Big news for our British musical heritage is that the famous Abbey Road Studios are likely to be sold by EMI in order to ease their financial problems. The Georgian townhouse built in 1831 was converted into studios by the Gramophone Company (later EMI) and has been owned by the company for the last 79 years. The Beatles made the studios famous, recording most of their material there between 1962 and 1970 and naming their 1969 album after it, simultaneously making the image of the crossing outside extremely well-known as the subject of the album cover. This has brought thousands of Beatles fans to visit the studios ever since and has made the name Abbey Road a national icon. Its historical importance is clearly why EMI’s suggestion of its sale such a big issue. It has been suggested that the property could be worth between £10 million and £30 million.
Sir Paul McCartney has expressed his hopes for the studios to be saved:
There are a few people who have been associated with the studio for a long time who were talking about mounting some bid to save it. I sympathise with them. I hope they can do something, it’d be great.
The biggest development so far is that the National Trust, which already owns the childhood homes of Sir Paul and John Lennon, has expressed an interest in purchasing the studios, if public demand is enough. After listeners were encouraged to support the purchase by Chris Evans on his radio show this morning, the National Trust have received many emails and have confirmed that their acquisition of the property could be possible. A spokesman on their website said:
It’s not often that the public spontaneously suggests that we should acquire a famous building, however, Abbey Road recording studios appear to be very dear to the nation’s heart – to the extent that we will take soundings as to whether a campaign is desirable or even feasible.
To listen to what Director General, Dame Fiona Reynolds said on Radio 2 today or to contact the National Trust, click here.