The latest news coming from the UK about the legendary Abbey Road studios are being sold by the pound, hit the world as shocking news. It’s so sad that the future of this place, which is the actual rocknroll hall of fame, is so unclear, and being sold because the owner (EMI) is in dire straits.
It’s really not my place to judge anyone or to be happy for a company’s troubles, though there are many who believe they got what they deserved, but I’m not into that stuff. It doesn’t help anyone. It’s just sad that it came down to this.
As a kid, I used to listen to Abbey Road over and over and over again, it was my fav Beatles record, for at least two months before it changed to the next album of theirs I discovered (the proud substitute was Revolver in my case), and I remember seeing pictures of the studio – I never believed one day, I’ll be taking place in a recording session there.
Years after, I started working in indie label Anova Music, in Tel Aviv. Our first band was Rockfour.
Rockfour are considered as a legend in Israel. It’s a band that has been around for more then 15 years, released ten albums. They released one of the better known records in Israel ‘The Man Who Saw It All’, and from the year 2000 they’ve been releasing albums in English.
Some of these albums received amazing responses in the US. They toured the states many times, got fabulous responses and got themselves a status of cult icons for those who who are looking for a more under the radar alternative rock. You can read about them here.
In 2007, celebrating 40 years for the release of Pink Floyd‘s first single ‘Arnold Layne’, David Gilmoure had an online competition, inviting bands to record their version of the song. The judge was Gilmour himself along with late Richard Wright, the prize was a recording session day in Abbey Road. Rockfour’s version won (see Gilmour announce it!) . And all of us flew to Abbey Road to record.
The experience we had is hard to imagine. I remember parking the car in the Abbey Road parking lot, and taking the guitars out. So many tourists took photos of us, they were sure we’re celebs. well, we were. The big room, the ultra-expensive microphones, the grand Steinway piano (I sat and played Man Needs A Maid over and over again. It was irritating), and the honky-tonk piano that Lady Madonna was recorded on. The big spacers, the rugs – it was all magic. U2 were in the same room a day before and all of us felt like children all over again.
12 Hours of recording, jamming, fooling around, and one lunch break in the studio’s cafeteria – the worst mashed potatoes I ever ate. How can you ruin mash potatoes. More pics from the day can be found in the band’s Facebook page. But here’s one of myself, when I still had long hair, playing the bass riff of Rain in Abbey Road studios.
And here are the two single we’ve released from their 2007 release Memories Of The Never Happened. The were played constantly in Nic Harcourt‘s show on KCRW – Morning Becomes Eclectic.
These days, we’re finishing the last touches for the band’s new album, this time it’ll be in Hebrew.
Arnold Layne – Live