Mary McCartney’s Abbey Road Studios Documentary: Watch a Clip with Paul McCartney
by Best Classic Bands Staff
Abbey Road Studios is the subject of a new documentary, directed by acclaimed British photographer and filmmaker Mary McCartney. The 53-year-old photographer is the daughter of Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney. The feature film, If these walls could sing, was described in the original January 12, 2021 announcement as “the untold story of the world-renowned London studios”. It features interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and David Gilmour, who recorded the famous The Dark Side of the Moon there, Elton John, Kate Bush, Jimmy Page and composer and bandleader John Williams, among many others.
In September 2022, it was announced that Disney’s original documentary unit had joined forces with Mercury Studios, Universal Music Group’s premier music content studio, for worldwide streaming release on a date yet 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. (Looking 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,” says Mary McCartney. An official trailer has yet to be made available, but watch a clip below.
Abbey Road Studios opened in 1931 in London’s upmarket St. John’s Wood.
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 my time at Abbey Road. I’ve long wanted to tell the story of this historic place and couldn’t partner with a better team than John and Mercury Studios to make that creative ambition a reality. his father shared a photo which she took from 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, including remaining years to be shaped and nurtured by the generation above them. This family had also produced the music I loved; iconic, original and pioneering records that inspired and moved me, and millions of ‘others.
“A photo of my mum driving our pony Jet through the Abbey Road zebra crossing brought back those memories. Walking past the studios and watching people gather on the crossing to have their picture taken, people who had traveled around the world, made me realize the importance of Abbey Road. There is something really special about this place; it is so much more than a building – it is a sanctuary for creative and original thinkers and a treasure trove of stories.
look a clip featuring Paul McCartney from the studio’s announcement of the film
She adds: “As a photographer, I wanted to visually capture the spirit of the studios. Being able to invite artists back into the space created intimate and emotional interviews and revealed a lot for me and the subject. While collecting memories, I wanted to open the workshop to people who had never had the chance to experience it. I see this film as an opportunity to make accessible the magic of the most famous studio in the world to reach a younger audience and surprise people.
Isabel Garvey, Managing Director of Abbey Road Studios, said: “If these walls could sing. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard this said at Abbey Road Studios over the years. Showcasing and celebrating the place, the music and the talent that made the studio what it is, through their creativity and innovation, was an honor.
From the original ad: 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 with a star-studded interview cast, unrivaled access to studios and, of course, a spellbinding soundtrack.