The Mountain Studios is now a museum-exhibition dedicated to Queen
The exhibition-museum "Queen: The Studio Experience" opened its doors in 2013 in Montreux following the closure of the famous Mountain Studios.
This recording studio was formerly owned by Queen from 1979 to 1993. The site has since been transformed into a permanent exhibition in honour of the British group.
Queen: The Studio Experience, which is managed by the Mercury Phoenix Trust, was opened on December 2, 2013 in the presence of Queen's guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor and David Richards, the sound engineer who worked more than 25 years within the Mountain Studios.
This exhibition faithfully retraces one of the most important periods in the life of the Queen and marks the 40th anniversary of their first album.
The Freddie Tours are guided tours organized in Montreux and will give you a wealth of information about this mythical place.
These excursions allow you to discover, in an original and unprecedented way, the rich musical past of the city of Montreux through the story of one of its most illustrious guests, Freddie Mercury!
Latest news from "Queen: The Studio Experience"
Re-opening on July 2, 2021
After many months of being closed due to COVID-19, Queen: The Studio Experience re-opens its doors.
Visitors will be able to enjoy it from 2 July at the following times :
Queen: The Studio Experience has been closed to the public since November 4, 2020 and for the second time this year. No reopening date has been announced yet.
Indeed, due to the sanitary directives imposed by the state of Vaud in the fight against COVID-19, the Casino de Montreux which hosts the permanent exhibition Queen: The Studio Experience has been forced to close until further notice.
Freddie Tours will keep you informed as soon as a reopening date will be announced.
"Queen: The Studio Experience" Reopening
After approximately 3 months of closure, the Montreux Casino announces that the doors of the museum will be reopened to the public on Monday 15 June 2020.
As the coronavirus pandemic intensifies, the Swiss Government declares the closure of all public institutions in Switzerland on 16 March 2020. The Montreux Casino and its museum, Queen The Studio Experience, were then forced to close their doors for an indefinite period.
This space, which was formerly the Mountain Studio, is the recording place of the band Queen in Montreux and now houses a faithful reconstruction of the place where Freddie Mercury and Queen recorded many albums.
The exhibition is free and open every day of the year from 10am to 10pm.
Visit the "Queen: The Studio Experience"
The main hall is a faithful reconstruction of the atmosphere of the period, full of personal effects that belonged to Freddie Mercury and Queen. You will love seeing numerous stage clothes made by his faithful costume designer Diana Moseley or manuscript letters and photos from the time.
There are also various musical instruments, such as John Deacon's bass, Roger Taylor's drums and a replica of the "Red Special", Brian May's famous guitar, which he built himself in 1964 with the help of his father. Essentially created from salvaged materials, Brian May would have spent only £17 on components to make this guitar, which would become world famous.
The original studio control room has been reproduced exactly as it was. It is in a small room at the back of the exhibition and is accessible to the public. A reproduction of the famous original Neve console has been installed to allow visitors to put themselves in David Richards' shoes and mix 4 hits of the band (Made in Heaven, Mother Love, Bicycle Race and Invisible Man). This famous console, qualified at the time as the best console in the world, is now at the Svenska Grammofon Studion in Gothenburg, Sweden. It is still used for professional recordings. Also in the same room is the famous 24-track recorder of the Swiss brand Studer.
This control room contains countless precious memories. One of the most striking is that of the last recording of Freddie Mercury, by then seriously affected by his illness. It was in this piece that he recorded Mother Love, a song that was released posthumously on Queen's last album, Made in Heaven in 1995. In a very poignant way, a gilded commemorative plaque was installed on the floor, recreating the place where the singer was standing during this final voice recording.
At the back of the main hall, hidden behind a discreet curtain, a small cinema room is available for visitors and the curious, who can isolate themselves for a moment in a darkened room. This part of the exhibition shows several extracts from the famous documentary "Queen - Days of our Lives". First shown on BBC Two in May 2011, this two-part British documentary was directed by Matt O'Casey. It tells the true story of Queen and shows the highlights of the British quartet.
The Queen: The Studio Experience, managed by the Mercury Phoenix Trust, was produced with the invaluable collaboration of Greg Brooks, Queen's official archivist. It presents visitors with a chronological overview of all the albums recorded in Montreux and is packed with archives and unpublished documents. It begins with the first album "Jazz" recorded in Montreux in 1978 and extends to the last posthumous album "Made in Heaven" recorded with Freddie's vocal parts before his death.
Mountain Studios Recording Studio
The site of this permanent exhibition, Queen: The Studio Experience, is housed in the former premises of Mountain Studios, the legendary recording studio that Queen acquired in 1979 and which itself is located within the current Casino Barrière in Montreux.
The list of artists who came to record there at the time was just as grandiose as the aura of its owners. To name but a few: Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, B.B.King, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, Yes, Duran Duran, Chris Rea, Sting, Phil Collins, and AC/DC.
David Richards began his career as a sound engineer at the Mountain Studio when it opened in 1975. He was then an assistant to John Timperley, who held the position of Chief Engineer. Richards took over from Timperley when he left in 1977 and continued to work there until 2002.
Mercury Phoenix Trust
The Mercury Phoenix Trust is a foundation that was established following the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991 by the members of Queen (Brian May and Roger Taylor, the band's guitarist and drummer respectively, and Jim Beach, their manager). In recent years, the Trust has donated more than $16 million and has funded more than a thousand projects worldwide in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.
Freddie Tours is a direct supporter of the Mercury Phoenix Trust, as a portion of the proceeds from each booking go directly to the Trust.