Montserrat is enjoying a new burst in the international music industry spotlight as a new movie recounts the glory days of the famous AIR recording studies set up by the former Beatles manager George Martin.
The new movie, Under The Volcano, is a nostalgic look back at AIR Studios in Montserrat and the many international recording stars who not only recorded some of their biggest hits but also relaxed and freely mingled with the residents away from the glare of the international media spotlight.
The roll call of stars appearing and sharing their views about the recording facility and the island reads like a who’s who of rock and pop music royalty.
It abounds with anecdotes of big-name stars mingling with the population, visiting homes, hanging out at popular local spots and making lifelong friends, in between recording some of the biggest hits of the modern era.
The Rolling Stones, the Police, Elton John, Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Buffett, Luther Vandross, Paul McCartney, Duran Duran, Dire Straits, and many others are featured.
The movie which has just been released globally, is already receiving critical acclaim in the international music press and mainstream media, among them Billboard, New Music Express(NME), Variety, Rolling Stone and the Daily Telegraph.
AIR Studios was ravaged when Hurricane Hugo tore through Montserrat in 1989.
The proverbial nail in the coffin came from a combination of changes in the global music industry, and the coup de grace when the island’s Soufriere Hills volcano - often referenced in the film - started erupting in 1995.
The hit Volcano by Jimmy Buffet - which features local musicians - was one of their first songs recorded at AIR Studios in Montserrat.