Jacob holding Mark Sandman's 2-string slide bass.
Jacob holding Mark Sandman's 2-string slide bass.

I’ve been a fan of the band Morphine since their second album, Cure For Pain. An ex-girlfriend introduced me to their music, and I’ve loved it ever since. And, as is my nature when I’m into something, I consume whatever I can. So I also really dug the band Mark Sandman (songwriter for Morphine) started before Morphine, Treat Her Right. Of course, I was terribly saddened by the death of Mark Sandman in 1999. I was working at a restaurant at the time, and played all of his albums back to back for the entire day.

Yesterday, I had some free time after a shoot in Boston ended a earlier than expected. I decided to check out some of the places Mark Sandman spoke about and performed, places like The Plough and Stars, The Middle East, and his studio dubbed Hi-N-Dry Studios. (I didn’t get to make it to finding Mark Sandman Square, the weather was terrible).

When I got to Hi-N-Dry, it didn’t look like the kind of place I’d imagined. Most of the liner notes art for Morphine records made it look like a loft of some sort. It turns out it was. Had I read the page for The Mark Sandman Music Project, I would have learned that the studio had moved in order to accommodate the project’s new mission, which is music education. It makes sense to be housed in a community center. The studio still functions as a recording studio and performance space, however.

Andrew Mazzone, Boston-area musician and manager of Hi-N-Dry, generously showed me around the place, which housed most of Mark Sandman’s gear, including his famous 2-string slide bass (shown above), the original 2-string slide bass, and all sorts of other instruments and Morphine memorabilia.

As a huge fan of Morphine, it was a really cool experience.

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