985, not long before opening up this little rehearsal oasis, my life consisted of playing top 40, in clubs, 5 or 6 nights a week, doing demo sessions, on drums and bass guitar, and running my little 8 track recording studio, R & L Productions, in Culver City, California. About 10 years earlier, in the mid 70’s, I had been lucky enough to record an album with Capricorn Records artist, Bobby Whitlock, and subsequently, did a short stint with T-Bone Burnett’s Alpha Band. Like cocky fool, I quit the Alpha Band because I thought I deserved more pay. A month or two after I left the band, they ended up backing up Bob Dylan, on his Rolling Thunder tour. Oops! My wife, to this day, still calls me “The Pete Best of West L.A.” Anyway, back to the 80’s, and I’m still playing in clubs, doing a session, now and then, and even bringing home the occasional young lady for late night festivities. Then my life changed.

It was February, 1986, when I met this pretty red haired girl. She was an attorney and she had a credit card! That was good enough for me. (I never had a credit card) By October, 1986 she was my wife. She was 100% supportive of my career path, as a musician, but I decided that I needed to do more to contribute, financially, to our soon to be growing family. So, I recruited my, amazing parents, Leo and Frances, to give me a bit of financial help, so that I might build something very special, in the hood where I grew up. I set out to make our new rehearsal facility a special place where music and musicians would be celebrated, where courtesy and respect would be the norm and new friendships would emerge and collaborations would be born. Since the day we opened, it has been a magical and musical experience, getting to meet and become friends with, so many terrific and talented people. We are also thrilled to have had the opportunity to provide rehearsal services to some bands and artists, who ended up becoming very successful, (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Maroon 5, Ben Harper, The Wallflowers, Sara Bareilles and others.) It has been a real treat to be a part of the L.A music community and to have hopefully played a small part in helping talented musicians and artists work to achieve their dreams. I look forward to many more years of this truly satisfying endeavor, that is West L.A. Studios. I remain married to this job, and also to my fantastic wife……

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting a small business is never an easy task. There are always bumps in the road. Then, keeping it open offers its challenges too. We have had our struggles, over the years, as most businesses do. There are ups and there are downs. That said, our passion is high, and we’ve always done whatever it takes to keep the ship a float and to serve the local musicians who contribute so much to our city, as well as the whole world.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the West L.A. Studios story. Tell us more about the business.
While we do some light rentals and some selling of musical products, our specialty is to offer the musicians of Los Angeles a rehearsal facility where the equipment is kept up, where they are celebrated, for their talent and abilities and they are always treated with the utmost kindness and respect. What sets us apart from other rehearsal facilities? I don’t go to other rehearsal facilities so I can’t really say. I can tell you this, when you walk into West L.A. Studios, you walk into a hate free zone. When you walk through our doors, you walk into a place where intolerance is not tolerated. When you walk through our doors, you walk into an environment of love, respect, kindness and humanity. It is a special place where friends are made, music is shared and negativity is at a very low level. These days, the way things are going people need a place that is safe from all of the insanity that is the thing that I am most proud of. People are safe, when the come through our doors. We are always offering up heaping helpings of love and good cheer.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I was lucky to have a great family, growing up. I am lucky to have a great family of my own, now. I am lucky to have such great friends. I am lucky to encounter all of the amazing and soulful musicians that come in, on a daily basis.

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