Originally from the UK, Stewart Hurwood grew up in a town near Cambridge, the same neck of the woods as Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd. Hurwood was a guitarist in school which led to forming a band and joining the local music scene. At that time, live music was thriving. One could see bands at The Cambridge Corn Exchange, various college balls and numerous public houses that supported local musicians.
Interestingly, local news and school programs had their music supplied by The BBC Sound Department. This music was experimental and involved recording all kinds of noise to tape machines, then manipulating the tape speed up or down to generate different notes. These notes were catalogued, then taken, and arranged into compositions. Perhaps without knowing it, exposure to this music set things in motion that would become extremely relevant later on in his career.
Upon completion of college where he studied engineering, Hurwood gathered up cash, guitar and belongings and set off to the big city. Over the next few years, he would go through several different band line-ups, playing prestigious London gigs at venues such as The Marquee and The Hippodrome and later toured across Europe. It was in this period where Hurwood started experimenting with sounds and building elaborate guitar rigs.
In 1995, Hurwood left the UK and moved to NYC. Once in the Big Apple, he took a position at a prominent New York music studio. Hurwood’s technical skills were quickly noticed and he began to work in many New York venues and pretty soon found himself on tour with Duran Duran.
It wasn’t long after his return home, Hurwood received the call to work with Lou Reed. Initially, the working relationship was tense. However, after a short testing period, Reed too noticed Hurwood’s skills and started to rely more upon his sound judgement. With studio work, one-off gigs and a few tours under his belt, Hurwood finally won the trust of Mr. Reed and was elevated to the position of Lou Reed’s Right Hand Man!
Over time, and with an increasing workload, their relationship went from strength to strength. Much of their work was musically diverse and included collaborations with The Killers, Renée Fleming and The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, The Strokes, The Gorillaz, Laurie Anderson, Metal Machine Trio, Metallica and various benefit gigs with Pete Townsend, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon, Jimmy Fallon, Hal Willner, and the list goes on! Hurwood worked with Lou Reed until Lou’s death on October 27, 2013.
Hurwood continues to carry the baton for Reed by promoting “The Drones”. Initially, the idea was the backbone for Mr. Reed’s 1975 album “Metal Machine Music”. However, the idea was expanded in preproduction for “The Metal Machine Trio Live Tour”.
Hurwood’s clientele reads like a veritable Who’s Who in Rock and Roll. This long, distinguished list includes: Duran Duran, Lou Reed, The Cult, Coldplay, Scissor Sisters, Steely Dan and numerous others. He continues to thrive and is sought after by prominent private and public artists who have a desire to own unparalleled musical rigs and explore their sonic palette. Stewart Hurwood currently resides in New York City.