Great to see your retro article on the CBS Records pressing plant in Santa Maria (“Columbia record factory in Santa Maria used to produce 100,000 albums a day,” Nov. 25). I worked there from 1976 until its closing in 1980, due to a temporary collapse in the music business fueled by the new video-game craze.
Although your old article states “the big records stars don’t show up in person in Santa Maria,” one did pass through during my tenure — the newly signed Heart with Ann and Nancy Wilson. What a thrill that was, and I had every last band member autograph my test pressing of their new album.
I was also everybody’s best friend once a month when the plant held its monthly warehouse sale open to all employees plus one guest. We were turned loose in a big room full of brand new, sealed LPs by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Neil Diamond and countless others … all for just $1 apiece.
Ah, the good old days.
Pete Howard, San Luis Obispo