For years I had wanted to visit the famous Abbey Road Studios in North London although I always knew I would never have the opportunity to set foot inside the building, or at least that is what I thought at the time.
On a trip to London with my wife Carole, back in the mid-eighties, we took a bus to St John's Wood and I had my first glimpse of the place where the Beatles had recorded. I stood at the gates, read all the messages that people had scrawled on the wall and (obviously) had my photo taken crossing the legendary zebra crossing that became famous when the Fab Four were photographed crossing the road and the picture was then used on their Abbey Road album.
I didn't know it then but a few years later I would have the opportunity to not only visit the studios but also work there on various projects.
A few weeks later we spent the first of four days at the studio going through all the paperwork that related to Cliff's sessions at the studio. Not an easy task but the information we found at the studio, along with material from EMI's archives in Hayes, made up the bulk of our book.
I was happy. I had visited Abbey Road and had a chance to do some research on a book project. However, more was to come.
These two projects involved working at Abbey Road listening to session tapes and choosing the material for the albums. During our work on these projects we made frequent trips to the studios. It was during one visit that I managed to set foot inside studio 2, where the Beatles had recorded most of their albums. We also worked in the control room of studio 2 where the engineer, Keith Bessey, worked on the material we had chosen for inclusion on the albums.
I cannot describe how I felt about visiting and working at Abbey Road and the thrill of standing inside studio 2 was only matched when, in 1998, Carole and I visited Sun Studios in Memphis and stood where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and all the other great Sun artists had recorded.