Nowhere Boy screening at Studio Two, Abbey Road Studios

A special screening of Nowhere Boy, the biopic of John Lennon’s teenage years, was held at the famous Studio Two at Abbey Road Studios on 30 November 2009.

Abbey Road Studios, 30 November 2009The screening was held by Sony for special guests and members of the press, including The Beatles Bible. The film was introduced by director Sam Taylor-Wood, who attended with her fiancé Aaron Johnson. Other guests included Martha and Rufus Wainwright.

It’s hard not to feel a sense of excitement when entering Studio Two. After all, this is the sacred space where around four fifths of The Beatles’ music was recorded, from ‘Love Me Do’ through to Let It Be. Its interior is famous from photographs of the group at work, and on the surface it remains largely unchanged since the 1960s.

Studio Two is in the basement of Abbey Road Studios. Along the right hand side runs the flight of stairs to the control room, where George Martin and the incomparable studio engineers used to observe and record The Beatles at work. At the foot of the stairs was a Steinway grand piano.

In Spite Of All The Danger promotional single for Nowhere Boy (2009)A temporary cinema screen was erected on the studio floor. Chairs laid out for the guests, on each of which was placed a promotional 7″ single of The Nowhere Boys – the actors who played the Quarrymen/Beatles in the film – performing ‘That’ll Be The Day’ and ‘In Spite Of All The Danger’. The two songs were recorded by the Quarrymen in 1958 in a Liverpool home studio, a scene recreated in Nowhere Boy.

I was early for the screening. While the other guests were guided to the canteen I was allowed to take photographs of the studio, though sadly not the control room, while the technicians finalised testing the sound and visuals.

Before the screening began, Sam Taylor-Wood spoke briefly to the guests. Although evidently nervous at having to address a crowd, she joked about worrying that the studio acoustics wouldn’t do the film justice, and spoke about the journey she’d embarked upon coming to a fitting end at Abbey Road, and about rock ‘n’ roll coming home to its spiritual home. Aaron Johnson kept a low-key presence at the back of the room.

Read our review of the film, and feature on the soundtrack album.

Last updated: 13 October 2021
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