“The Beatles wanted to try to do things differently all the time,” remembers their sound engineer Ken Scott. “One time at Abbey Road, John Lennon said he just wasn’t feeling it, we had to keep moving around the studio, trying different vibrations. I pointed to a small room in the corner and said, ‘John, the way you guys are going, you’ll want to record in there next.’
“Next thing I knew, he’d decided he wanted to. So we had to squeeze them all in there somehow, instruments and all. You had to be careful what you said to the Beatles.”
Paul and John harmonise on vocals during a day at work at Abbey Road
For Ken Scott, who was 16 years old when he first walked through the doors of Abbey Road Studios in north London, and started his training as a sound engineer. The Beatles turned up soon after and, for Ken, it was both education and enlightenment.
“It was the best training ever, but it was all quite staid,” he remembers. “Until the Beatles turned up and changed everything – the dress code, the hours they kept, the technical stuff. They turned everything on its head, and it never went back.”
Abbey Road has played host to hundreds of musical masterpieces
Since then, Ken has worked with many of the greatest names in music, among them David Bowie, Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, Supertramp, more recently Duran Duran. Ken was the engineer in the studio when Eric Clapton came in to record ‘My Guitar Gently Weeps’, and has been living and plying his trade in America, since the 1970s, recently moving to another musical epicentre, Nashville.
So who has been his favourite ever person ever to work with? Ken doesn’t even hesitate…
“For me it was George Harrison,” he says fondly. “I got to work with him several times later. No one could possibly be expected to come out of that bedlam and remain the same, and yet he emerged the most normal human being, just a sweetheart and very down to earth. But from the first day I met them all, when George came up to me in the tape library, I knew I was in the presence of something special. I just had no idea that, nearly 50 years later, people would still be interested in what was, for me, a day at the office.”
George Harrison (right) holds a special place in Ken Scott's memories
Ken Scott will be this year's special guest during 'The Sound of Abbey Road Studios' talks taking place this April and May, situated in the world-famous Studio two, used by artists including The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Elton John, Oasis and Adele.
Renowned former Abbey Road engineer Ken Scott will be returning to speak in the very room where he recorded tracks by legendary artists including Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck and his favourites, the Beatles.
Click here for more information and ticket info. Early entrance time will allow you to explore and take photographs in the famous Studio Two.