Abbey Road

Before I ever thought about becoming an English teacher, I used to spend a lot of my time performing music and songwriting. I had some success, but nothing you would describe as special. However, I had some amazing experiences along the way. One of the best was when I got to record in Abbey Rd Studios for free! If you didn’t just raise your eyebrows when you read that, then you’re probably not aware that Abbey Rd is where The Beatles recorded the majority of their music. From hanging around the London music scene, I got to know one of the junior recording engineers who worked there. The studios encouraged their sound engineers to use the facilities in ‘down-time’ (jargon meaning that the studio was not being used), so that they got more experience with the specific acoustics that you find in Abbey Rd. So for a while during the summer of 2000 (mainly at night and during the weekends), I was allowed to run riot in Abbey Rd. It was unbelievable to be standing in exactly the same place where The Beatles had recorded all their magic, never mind the countless other incredible artists, who have recorded classic albums there. I recorded in all the studios there, but the most memorable was in studio 2. This is the iconic studio, where the film about the Beatles, “Let it Be” was recorded.

It’s a sad film because it depicts the break-up of The Beatles, but to be standing there in the same place where all of that happened, was awesome for me. Abbey Rd was one of the hundreds of studios run by EMI Records. When EMI closed down all its studios around the world, they sent all the recording equipment they owned to Abbey Rd. So, in a room at the back of Abbey Rd, there is an absolute treasure trove of old recording equipment, the likes of that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. The collection of old microphones there is unique. Now, that might not seem so interesting, but old microphones are of a much better quality than anything you can buy these days. So, the ‘mic’ collection there is really something to behold! Unfortunately, I’m not as musically talented as The Beatles (and I didn’t have George Martin as my producer), so my results from Abbey Rd are not comparable. However, I have some great memories of being in that iconic musicians’ playground. You can hear one of the songs I recorded.

I’m playing everything and even singing! (The girl’s voice is someone else though) Anyway, I bet Paul McCartney wouldn’t be able to teach a class full of SGI summer students! So, who is the lucky one??? Errrmm…it’s probably McCartney, isn’t it? Mind you, at least I didn’t marry Heather Mills!!!

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