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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Friday, 20 September 2013

CABINET OF CURIOSITIES: ....but there is free Post and Packing

I don't think that I have ever seen the word "possibly" inserted in the provenance of a so-called "collector's item" so many times. Especially since the vendors are asking over £29,000 for it.....

""BEATLES""ULTRA RARE~Original Brass & Nickel Plated Sheet Music Stand from Abbey Road Studio 2 London.
This item is possibly a unique one-of-a kind!

It was made in circa 1950's or 1960's, possibly manufactured in England specifically for Abbey Road Studios. The head piece features a brass name plate with the words "Abbey Road Studios, Studio Two, London". It features a nickel plated brass base & head piece with steel adjustable shaft. The shaft has been re-threaded, as when it was found, it had broken away from the head piece.  All the other remaining components are in original condition, and show some signs of wear & tarnishing due to the age of this fantastically rare piece of music history!
There is a chance that the Beatles themselves or some of their session musicians (to record the Abbey Road Album or The White Album?), or any of the other artists (See list below) that recorded at Abbey Road Studios over the years, may have used this very music stand whilst recording. 
This music stand has somehow found its way over 5,000 miles to Australia where it was discovered in 2 pieces in a local flea market.

*Abbey Road Studios is a recording studio located at 3 Abbey RoadSt John's WoodCity of Westminster, London, England. It was established in November 1931 by the Gramophone Company, a predecessor of British music company EMI, its present owner. Abbey Road Studios is most notable as being the venue in the 1960s for innovative recording techniques adopted by The BeatlesPink FloydThe HolliesBadfinger and others.
Towards the end of 2009, the studio came under threat of sale to property developers. However, the British Government protected the site, granting it English Heritage Grade II listed status in 2010, thereby preventing the building from any major alterations.
Originally a nine-bedroom Georgian townhouse built in the 1830s on the footpath leading to Kilburn Abbey, the building was later converted to apartments where the most flamboyant resident was Maundy Gregory. The premises were acquired by theGramophone Company in 1931 and converted into studios. Pathé filmed the opening of the studios, when Sir Edward Elgarconducted the London Symphony Orchestra in recording sessions of his music. The neighbouring house is also owned by the studio and used to house musicians. During the mid 20th century the studio was extensively used by leading British conductor Sir Malcolm Sargent, whose house was just around the corner from the studio building.
It was not until 1970 that the name Abbey Road Studios became official. The Gramophone Company amalgamated with Columbia Graphophone Company to form EMI, which took over the studios and dubbed them EMI Studios. It was under this name that in 1936 cellist Pablo Casals became the first to record Johann Sebastian Bach's Cello Suites No. 1 & 2 at the behest of EMI head Fred Gaisberg. The recordings went on to spur a revolution amongst Bach aficionados and cellists alike. 
Studio Two at Abbey Road became a centre of rock music in 1958 when Cliff Richard and the Drifters (later Cliff Richard and The Shadows) recorded "Move It" there, arguably the first European rock and roll single.

The zebra crossing in 2007
Abbey Road Studios is most closely associated with the Beatles, who recorded almost all of their albums and singles there between 1962 and 1970. The Beatles named their 1969 albumAbbey Road, after the street where the studio is located (the recording studio would only be named Abbey Road after the Beatles record in 1970). The cover photo for that album was taken by Iain Macmillan outside Abbey Road Studios with the result that the pedestrian zebra crossing outside the studio has become a place of pilgrimage for Beatles fans from all over the world. It has been a long-standing tradition for visitors to pay homage to the band by writing on the wall in front of the building, although it is painted over monthly. In December 2010 the zebra crossing at Abbey Road was given a Grade II listed status.
Pink Floyd recorded most of their late 1960s to mid-1970s albums, returning only in 1988 for mixing and overdubbing subsequent albums.
The Shadows named their Live At Abbey Road album after the studio, with the cover spoofing The Beatles' album.
Notable producers and sound engineers who have worked at Abbey Road include Sir George MartinGeoff EmerickNorman "Hurricane" SmithKen ScottMike StoneAlan ParsonsPeter Vince, Malcolm Addey, Peter Brown, Richard Langham, Phil McDonald, John Kurlander, Richard Lush and Ken Townsend, who invented the groundbreaking studio effect known as automatic double tracking (ADT). The chief mastering engineer at Abbey Road was Chris "Vinyl" Blair, who started his career early on as a tape deck operator.
A grey topped white wall completely covered in handwritten messages
The graffiti-covered walls outside Abbey Road
In 1979, EMI commissioned the British jazz fusion band Morrissey–Mullen to record "Britain's first digitally-recorded single record" at Abbey Road Studios.
From 18 July to 11 September 1983, the public had a rare opportunity to see inside the legendary Studio Two where The Beatles made most of their records. While a new mixing console was being installed in the control room, the studio was used to host a video presentation called "The Beatles At Abbey Road". The soundtrack to the video contained a number of recordings that were not made commercially available until The Beatles Anthology project over a decade later.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers included a photograph of themselves walking across the zebra crossing naked, except for the infamous socks, on the front of The Abbey Road E.P., released in 1988.
In November 2011, Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue recorded some of her most famous songs with a full orchestra at Abbey Road Studios. The album called The Abbey Road Sessions was released in October 2012


Abbey Road has become a London tourist attraction.
Abbey Road Studios is a five-to-ten minute walk away from St John's Wood tube station. From central London, it is accessible using the Jubilee line. When exiting the station, the visitor faces south at the intersection of A41 (Finchley Rd./Wellington Rd.) and Acacia Road (to the left)/Grove End Road (to the right). The studio is along Grove End Road, passing Waverley Place and Loudon St. on the right; addresses decrease in number along the way. As Grove End Road veers sharply to the left, Abbey Road is to the immediate right. The first pedestrian crossing is the crossing featured on the album. The studio, at 3 Abbey Road, is the unaddressed white building across the street between Hill Road and Garden Road.
Abbey Road Studios got its start in the film scoring business in 1980, when Anvil Post Production formed a partnership with the studio, called Anvil-Abbey Road Screen Sound. The partnership started when Anvil was left without a scoring stage when Korda Studios were demolished. It ended in 1984, when EMI merged with THORN Electrical Industries to become Thorn EMI.
Abbey Road's success in the scoring business continued after the partnership ended.
John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra used the studios to record the scores for 5 films from the Star Wars franchise beginning with The Empire Strikes Back in 1980.
All three film scores for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (The Fellowship of the RingThe Two Towers and The Return of the King), composed by Howard Shore and performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, were mixed at Abbey Road Studios, although the recordings themselves were done at Watford Town Hall.
James Horner has also frequently used Abbey Road Studios as his recording base when recording scores in England. Abbey Road sound engineer Simon Rhodes has for over a decade served as his scoring mixer, both when recording in England and in the U.S.

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