A visit from Jill Furmanovsky

This week we were honoured to receive a visit from legendary rock photographer Jill Furmanovsky, who came to the studios to take some snaps of the Sgt. Pepper takeover currently on display on our wall to celebrate 50 years of the era defining album next Thursday (1st June).

No stranger to the studios, Jill first came to Abbey Road to photograph Pink Floyd during the recording of Wish You Were Here while touring with the band in the ‘70s, before returning again in the ’90s with brit rock megastars Oasis to capture their now infamous (if somewhat brief, after complaints from other clients about them listening to Beatles tracks too loudly) Be Here Now sessions in Studio Two.

It’s always a pleasure to have someone of rock royalty in the building, and the below photos show a selection of shots from the early morning shoot earlier this week.

All photos copyright Jill Furmanovsky, http://www.rockarchive.com

Print usage fees applies on all images.

What Abbey Road means to me by Jill Furmanovsky

Nick Mason of Pink Floyd (recording WYWH) and photog Jill Furmanovsky, Abbey Road_1975
Early ‘selfie’- ©1975 – Nick Mason with Jill Furmanovsky – Abbey Road Studio 3.

Abbey Road. These two words are understood by people from all over the world whether they speak English or not. Those are magic words.

50 years ago I was one of the teenage girls hanging about outside Abbey Road Studios hoping to catch sight of The Beatles going to work. As I remember it, they had Minis in different colours and would zoom in at various times waving to us as if in a hurry or stopping briefly to sign an autograph or pose for a picture if they had time.

I was a bit too young at 13 to be a proper Apple Scruff. Those slightly older girls were given errands to do by Beatles tour manger Mel Evans – he asked them to go to the corner shop to buy milk, cigs or a newspaper. Lucky them, I thought!

My dream was just to be allowed in to Abbey Road Studios. I wrote a letter asking for permission to visit so I could write an article for my school magazine. It was politely refused of course. They were probably inundated with such requests. But now I look back I think I was determined to get in even if I had to wait. My dream to work with musicians was born outside the gates.

I was 22 when I was finally allowed in as a budding rock and roll photographer.  It was to photograph another favourite band of mine, Pink Floyd, who were making Wish You Were in 1975. That was a huge thrill in every way,  even though they were recording in Studio Three rather than Studio One and  Studio Two where The Beatles had made most of their records.  

I had to wait until Oasis were recording Be Here Now in 1997 before I really got to hang out in that hallowed space. I remember going in for the first time. It was lit in pastel shades by spotlights and had rugs on the famous parquet floor.

This was where the live broadcast of ‘All You Need is Love’ took place. Blimey! As for the zig-zag pattern of the stairs going up to the mixing console it was a Stairway to Heaven, it was history, it was holy. Both Noel and Liam are huge Beatles fans. They felt as I did which was amazing but not very useful for work and very little got done on that first session. We all just sat there thinking ‘I can’t believe I’m actually here!’.

So, to sum up, to be the current Artist in Residence at Abbey Road is a Hallelujah beyond words.