- Timeline More from year 2016
- Abbey Road Studios, London, UK
2016 • For The Beatles • Directed by Ron Howard
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It’s the day before the world premiere of “Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years”, the Beatles’ documentary about their career as a live band. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and director Ron Howard are in Abbey Road studios, for various interviews.
Man, it’s always such a trip being back here. Although we did use to start work a little earlier than midday back then! […] I always try to resist going “wow this is where it all happened, man” but you can’t. It’s just too trippy.Paul McCartney, From paulmccartney.com, January 11, 2017
From paulmccartney.com, January 11, 2017:
The Beatles: Eight Days A Week
Wednesday September 14th – Abbey Road
It is a deliciously beautiful hot day. The sun is shining and there’s not a cloud in the sky outside Abbey Road studios on the morning on 14th September. In fact it is the hottest September since 1911: breaking all records. But never mind the weather: today is really all about some other record breakers, the record breakers that changed the world forever.
Outside Abbey Road, fans are hanging around and taking pictures of themselves at the most photographed zebra crossing in the world (to a mixture of amusement and annoyance from the morning traffic). Inside, media crews are working away, preparing for a day that will involve Paul and his friend Ringo undertaking a couple of hours promotional duties for ‘Eight Days A Week’, which will also have its premiere the following evening in London’s Leicester Square. In the corridor outside Studio 2, Ron Howard is hanging out chatting to Giles Martin. Both are doing their bit for the PR campaign, but in truth they and everyone else are waiting for the main event – the arrival of Paul and Ringo.
As I start to put my thoughts and memories down on paper from these special days, I realise I’m in danger of over using words like iconic, legendary, historic, celebrated, distinguished and illustrious. But for someone who grew up in total adoration of The Beatles (and I know I’m not alone), this was to be a truly unforgettable day.
At 11:45am, Paul’s car pulls up to the studio’s side entrance just seconds after the arrival of Ringo. The pair embrace, and it’s beyond special to see them smiling as they walk through the door of Studio 2. As they drink in their surroundings, it’s clear that the moment is not lost on them. If these walls could talk I think to myself – but actually I am about to get better than the walls talking.
“Man, it’s always such a trip being back here,” says Paul walking through the studio door. “Although we did use to start work a little earlier than midday back then!”
Once inside, standing in the middle of Studio 2 he takes stock: “I always try to resist going wow this is where it all happened man but you can’t. It’s just too trippy.”
Meanwhile, Ringo has now gone up the stairs in the studio to the control room. “Hey Paul, we’re up here,” he shouts. “We’re not allowed up there: adults only!” Paul shouts back instantly, demonstrating that the Beatle humour is still alive and well.
Paul then makes his way upstairs to a room that will be used as his dressing room today, saying hi to anyone that comes into contact with him. As he walks through a tiny space between the studio’s control room and his dressing room, he stops, his memory jogged. “We recorded a song in this space,” he says. “I was over here, Ringo over there (pointing), John there and George there.”
Pinching myself I remember the Rolling Stone cover interview which ran recently in which Paul talks about ‘Yer Blues’. “We were talking about this tightness, this packed-in-a-tin thing,” he had said. “So we got in a little cupboard – a closet that had microphone leads and things, with a drum kit, amps turned to the walls, one mic for John. We did ‘Yer Blues’ live and it was really good.”
And so stood in this tiny space, with this first hand recollection from one of the four people who was actually there, I’m getting these images in my head of the greatest band of all time packed into this space in 1968 rocking out ‘Yer Blues’. Wow. Just wow. History!
Midday, and it’s “call time” for Paul: he’s needed in the studio with Ringo and Ron Howard to start two hours of back-to-back interviews. Taking his seat between Ringo and Ron in front of the TV cameras, Paul looks at Ringo. “Abbey Road! This is cool, baby!” he says as he affectionately puts his hand on his former bandmate’s knee.
The next two hours go by in a flash, and everyone assembled here – the various agents, managers, publicists and general liggers – can’t believe our luck as we listen to some incredible shared memories from Paul and Ringo. It’s incredible to think of their touring world back in the ’60s, especially in contrast to Paul’s current tours. The Beatles pioneered touring on such a huge scale. Like so many things in their career, no one had ever done what they were doing, and the technology just wasn’t there to support the monumental heights they were reaching. This year alone, Paul has already played to well over a million people in gigantic venues, with the state of the art sound and video equipment meaning that, wherever you are, you have an unbelievable experience and you can enjoy the sound and all the action from the stage. Back then, as you can see from the footage, the audience just can’t believe they are in the presence of The Beatles. That’s all they need… just to be in the same space!
Back to the interviews. It’s only right too that Paul and Ringo give their exclusive newspaper interview to the Liverpool Echo, and the following morning they appear on the cover with the headline ‘Watching the film is like having our old mates back’.
Another of the afternoon’s duties is a Facebook Live chat with broadcaster Edith Bowman at the helm. Paul, Ringo and Ron answer questions from fans all over the world, and then, with interviews concluded, it’s time for Paul to head off. With the promotional work done, the next stop is the red – sorry blue! – carpet the following night.
Last updated on March 17, 2021