You Gave Me The Answer - What Are Your Favourite Recording Studio Stories?
Did you know that ‘The Lovely Linda’ was recorded to test Paul’s home studio set up? And that much of the Band on the Run album was recorded in Lagos, Nigeria? Every recording has its own story, so when @BevatronDrummer on Twitter asked Paul "Do you have a favourite studio to work in, and if so, which would it be?" we were taking bets on which studio Paul would say.
Paul: My own studio in Sussex is a great favourite, but it's also really cool to go back to Abbey Road because of the memories of the exciting times I had there. I also love Henson Studios in LA where I made most of Egypt Station.
PM.com: Do you have any favourite memories from those places?
Paul: Recording the Beatles track ‘Free As A Bird’ at my studio in Sussex. Because it was so remote, nobody knew that George, Ringo or myself had got together. So, it was very cool and it was very private. Those were fabulous sessions. ‘Free As A Bird’ was made with John's vocal taken from his old cassette demo, and then the three of us played live along with it. It was really exciting, because having him in our ears and playing along with him felt like he was really there, just in another studio. That was a really lovely memory.
There are so many great memories at Abbey Road. It’s very hard to choose one, but just to pick out of the bunch, I think it was recording the orchestra on ‘A Day In The Life’. That was pretty special. It was crazy, because we told George Martin that we wanted to use an orchestra and he said, ‘No, no, it's way too expensive!’ We said, ‘It doesn't matter. We’re The Beatles, we can do that at this point in our career!’ So, he said okay.
Then, once we realised we were going to use a symphony orchestra, he said, ‘Well, if you're going to hire a symphony orchestra you can tell them what to wear’. We wanted evening suits – full, posh orchestral attire. They came along with that, and we said, ‘Can we really tell them what to wear?’ Yes. So, we suggested that they also wore funny hats and funny noses. That was very, very Beatles; we liked taking it to the extreme. A few people in the orchestra were good sports and put them on, and it was a fun session. That was fabulous to do.
And Henson… I think really the favourite memory from Henson was just making the Egypt Station album. I was in the habit of visiting some of the other studios in the building, because there are a few there, and if anyone was in the building working I would go and say hello to them. Just wandering round all the other people, nosing in on the sessions. There were people like will.i.am and Chaka Khan. You know, some pretty cool people. So, I enjoyed wandering around, and then beyond that just making the Egypt Station album with Greg Kurstin.
PM.com: It must have been quite a surprise for them to have you just pop in!
Paul: Well, most people don't mind. I won't go and look at them in the middle of something. I pop my head round the door, and if they look like they’re just hanging out, I’ll go on, butt in, and just make a nuisance of myself!
Oh, how we’d love to be a fly on the wall in those studios… If you could listen in to one of Paul’s recording sessions over the years, which one would it be and why? Let us know in the comments!