How a living relic of the British Invasion ended up building a recording studio in downtown El Reno

Great State

EL RENO, Okla. (KFOR) — He’s the kind of guy who knows every side of the recording business, both sides of the microphone, and all points between.

“I wanted to make this a professional studio,” says Colin Forsey. “There’s a lot of art that’s gone into all of this.”

So when young artist Lorelei Bonham came in for some song tests, Colin knew exactly what to do, how to set up the studio, how to set up the control room, how to make her comfortable so the recordings would be true right away.

“We had a really relaxing time,” says Forsey of his session with Bonham.

Welcome to Full Armour Records, named for the Bible verse in Ephesians, but built on the rock of Colin’s lifetime of experience.

He chuckles, “You know, I look at it and think this guy must have been crazy.”

His own record started in the early 60’s.

Forsey was vocalist and guitar player for a group that called itself ‘Dale Stevens and Group Five.’

Then he formed a band called ‘The Spectrum’.

They even opened for the Beatles once.

He recalls, “Paul McCartney came in to my dressing room and asked for some of my orange juice. I said, ‘Sure. Help yourself.'”

Somewhere in that time period, one of Colin’s good friends was a jazz drummer named Charlie Watts.

Charlie was the original drummer on the Rolling Stones.

“He would make fun of me,” Colin recalls, “because I was Mr. Rock-n-Roll.”

When The Spectrum didn’t pan out, he landed a job with CBS Record British division, getting other groups airtime on the radio, including Dr. Hook.

One of his stunts was re-recording one of their songs to get around arcane BBC rules.

Colin sang, “On the cover of the Radio Times,” covering the original Rolling Stones lyric because the BBC wouldn’t allow promotion of private companies.

He married, moved to L.A. in the early 80’s and built a home recording studio for the band Night Ranger.

He married again and ended up in El Reno where he built this studio by himself complete with floating rooms built on thick rubber cushions.

Forsey holds a piece of the material he used, “It’s very dense,” he says.

He dabbled in commercial art, construction, and even worked at Lowe’s while he built his studio.

He ran a restaurant downstairs until Covid-19 closed it, but the music never stopped.

“I can’t just have a room,” he smiles.

Colin kept this upstairs spot open for young artists and young bands to come in and record, much like another small studio in Memphis, Tennessee did in the early 50’s.

“It’s like a Sun Records,” he chuckles, “Maybe even better than a Sun Records.”

His music, his crazy experiences, come through with every wild story, and issue from the top of the stairs in a studio like no other.

For more information on Full Armour Records, go to their Facebook page.

‘Is This a Great State or What?’ is sponsored by WEOKIE.

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