Bob Douglas at Music Makers Rehearsal Studios in 2016. (File photo: Tom Zillich)

Surrey’s Music Makers Rehearsal Studios will rock on with new owner

Theory of a Deadman, Lee Aaron, Aaron Pritchett have rehearsed or recorded there

After a decade of operating the Newton-area hub for musicians, Bob Douglas has sold Music Makers Rehearsal Studios and will retire from the business.

Tom Clark, who runs Surrey-based sewing company Deimos Zipharness, will take over operations on March 30.

“Tom will be moving his other (manufacturing) business to the (Music Makers) location and combining it with Music Makers there,” Douglas told the Now-Leader. “Tom will be doing some renovations so most rehearsals will be moved to the Penthouse studio during that time. We expect that all current reservations will be accommodated without interruption. I expect the transition will be pretty seamless. I plan to be one of his customers.”

Music Makers includes two 400-square-foot studios on the ground floor and a second-floor “penthouse” of nearly 1,000 square feet.

(Story continues below)

• RELATED STORY: Lee Aaron video shoot rocks Surrey studio with ‘Diamond Baby Blues’ sounds.

Since the doors opened in 2011, musicians who have rehearsed or recorded there include rock band Theory of a Deadman, Alfie Zappacosta, Darby Mills, Jerry Doucette, Lee Aaron and Aaron Pritchett, along with hundreds of players on the local scene.

Douglas, a White Rock resident, played bass in Vancouver-area bands starting in the 1960s.

For years, Douglas dropped out of playing music but got the itch again in the late-2000s when the idea for a Motown-ish band – initially dubbed S.O.S. and, later, Soul Dogs – was hatched. They needed a place to rehearse and Douglas, with money made in the RV industry, bought unit #26-8333 130th St., and called it Music Makers.

“The format here is a reflection of all the things I didn’t like about other places I’ve rehearsed in,” Douglas said in a 2016 interview.

• READ MORE: Longtime rocker’s music hub makes noise in Newton.

In early 2019, as part of his retirement plans, Douglas put Music Makers up for sale and has since looked for a new owner who wants to keep the place running as a rehearsal studio.

In White Rock, Douglas is part of the “Blue Crew” that stages concerts at Blue Frog Studios, as “front-end management” – a greeter who looks after concert-goers.

A longtime music fan, Douglas owns many original concert tickets, posters and programs that feature The Beatles, The Who, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and other music icons. He saw concerts by those performers, among many others, in Vancouver and other cities beginning in the mid-1960s.

(Story continues below)

On Facebook this week, Douglas thanked his “wonderful artist friends” for supporting Music Makers in recent years.

“I so value all of the special friendships and I can’t tell you how much I will miss you all,” Douglas wrote. “It has been a great privilege to serve you. My last day will be March 28 but I will be helping Tom with the transition for a while after that.

“I’m not disappearing,” he added. “After kicking around the industry for nearly 55 years, music is in my blood so I hope to see you at Blue Frog and other venues around town soon.”

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance, respect closures

Not social distancing or obeying provincial orders in Delta could set you back hundreds of dollars

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

White Rock council members stand by decision to close pier

Minimal push-back over closure to minimize chance of spreading COVID-19 virus

Surrey’s JoJo Mason brings mom along for Saturday song during Diesel Bird Digital Music Festival

Online event March 28-29 to rally behind Canadian musicians hit by COVID-19 show cancellations

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read