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Love recording studios? There’s a new book on Abbey Road.

I’ve been lucky enough to not only tour through Abbey Road Studios a couple of times but earlier this year, the production team for the upcoming CFNY Spirit of Radio documentary booked one of the studios–The Gatehouse, which is just on the other side of the doors from the famous Studio 2–to conduct a day’s worth of artist interviews.

For me, the place is like a sacred shrine. Since it opened in 1931, it’s become famous as the home base for practically everything The Beatles ever did. Pink Floyd used the place for Dark Side of the Moon. Kate Bush, Oasis, Muse, Radiohead, Florence + The Machine, Adele, Amy Winehouse, and countless others have made big records in Studios 2 and 3. Studio 1–which is the size of a couple of basketball courts–is where orchestras gathered to record the soundtracks for the Star Wars and Harry Potter movies plus Raiders of the Lost Ark and a ton of others.

From what I’ve seen, they never throw out any of their gear, either. In Studio 2–which looks exactly as it did in 1968–is the Mellotron heard on “Strawberry Fields Forever” next to an upright Hallan piano on which Paul McCartney bashed out “Lady Madonna.” The back hallways are lined with gear dating back to the 1950s. The five grand pianos used for the final chord in “A Day in a Life” are scattered about the property. And microphones? I was allowed to touch a vintage (1947?) RCA ribbon microphone that John Lennon loved for recording his vocals. What a wonderland.

There’s a 2016 book on the studio called Abbey Road: The Best Studio in the World which could be the next best thing to getting a tour of the place (which, by the way, is next to impossible.) A new, cheaper version is also available which looks like this. Highly recommended.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37825 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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