Mary McCartney Talks About New Abbey Road Documentary ‘If These Walls Could Sing’

A new documentary about the history of Abbey Road Studios has been called for If these walls could sing this week in the UK. Find all the details below, along with an interview with director Mary McCartney.

The documentary, which arrives in the UK via Disney+ on January 6, traces the long history of the iconic London studio and features interviews with Elton John, Neil Rodgers, Noel and Liam Gallagher, Roger as well as The Beatles’ Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Waters, Celeste, George Lucas, and others.

Photographer, filmmaker and daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney, Mary McCartney was first approached by Oscar-nominated director and producer John Battsek to direct the documentary.One day in September, Sugar is looking for a man) on the occasion of the studio’s 90th anniversary.

“I love music and I grew up at Abbey Road Studios. But I didn’t know the history,” said McCartney NME. “So when I found out it was 90 years old, I was really surprised – I didn’t realize it was opened in 1931. Then it opened up a whole little world.”

In the film, one shot shows Mary McCartney as a baby on the studio floor, while another shows her parents crossing the famous zebra crossing outside with her Shetland pony Jet. “I think my mom went there when she was pregnant with me,” McCartney recalled. “So I’ve been going there literally since I was in my mother’s womb.”

The documentary chronicles key moments in music history, from the classic performances of Edward Elgar and Jacqueline du Pre, the recording of classic albums such as The Beatles’ Abbey Road and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon to hosting Hollywood. composers such as John Williams who wrote Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars The scores at Abbey Road.

As the daughter of a Beatles frontman, McCartney was uniquely qualified to immerse herself in the history of Abbey Road Studios, however, she explained. NME Many of the revelations in the documentary, including those that came directly from his father, were new to him.

“Pretty much everything I learned [for the first time]. We didn’t sit down as a family and talk about these Beatles stories,” he explained, but added that his parents’ Wings recording sessions were really “implanted” in his mind.

The documentary combines archival footage and studio interviews, which McCartney says allowed him to add a personal touch to the film.

Paul and Linda McCartney
Paul and Linda McCartney with their pony ‘Jet’ at the zebra crossing at Abbey Road Studios (CREDIT: Disney)

“Even though he was transitioning from photography to directing, I felt I could still maintain my style,” he said. “I like to work – it’s very relaxed, free, collaborative and conversational. My worst habit is talking over people. So I had to get over it quickly.”

He continued: “It’s a very difficult documentary to put together because it’s not about a person or a life story. It’s about the building.

“You can tell people they care about Abbey Road, but it’s like, ‘Why do they care about Abbey Road?’ I think that’s something I want to learn.”

Paul McCartney is the documentary’s keynote speaker, recalling how the studio became the backdrop to The Beatles’ formative moments – a legendary part of the band’s identity.

“It was interesting to get the history from him because I hadn’t talked to him about it like that,” McCartney said. “When it’s your family, you don’t sit down and talk about them, so I learned a lot through that process.”

When he heard he was going to make a documentary, he said his father quickly started giving him “little hints.” “He would give me scraps,” she said. “So he taught me how important Abbey Road really was, not just as a recording studio. [how] The character of the place really gave way to a lot of the music there.

Mary McCartney
Mary McCartney (CREDIT: Disney)

However, the photographer also said NME he was initially hesitant to move forward with making the documentary. “Because of my last name, I’ve almost avoided doing a project because sometimes I can overthink it and be like, ‘It’s too close,’ and ‘You should be independent,'” he explained.

But he was drawn to the film because of the “fantastic caliber” of the people involved and his faith in producer Battsek. “I knew he wouldn’t ask me unless he really wanted to because of my career. “He doesn’t just say, ‘Let’s give it to Mary McCartney,'” he added. “I took it very seriously and very professionally.”

Throughout the documentary, many musicians go into depth about their personal connections to the legendary studio and how it influenced their recordings.

In one interview clip, Liam Gallagher praises the spiritual aura of Abbey Road, where he is often found to be the first to arrive and the last to leave. “He was really interesting and insightful,” McCartney said. “And he had a great respect for space. When he said, “You have to feel it,” he said, “You have to soak it in.” This made him realize the truth as an artist.

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney in If These Walls Could Sing (CREDIT: Disney)

McCartney explained that he was particularly impressed by the audio presentation of Keith Bush, the well-known personality who directed the music video for the 1981 single. “I sat on your lap”, at Abbey Road. “I was very happy when Keith Bush agreed to do the audio,” McCartney said. “He was such a pioneer in producing and writing at Abbey Road. And then when I found out he made the video there, it made me smile.

“I was impressed by his creativity. I knew it was her, but I was surprised to find artists who took full advantage of the space.

McCartney concluded that the main purpose of the documentary was to discover why Abbey Road continues to resonate with recording artists to this day.

The Beatles
The Beatles (CREDIT: Disney)

“It’s great that you can record anywhere. You can record in your bedroom, in your bathroom, or in your car,” he said. “And that’s great. But why do people still come to Abbey Road? Why is a dedicated recording space important? And does it still matter?

“The bold answer was yes.” Perhaps not to the extent of the past. Spending months in the studio recording your album is expensive. But it is very important to be there, even for a day or two.”

He added: “It’s a space where you don’t have any distractions. You walk into the studio, close the door, and you’re in a recording session. Long live the recording studio.”

If these walls could sing It’s out on Disney+ in the UK on January 6.

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