Homeless people broke into Sunset Sound and defecated on a drum kit, says studio head

Paul Camarata also recalls Taylor Swift being accosted while she recorded at the facility.

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Drum kit in a recording studio

Credit: Yoshiyoshi Hirokawa/Getty Images

With over 300 gold records under its belt, Hollywood’s Sunset Sound recording studio is legendary. From Elton John to The Rolling Stones to The Beach Boys, the studio has hosted a star-studded list of artists, allowing them to craft records that have gone down in history. But, the studio has suffered a problem with homeless intruders as of late.

Last week, the legendary studio was broken into and robbed. The thieves got their hands on blank cheques, forcing the studio to close all of its accounts. Most notably, they also left behind a gift for Sunset Sound’s president Paul Camarata to discover the next day.

“The police came, took a report and took some fingerprints, but we both came to the conclusion that it was the homeless, because one, they defecated on a drum set right in the lower level,” Camarata said. “We store a lot of instruments, amplifiers and guitars and basses. A lot of them are clients’. They didn’t steal any of that.”

The break in isn’t the first time the homeless have turned on Sunset Sound. Last year, the studio was set on fire twice. To keep possible intruders at bay, the studio will be sealing shut a door and installing razor wire.

The recording studio has been surrounded by tented encampments for years, but it has noticeably worsened. Camarata has gone on record stating that “the last four months, it’s just grown in huge dimensions. We’ve always had the problem, but it’s just extremely bad right now,”

The growing homeless population is taking a toll on the studio’s business, scaring away stars. Speaking to ABC7, Camarata reveals that Taylor Swift has vowed never to return to the studio following the spike.

“Taylor Swift was down here, and she made the mistake of going out on the sidewalk and going to the 7-Eleven across the street – got accosted, came back to my tenant and told him, ‘I will never come back to Sunset Sound again,’” Camarata said.

While it hasn’t deterred him from using the studio, Elton John has also commented on the increased homeless population surrounding the studio. “[John] had to drive in and see [the homeless encampment], so he was made aware of it,” Camarata tells Yahoo! News. “Then his producer was asking us about it, like ‘Why is it so bad out there?’ You know, because the city allows it.”

“We’ve been here 64 years. We’ve made some of the most iconic records that have been done in the industry here,” Camarata told ABC7. “And now we’ve got to deal with this homeless problem that is potentially putting us out of business.”

The Daily Mail has shared a quote from studio manager Josh Lawrence, reflecting on the loyal clients who have noticed the change: “There’s clients that have been come here for, you know 40, 50 years, and they’ve been in Hollywood, and a lot of them are really upset to see how the situation has just gotten worse and worse and worse,” Lawrence says.

While the homelessness crisis in Southern California has been an issue for years, there has been a noticeable spike in Hollywood. The Daily Mail reports that in Hollywood alone there are an estimated 3,000 people experiencing homelessness, with a mere 400 shelter beds available to them.


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