Photo / Misterweiss
Abbey Road Studios, the staid Georgian townhouse in northwest London made famous by a certain quartet of Liverpudlians, is to be sold off by
owner EMI.The troubled record company is kept afloat largely thanks to its copious Fab Four assets, and having squeezed out every red cent from flogging albums and other paraphernalia, the time has clearly come to sell the fixtures and fittings too. The studios could raise tens of millions of pounds, though that sum would barely make a ripple in the estimated £3.3 billion that investment group Terra Firma borrowed to take on EMI two years ago.Though synonymous with the Beatles and that
album cover, Abbey Road was established in 1929, when EMI bought the property for £100,000 and converted it into the world's first custom-built recording studio. Decades before those Merseyside accents echoed about the rooms, Abbey Road was welcoming musical royalty: Edward Elgar recorded Land Of Hope and Glory with the LSO when the studio was opened in 1931, and the venue performed a wartime role when official propaganda recordings were made there.Even if the building is sold, the zebra crossing outside is more famous. Will that survive? Health and safety paranoia prompted calls last year for the crossing to be moved
, but it seems unlikely, meaning that fans will get to dodge traffic and debate the finer points of just when Paul McCartney died
until he kicks the bucket a second time.
Last Updated 16 February 2010