All you need is a big fat wallet to record at Abbey Road
Wealthy guests at the Savoy Hotel will be allowed to take over Abbey Road and add amateur recordings to its heritage in a move that will horrify Beatles obsessives for whom the recording studios are sacred ground.
Studio Two, the creative hub for The Beatles and Pink Floyd's groundbreaking albums, will be made available for guests at the Savoy and other luxury hotels owned by the Fairmont group, to record their own songs.
The guests, who might rub shoulders with Kylie Minogue and other artists who currently use Abbey Road, will be allocated a producer and session musicians to realise their musical dreams.
The commercial partnership between EMI, the record company which owns Abbey Road and Fairmont, is the latest move designed to secure the future of the St John's Wood complex, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary but had faced the threat of sale to property developers.
Guests at Fairmont's 60 hotels worldwide will be offered "behind-the-scenes studio visits" to Abbey Road, culminating in a recording session. Sixty guests a year, chosen through Fairmont's President's Club loyalty programme, will be invited to take advantage of the offer.
Corporations will also be invited to hire Abbey Road for "team-building" days, in which up to 100 staff are given musical tuition and performance advice before recording a song.
Kerin McDonald, Head of Brand & Marketing at Abbey Road Studios, said: "Guests of the Fairmont hotels will be able to come and record a song at Abbey Road. They'll have access to the famous studios and be given help to record their song with vocal coaches and session musicians. They'll get a CD of their recording as a souvenir."
Just like the early Beatles, the Savoy players will have to record their songs inside a few hours. "It won't be a week-long session, they will have to complete the recording within the working day," Ms McDonald said. Abbey Road, which will receive a refurbishment of its studio lounges by the Fairmont team that gave the Savoy a £220m makeover, promises that artists and orchestras working in the studio will not be inconvenienced by the new arrivals.
Soundbite: Studio facts
* Sir Edward Elgar told the London Symphony Orchestra to "play this tune as though you've never heard it before" before conducting "Pomp and Circumstance March No 1" at the opening of Abbey Road in November 1931. The newsreel is the only surviving sound film of Elgar.
* In Danny Boyle's Trainspotting the four main characters parody the Beatles' Abbey Road cover by walking the "wrong" way across the famous crossing.
* Andrew Lloyd Webber offered to buy Abbey Road for £30m in 2010 to save it from property developers.
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