Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Whither Abbey Road?

The private equity firm that owns the British recording company EMI reportedly is putting its Abbey Road studios on the market.

Abbey Road, of course, was the venue for most of the Beatles' recording sessions and the namesake of the group's last album. Edward Elgar's recording of his Violin Concerto with the adolescent Yehudi Menuhin and many other seminal classical recordings of the 1930s, '40s and '50s were made at Abbey Road. Its big Studio No. 1 has been home to as many memorable performances as any of the world's great concert halls.

Norman Lebrecht guesses that the property will fetch £30-40 million ($47-63 million). He advocates turning the studios into a museum:

The Beatles' Paul McCartney expresses his interest ("it would be lovely"), without tipping his hand financially, in preserving Abbey Road:

The National Trust, the British preservation society, says it "would consider buying the complex," The New York Times' Ben Sisario reports:

UPDATE: EMI says it won't sell Abbey Road, Bloomberg News' Simon Packard reports: