A Short Profile by Richard Dunearderie
Robert John Godfrey, now in his sixties, started his musical life as a classical musician and studied at the Royal College Of Music to be a concert pianist. By the 1966 he had become disenchanted with the course his life was taking and did what a lot of boys of his generation did. He turned on and dropped out.
It wasn't long, though, before his musical gifts made themselves felt. Soon he was mixing with the architects of the new and emerging music business. He spent a lot of time hanging around the offices of Blackhill Enterprises, one of the most famous names of the sixties. These were the people, Peter Jenner and Andrew King, who discovered Pink Floyd and signed them with EMI. It was through his persistence with these people that he finally got his break. He was introduced to Barclay James Harvest (who were giving their London debut) and The Roundhouse. This interesting band from Manchester were on the verge of signing a big record deal with EMI and Robert John Godfrey was determined to be part of it.
So, by 1969, Robert was getting his first serious experience with the world of recording at the famous Abbey Road studios owned by EMI. He was lucky enough to find himself working with Norman Smith who, at the time, not only produced Pink Floyd and The Pretty Things, but also Barclay James Harvest with whom Robert was to spend nearly three years as their musical director - arranger, orchestrator and recording mentor.
After a brief spell on The Charisma Label in 1973, for whom he recorded a solo album, he formed The Enid, a band who were to create a huge cult following during the late seventies right through to the end of the eighties.
In 1978, he and co-founder of the band, Steve Stewart established The Lodge studio in the small town of Hertford just north of London. It was there that they helped Kim Wilde and her brother Ricky with the demos which got them signed to Micky Most. The top ten hit, Kids In America and the album which followed it were recorded at The Lodge.
In 1980, The Lodge moved to a bigger better location in the Suffolk countryside and established itself as on of the best mid budget residential recording studios. Many well known bands and recording artists used the studio on a regular basis. New Model Army, Fields Of The Nephillim, Mari Wilson, Fun Boy Three, Katrina and the Waves, Saxon and Paradise Lost all made successful recordings at the Lodge right up until it closed when Robert and Steve decided to retire from the music business (and each other). In 1990 Robert moved to Northamptonshire and took up residence in a large country house between Wellingborough and Olney.
In 1991 Robert backed a young band called Come September into which he ploughed a fortune - all the money he had. Although he secured a recording contract with a major record company for them, things went badly wrong and Robert lost nearly everything. In 1992 he discovered the Northamptonshire band, The Wishplants, found them a manager and helped them secure a major recording contract with China Records.
In 1993 Robert could no longer afford his nice house in the country. He rented a modest warehouse premises in Northampton town centre and moved both himself and a large quantity of recording equipment into it, effectively re-establishing The Lodge. He did this partly for his own ongoing needs as a composer, but also as a way to make a living and to bring a decent standard of recording facility to his new home town. Soon he met Max Read who at the time was in a local band called Diversion. It didn't take Max long to decide upon giving up the day job he hated to lead a life of music. Although Max had had little experience of recording when he first came to The Lodge, his love of all things electronic and mechanical together with an abiding interest in music and production has made him into one of the most accomplished engineers on the local scene with international record releases and chart success to his name. Although he came to The Lodge as Robert's assistant, he has flourished in his new environment. Now he is an equal business partner and joint proprietor of The lodge.
Since that time, the studio has gradually expanded and improved. Both Robert and Max have a tendency to plough the profits of the business back in. They both love machinery and technology and are always wanting to get the latest new thing.
There isn't much that Robert Godfrey doesn't know about recording studios, bands and the way the music business works. He is a generous man and has given support and encouragement to many young bands who have passed through the doors of The Lodge. He still writes and produces music, and regularly performs with a 'new generation' Enid.
The Enid still enjoys a special place in the annuls of progressive rock to this day and Robert John Godfrey is regarded as one of the worlds most highly regarded keyboard players in his field.