The daughter of Beatles legend Paul McCartney, Mary, has crafted a film that explains her family’s personal and professional connection to an iconic 90-year-old building in north-west London. A new documentary exploring the cultural significance of Abbey Road Studios titled If these walls could sing tells the story of the studio and its importance in the history of music. Paul adds his own anecdotes of working with the Beatles in the iconic space, revealing “it was our home.”
What is “If These Walls Could Sing” about?
The documentary film tells the story of a nondescript white building that became the Beatles’ creative base. Studio Two is where the Fab Four recorded almost all their music between 1962 and 1970. John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Paul McCartney loved the Abbey Road studio so much that they named their 1969 album after the street where the studio resides.
If these walls could sing marks the first time Abbey Road has opened its doors to a feature-length documentary. The film will herald a celebration of the building’s 90th anniversary, which began in November 2022. It chronicles how recording in the building’s three studios has influenced countless musicians. If these walls could sing will also include unrivaled studio access.
Paul McCartney said of his work with the Beatles at Abbey Road: ‘It was our home’
McCartney is among a list of celebrities featured in the documentary. These legendary musical talents include John Williams, Elton John, Liam Gallagher, Roger Waters, Fela Kuti, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Noel Gallagher and Celeste. Also featured are Ringo Starr, Nile Rodgers and George Martin’s son Giles, who brings historical perspective to the film from the longtime Beatles producer’s family.
The Beatles bassist told the cameras at Studio 2, where the band recorded their legendary work, “this was our home. We spent so much time here. McCartney also shared a memory of the family bringing Mary’s pony, Jet, to the studio when Wings recorded Runaway group in the early 70’s.
The artist points to the old-sounding piano that the Beatles borrowed in the mid-’60s from novelty act Mrs Mills and plays the band’s 1968 classic “Lady Madonna” on it.
As the daughter of a Beatles member, Mary offers a unique and personal perspective on the history of Abbey Road. She says: “Some of my earliest memories as a young child come from my time at Abbey Road. I have long wanted to tell the story of this historic place.
Abbey Road may be known for its rich rock history, but it’s also legendary for other reasons.
Enter the legendary Abbey Road Studios, home to some of the greatest musical icons of all time. ?#IfTheseWallsCouldSing airs December 16 on #DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/4XREh9wLMb
—Disney+ (@DisneyPlus) November 14, 2022
While music fans have understood how instrumental studio work has been for many legendary musicians, other music connoisseurs understand Abbey Road’s significance in the world of music outside of the rock genre.
Variety reports that Mary McCartney dedicated part of the documentary to Jacqueline du Pré, cellist and classical music superstar in the mid-1960s. She also shares a story of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, then a session player on the theme of James Bond 1964 “Goldfinger”. It describes how singer Shirley Bassey lengthened the last note of the melody until it collapsed.
Composer John Williams and star wars director George Lucas calls the Abbey Road studio a “gift to music”. Williams and Lucas recorded the iconic music for the film series at the London landmark. Nile Rodgers says working at Abbey Road is a memorable experience, “this magical thing exists in artists, but artists are superstitious”.
If these walls could sing will arrive on Disney+ on December 16, 2022.
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