On Thursday night (September 26th), surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr led the 50th anniversary festivities at London's Abbey Road Studios, which featured the new remix playback of the group's 1969 Abbey Road album. According to numerous reports, McCartney and Ringo -- accompanied by their respective wives, Nancy Shevell and Barbara Bach, along with George Harrison's widow Olivia Harrison -- were joined at the invite-only bash by such notables as producer Giles Martin, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, Beck, producer Glyn Johns, Nile Rodgers, Peter Asher, 10cc's Graham Gouldman, Patrick Stewart, and Rocketman actor Taron Egerton, among others.
Ringo Starr says that during the Beatles' whirlwind career, there was never a point where he paused to consider the long-term effect of the band on either his or their fans' lives: "Even though we felt 'Yes, we're established and we've conquered all these countries, and we're sellin' a lot of records and they all love us,' it was not a thought (that) it's going to end tomorrow -- (or) it's going to go on forever. I never had that thought. It was just happening now, y'know? It wasn't like making plans for the future. It was just on this roll and we were all in our early 20's and we were just going with it."
Paul McCartney is amazed by the fact that due to technology, as the Beatles' catalogue ages, it only sounds better: "Y'know, and I always liken it to great people like (Winston) Churchill, and great writers like Tolstoy. Their original papers are in museums, and they're only getting browner and more crinkly -- but the Beatles' stuff is getting shinier and newer and cleaner; it's like magic."
Giles Martin began working for the Beatles when he and his father, the band's late-producer George Martin, compiled the soundtrack to their 2006 Cirque du Soleil show LOVE. Giles told us that although he came into working for the Beatles cold, that ultimately the group's teams at their production company Apple and their record label EMI treated him fairly: "To begin with, I thought 'Why are you doing this' and 'Is this the right thing to do?' But then after a while at Abbey Road, certainly, and with Apple, they were delighted at what they were hearing. So it made my job a lot easier. But I think that I'd be a little disappointed if there wasn't a little bit of wariness on both parties. I honestly felt with Apple, that I've sort of joined this family that I wasn't really part of, Y'know, I was a guest. And I suppose now I'm more part of it, I suppose."
AUDIO: GILES MARTIN ON JOINING APPLE
AUDIO: PAUL MCCARTNEY ON THE BEATLES' TAPES SOUNDING BETTER TODAY
AUDIO: RINGO STARR ON BEATLES' GLOBAL SUCCESS