Here comes the sun….An amazing, inspirational day at Abbey Road Studios.
When we first pulled up on Abbey Road outside the world-famous studio I felt two things, one was pure excitement and the other was terribly underwhelmed. The neat white building was quite unassuming and a lot smaller than I had expected and contrasting with the famous building was a surrounding wall, a massive contrast to the property behind as it was a rainbow of colours, covered in graffiti, created with spray paint, felt tips, paint and black permanent marker. All the cars came to a stop in the car park and as soon as me and the gang were out in the London air we all eagerly rushed to the entrance steps before being told by a man with a charming Irish accent to wait in the street as they wanted to film our entrance in a more cinematic way. We all bombarding on to the street outside and took twenty minutes to take in our surroundings and actually feel the moment. Just down the road was the iconic zebra crossing that the Beatles made famous when the used it in a shot for the cover of one of the albums and when I took a closer look at the colourful wall I noticed that the walls were made up of quotes, lyrics, personal message and anecdotes, from hundreds of happy visitors expressing their love for music. Its was grey and miserable in stoke when we left from the station this morning and as we arrived in London the sun came out. I was feeling optimistic about life and the sudden weather change and knowing a before they were famous Beatles once walked these streets reminded me of my favourite song of there’s Here comes the sun, so I wrote the song title, along with a smiley face and my initials leaving my mark among the other vibrant fonts and handwritten scribbles hoping one day someone my walk past feeling low, see my message and smile feeling hopeful. After we all left messages we waited for the camera men to be ready to film our staged entrance we took pictures on the zebra crossing, me and free of my friends Adam, Esme and George walked the crossing as people snapped pictures of us while we reenacted the well-known image. The film crew were finally ready we all walked through the car park chatting and anxious to get it side all the while with the cameras trained on us as they filmed for Kirsty’s making of video. We entered the main reception and it surprising looked like the lobby of an expensive hotel, with smartly dressed all in black staff behind a polished reception desk and one with covered with the black and white artistic images of the musical celebrities like the lights of John Lennon, Take That, ABBA, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Oasis and many more amazing talented artists. After twenty minutes of anxious waiting we were led through corridors and down stairs casing, through a building that from outside you wouldn’t believe was so big and then we finally arrived at a door with a sign saying Studio 1.
As we all filed through the door to studio one we were told to stand on the rug in the middle of the floor of the colossal, it was a magnificent, overwhelming room, there was only one way to describe Abbey Road, Abbey Road studio is a cathedral, music its sacred religion, artists its faithful congregation. The room was mesmerizing, it had the highest ceiling I had ever seen, it was filled everything you would need to perform, standing mic’s, a grand piano, drum kits, cameras, speakers, choir seating and the best recording equipment money can buy behind a strong sheet of sound proof glass. We stood mesmerised as we looked around the musical oasis and waited for Kirsty’s arrival when all of a sudden a we heard a greeting from above. We noticed a metal staircase adjoining a balcony above were Kirsty’s entourage were hovering around her attentively, now we all know no human being Is perfect but to look at she was as close as a person could get, she smiled warmly as she walked down the metal stairs to join us, an entrance I must say was befitting of a x factor judge as we all stared on in admiration. She made her entering decent and walked towards us with her arms out in a very welcoming posture, meeting the richest woman in the country I thought might be an awkward or intimidation situation but fortunately she was as pleasant on the inside. She approached as all one by one kissed us on the cheek and enquired how each and every one of us were, she was poised and graceful but at the same time friendly and warm. After greetings were made we followed Kirsty and her crew to the recording station the other side of the sound proof glass and she played her vocals for us. We sat in the studio and the recording equipment around us looked like the control panel, we all sat round and listened to the beautiful, haunting song Kirsty had written and performed, the song probably meant something different to every but to me it was about a broken lonely woman who used to have love and family but somewhere along the road she made bad decisions which left her miserably and alone at christmas, with her only comfort being the ghosts of happier christmas’ that had passed. After the preview we went out and sat in the choir seating and were briefed that we would be singing as a choir in the harmony to be the backtrack to Kirsty’s vocals, the day was full of surprises including the drummer of pink Floyd on the drums, a lovely dinner provided by Kirsty, being in her music video, everyone pulling together and getting on, a fantastic, moving piano performance from Mike Carter and the laughter and community we all felt that day. The was chatter and all around good spirits, there was laughter heard all around and experiences that would always be remembered from everyone in attendance that day, it took us all day to perfect our backing harmony and once we had and recorded it for the music video it was nearly time to leave. We had a last half an hour to taking group photos and photos with Kirsty, to soak in our surrounding and to come to the realisation that we had all just sung in a song that had been recorded at the Abbey Road Studios and I’m sure you readers will agree that’s top of the chart, bucket list ticking stuff.
I had a truly amazing day but like the old saying goes all good things must come to an end so after saying goodbye to Abbey Roads magic and Kirsty who had selflessly given us the opportunity to visit in the first place, a slower and quieter group of YMCA North Staffordshire representatives made our journey home. On the Train back from London to Stoke on Trent I was filled with mixed emotions, one was joy at the fact that I had just done something I had only ever know celebrities do and the other was a hollowness deep inside of me a yearning hole in my heart created from wanted more for my life and not having it. Kirsty Bertarelli began to symbolise everything I wanted to do with my life I wanted to be the one who poured my heart and deepest inner emotions and pain into songs recorded at Abbey Road, I wanted to be the one with an entourage accompanying me on a jet set lifestyle making me look perfect on the outside regardless of how I felt inside and most of all I wanted to sing, inspire, give hope and joy to those who needed it most, I wanted to sing a broken-hearted ballad and bring tears to people’s eyes or sing an upbeat catchy pop song that brought a smile to people’s lips. Most of all I loved singing and performing and I wanted to be happy and make a positive change no matter how big or small to the world I live in, I wanted the moment when those who had condemned me in the past would look at me with a proud smile and say “Look at you Rich, you made it’’. I loved my day at Abbey Road, the place, the people, the music but most of all I loved the fact that it had inspired me and pushed me to the decision that I was gonna do my best to be able to sing professionally one day.
The one thing i will always remember from that day is this…If you have a dream in your heart for something you love, for something better than you have or are chase it, don’t ever let it slip away or it may just become the worst regret of your life.
Me, My Life, My Music ❤