Abbey Road Studios Documentary From Mary McCartney: Watch a Clip With Paul McCartney

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Director Mary McCartney outside the world-famous studios (Photo © Grace Guppy via Abbey Road Studios)

Abbey Road Studios is the subject of a new documentary, directed by celebrated British photographer and filmmaker Mary McCartney. The 53-year-old photographer is the daughter of Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney. The feature length film, If These Walls Could Sing, was described in the original Jan. 12, 2021, announcement as “the untold story of the world-famous” London studios. It features interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and David Gilmour, who famously recorded The Dark Side of the Moon there, Elton John, Kate Bush, Jimmy Page, and composer and conductor John Williams, among many others.

In Sept. 2022, it was announced that Disney’s Original Documentary unit has joined with Mercury Studios, the music-first content studio from Universal Music Group, for the worldwide streaming release on a date still to be announced. It had its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival in early September and will continue to hit the festival circuit. The film was produced by Academy Award®, BAFTA and Prime Time Emmy Award-winner John Battsek (Searching For Sugar Man), Sara Thomson, and Miles Coleman under the production company, Ventureland.

“Abbey Road was a space I thought I knew, but I continue to discover new things every time I go in,” says Mary McCartney. An official trailer has not yet been made available but watch a clip below.

Abbey Road Studios opened its doors in 1931 in London’s affluent St. John’s Wood neighborhood.

Mary McCartney brings a unique and personal perspective on the history of Abbey Road. She says, “Some of my earliest memories as a young child come from time spent at Abbey Road. I’ve long wanted to tell the story of this historic place and I couldn’t be collaborating with a better team than John and Mercury Studios to make this creative ambition a reality.” Her father shared a photograph that she took of him on his 80th birthday in 2022.

“Abbey Road Studios have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember,” says Mary McCartney. “I grew up around the corner and have early memories of going to visit my parents while they were recording. The studios felt like a family. The people who worked there had also grown up there, staying years to be trained and nurtured by the generation above them. This family had also produced the music I loved; iconic, original, pioneering records that have inspired and moved me and millions of others.

“A photograph of my mum leading our pony Jet across Abbey Road’s zebra crossing sparked these memories again. Walking by the studios and watching people gather on the crossing to have their photos taken, people who had made the journey from all over the world, made me realize the significance of Abbey Road. There is something truly special about this place; it is much more than a building — it’s a shrine to creative, original thinkers and a treasure-trove of stories.

Watch a clip with Paul McCartney from the studio’s announcement of the film

She adds, “As a photographer, I wanted to capture the spirit of the studios visually. Being able to invite artists back to the space created intimate, emotional interviews and revealed so much for me and the subject. While gathering memories, I wanted to open the studio up to people who had never had the chance to experience it. I see this film as an opportunity to make the magic of the world’s most famous studio accessible to engage with a younger audience and surprise people.”

Isabel Garvey, Managing Director of Abbey Road Studios, said, “If these walls could sing. I have lost count how many times I’ve heard that said at Abbey Road Studios over the years. To highlight and celebrate the place, the music and the talent that have made the studio what it is, through their creativity and innovation, was an honor.”

From the original announcement: If These Walls Could Sing marks the first time Abbey Road has opened its doors to a feature length documentary and will be the centerpiece of the legendary recording studios’ 90th anniversary celebrations. It will tell countless stories featuring an all-star cast of interviews, unparalleled access to the studios and, of course, a spellbinding soundtrack.

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  1. Don
    #1 Don 15 January, 2021, 21:39

    I would like to have a complete diagram of the complete building : all levels (floors) and all rooms on each level with each room identified as to its name and purpose and at least some idea of the equipment used in those rooms thru out the years.

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    • Turtle
      Turtle 17 September, 2022, 01:03

      There is such a book; RECORDING THE BEATLES (The Studio Equipment & Techniques Used To Create Their Classic Albums). It’s more than that though it covers the entire history of EMI STUDIOS. from the very beginning. Has blueprints of all the studios & cutting rooms & the record making factory! Has a total arial shot of the entire EMI facility.It’s huge!!! Also included are mixers, microphones, tape machines, speakers & amps effects(etc.). There’s pics of bands in the studio & some memorabilia as well! The Company is CURVEBENDER PUBLISHING & it came out in (2006) & is 537 pages Hardback with Slip case that looks like an EMI TAPE BOX. Very heavy duty construction & it was mail order only. .I don’t remember what I played for it but it was expensive but once you see it you’ll know why! One stop Abbey Road shopping! Good luck finding it! Dennis.

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  2. Pat
    #2 Pat 12 September, 2022, 16:45

    The Beatles could fart the Star Spangled Banner, and someone would buy it. Most likely including myself. I have been a fan since 64 . Love you both Macca and Mary. Pat Donahue. Louisville, Ky.

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  3. Donn
    #3 Donn 24 September, 2022, 15:28

    The studios made lots of classical music. Schnabel first recordings of Beethoven’s piano sonatas early on. Huge catalog of Angel EMI records.

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