Paul McCartney‘s daughter, photographer Mary McCartney, will direct the upcoming documentary, If These Walls Could Talk. chronicling the history of London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios. Variety reported the film will serve as the debut production of Universal Music Group’s Mercury Studios, which is headed up by Oscar-winner John Battsek, who’ll produce through his new banner Ventureland. The doc is part of the 90th anniversary celebration for the studios which falls in November. No release date has been announced.
Between 1962 and 1970, the Beatles recorded most of their output in the EMI Studios situated on Abbey Road. The studio complex was later renamed Abbey Road in honor of the group’s final album, 1969’s Abbey Road. All four ex-Beatles continued to record at Abbey Road after the band broke up, with Paul McCartney returning the most often.
In addition to being a renown photographer — like her late-mother, Linda McCartney — Mary co-directed her father’s 2000 solo documentary, Wingspan.
McCartney said in the statement announcing the film, “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 historic place and I couldn’t be collaborating with a better team than John and Mercury Studios to make this creative ambition a reality.”
Paul McCartney recalled one of George Martin‘s first duties as the band’s producer during their June 6th, 1962 audition at Abbey Road Studios: “On the first recording session, we did ‘Love Me Do.’ And in the middle of the session, it suddenly turned out that I had to sing one of the lines that I hadn’t sung in rehearsal. ‘Cause John had been playing harmonica; he used to go (sings) ‘wah, wah, wah — Love Me Do,’ and George wanted it continuous, so he gave me this ‘Love Me Do’ line. So, I’m suddenly, ‘Oh God, oh, no!’ — and I’m quaking with nerves.”
George Harrison explained that creating a new musical and aural template was the reason for the Beatles’ long hours in Abbey Road during the Sgt Pepper album — which engineer Geoff Emerick scored a Grammy Award for: “A lot of the time was spent, actually, just trying to get sounds and trying to find sounds — invent them. Nowadays it’s pretty easy; in fact it’s too easy. There’s so many sounds available just by hittin’ a button. And all of these machines — because of some of those records in the ’60s — they invented machinery where you just switch it on and you instantly get an effect.”