So I left off after Holly left, which was a little while ago … but with how many relative things we did it’s probably better I just cram it all into one post.
Abbey Road Studios was where I last left off … and it was AMAZING. You’ve got to realize that you don’t get through these gates unless you A) work there, B) are recording there, or C) Know someone personally who can get you in. Some of the greatest music that has ever been recorded happened in this building- The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Hollies, Pink Floyd, etc etc etc etc. So it was a pretty big deal that we got to do this.
When we got there, we took some pictures on the stairs with everyone else who was going in as well. When we got inside, we weren’t allowed to take pictures anywhere until we got to Studio 2 .. which Heather and I got yelled at when we tried… whoops. So we went straight to studio two, which is the studio where everything happened. It was so much bigger than I thought, with the control room upstairs. There were chairs all around for the presentation that would go on after we got our pictures. There were different mixers out that were used by the artists, including the oldest one in the world! There were also microphones that were used by everyone – including one mic that was The Beatles favorite .. they actually duct-taped their name to so that no one else would use it. There were also the exact pianos that can be heard in The Beatles songs! It’s still pretty difficult to wrap my head around the fact that we were in the actual room where everything went on. After about an hour and a half of pictures and roaming, we all sat down (in the red chairs that were alsooo used by The Beatles .. with our luck, I’m sure Heather and I were sitting in ones that were used by Paul and John) for the presentation. Two men who had wrote the bookRecording The Beatles were the presenters, and they were great! They started from the opening of Abbey Road Studios (then known as EMI Studios) in the 1940s and talked about the different studios, their sizes and purposes, and the different artists that recorded there. They went through the years and recordings by people, but of course spent the most time when we got to The Beatles. They talked about how they recorded and everything – it was pretty crazy how different they did things from everyone else. They would record inside the control room, which wasn’t even supposed to be entered by the musicians, they would put a mic at the top of a stairwell and a drum set at the bottom and record it for the different effect, they would record things inside of the echo chamber, record themselves tapping their legs or a book for a background beat etc. etc. You can clearly see how creative and experimental they were .. but I’d say it worked pretty well.
After they explained all their different processes, they asked for any piano players in the audience. They grabbed four different people and brought them to the pianos that The Beatles played on, gave them some chords to play and then let them have a go at it. It was the last chord in ‘A Day in the Life’! This is one of the most famous final chords in music history, so to be able to hear it on the actual pianos that it was recorded on, in the actual room it was recorded in, was just mind blowing.
So they finished up the tour and we went out to the Abbey Road Studios bar and backyard garden. We got a cider and just sat in the back a bit, soaking it all in. We took a couple of more pictures then headed out, although it was pretty difficult .. I’m sure Heather would have pitched a tent in the backyard if it were possible.
The next week was basically just anticipation for Paul McCartney on Thursday … I was SO. EXCITED. Monday-Wednesday I pretty much did schoolwork and only schoolwork. End of the year papers and presentations and stuff have been taking up a lot of my time. When Thursday came around I was dying. We got to the Royal Albert Hall, which is huge! I have always wanted to see this place, so I was killing two birds with one stone with this concert. The anniversary concerts for a lot of Broadway shows have been here (Phantom, Les Mis, Chess, etc.) .. so I’ve always wanted to see what it’s like inside. The place is so so big, but every seat is still good. We sat in the Gallery, which was one balcony from the top balcony, but our seats were still great! When he came on I couldn’t even believe it. I was seeing Paul McCartney .. live .. in person .. what? Unreal. He started off with Magical Mystery Tour and then sang a bunch of other songs from his album and oldies from The Beatles. My favorites were probably Here Today, Nineteen Hundred Eighty Five, Hey Jude, and Golden Slumbers/The End. During Hey Jude the whole audience sang it together and it was so cool! It’s still too surreal that I’m doing so many crazy things like this .. I never thought I would have the chance to.
So the weekend after this, I was pretty much a hermit. I had to create a website and write two papers, so I tried to get all of that done before Heathers and my parents came. The final four was that Saturday too, which of course I was loving UofL and UK playing each other .. and didn’t mind KU in the other side for Heather’s sake. Lucky for us UK and KU, our teams, made it into the championship! How crazy? Heather’s parents flew in on Monday morning, so we all went to watch the championship game .. but here in London, that game was at 230AM. We headed out to a sports bar that was playing the game .. strangely enough we were surrounded by a couple of KU fans who go to OKState, just like Heather .. and a drunk annoying UK girl. We got some food and had some drinks and watched the Cats win … it was a great night .. for me. Hahaha, Heather and her parents were alright though, and there were 3252 KU fans there so there wasn’t too much craziness when UK won, minus the girl whose chanting and cheering was enough for 20 UK fans.
My parents got to London on Thursday morning, and I went out to see them at their hotel .. I had to finish my website though so I ran out to campus to get that done. After I finally finished, I met them for dinner at a cute Italian restaurant. That was about it for the night – we were waking up early to go to LIVERPOOL!
You can probably start to see how much I love this place, because my last post started with a trip I took to Liverpool as well. It’s a pretty great place. We rode the train out there and got to our hotel, then headed out for a bit. I showed my parents around the place and took them to some of the Beatles stuff. We met up with Heather and her parents after they finished a tour they had and all grabbed some dinner together. You can probably guess where we went after this … The Cavern Club! There was an acoustic guy playing at first so we all sat down with some drinks and enjoyed the show .. The Rockits, a cute rock band came on after that and by this time we were all up and dancing. The Rockit’s were amazing! We met them after the show for a picture and they told us that they might be going to Abbey Road on the River next summer in Louisville! I’d probably freak out. We headed out of The Cavern after they finished, and it was maybe 130AM by this time .. and you know parents – it was way past their bed time.
The next morning we woke up early for a tour that we booked to go inside the houses that John Lennon and Paul McCartney grew up in! We went to John’s house first, where we were told about John living with his Aunt, how strict she was and the first time that Paul came over and met her. She thought he was going to be some low life Scouse boy, but he surprised her with his good manners. We looked at some old photographs and went into the room where Paul and John first played together, and John’s bedroom. It is so hard for me to imagine being in the same places, but it was so cool! We went to Paul’s house next where we saw a lot of photographs that haven’t been released to public, his bedroom, and the backyard where he used to crawl up their gutter pipe to get into the house! We heard so many stories of the boys and when they were growing up .. it was such a great tour!
After this, we went back down to the Cavern Club to watch The Shakers and Jay Murray play! Jay Murray called us out again, asking where we are from and then teasing us a bit before playing some music. He’s so funny and I loooove his shows! The Shakers were as cute as ever, except their lead singer, Eddie, was missing! He was sick, so there was only three of them, but they still did a great job! I always love seeing them .. hopefully will be able to one more time before I head home (hint hint Heather! ;) ) … This ended our trip to Liverpool, but I had an absolutely amazing time, but I never expect anything less there. It’s definitely my favorite place I’ve visited.
My parents and I headed to Paris earlier this week, but I’ll update on that later on this week. They leave on Saturday, so we have some time to spend in London before they go. Heather and I start our ‘Spring Break trip that is actually just a summer trip since classes are over’ on Sunday! We are flying out to Munich, Germany, then going to Interlaken, Switzerland, and then cruising around Italy for a while. I am so excited for this trip and to be able to see everything, but starting to get that horrible feeling that it’s all ending very soon. With classes over, I realize that time is going to fly by and before I know it I’ll be on a plane back to America. I have never loved a place or trip so much that I had no desire to ever leave. Of course I miss my roommates, friends, and puppy, but I’d be a lot happier if I could just ship them all out here with me. I still have a month and a half though, sooooooooo I’m going to do my best not to focus on leaving and just experience Europe a little more. I can’t wait!