Beatles legend Paul McCartney‘s daughter, Mary, conceived a film that explains her family’s personal and professional connection to an iconic 90-year-old building located in Northwest London. A new documentary exploring the cultural significance of Abbey Road Studios titled If These Walls Could Sing tells the studio’s story and its importance in music history. Paul adds his own anecdotes of working with The Beatles in the iconic space, revealing, “this 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 creative base for The Beatles. Studio Two is where the Fab Four recorded almost all of their music between 1962 and 1970. John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney loved 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 year, which began in November 2022. It tells the stories of how recording in the building’s three studios influenced countless musicians. If These Walls Could Sing will also include unparalleled access to the studios.
Paul McCartney said of working with The Beatles at Abbey Road, ‘This was our home’
McCartney is part of a roster of celebrities featured in the documentary. These legendary music 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 a historical perspective to the film from the family of the longtime Beatles producer.
The Beatles bassist told cameras from 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 Band on the Run in the early ’70s.
The entertainer points out the old-timey-sounding piano 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 member of The Beatles, Mary delivers 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 historical place.”
Abbey Road may be known for its rich rock history, but it’s also legendary for other reasons
Head inside the legendary Abbey Road Studios, the birthplace of some of the biggest musical icons of all time. ?#IfTheseWallsCouldSing is streaming December 16 on #DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/4XREh9wLMb— Disney+ (@DisneyPlus) November 14, 2022
While music fans understood how instrumental working at the studio has been for many legendary musicians, other music connoisseurs understand Abbey Road’s importance in the music world outside the rock genre.
Variety reports Mary McCartney devoted a segment of the documentary to Jacqueline du Pre, a cellist and classical music crossover superstar in the mid-1960s. She also shares a story by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, then a session player on the James Bond 1964 theme “Goldfinger.” He describes how singer Shirley Bassey elongated the last note of the tune until she collapsed.
Composer John Williams and Star Wars director George Lucas call Abbey Road studio a “gift to music.” Williams and Lucas recorded the iconic music for the film series at the London landmark. Nile Rodgers claims that while working at Abbey Road is a memorable experience, “that magical thing exists in the artists, but artists are superstitious.”
If These Walls Could Sing will arrive on Disney+ on December 16th, 2022.