Mary McCartney says mother’s presence is ‘scattered throughout’ Abbey Road doc

Mary McCartney said her late mother Linda helped inspire her documentary about Abbey Road Studios – and her presence is “scattered throughout” it.

The 53-year-old photographer and filmmaker, the daughter of Beatles star Sir Paul, has directed what is billed as the “first feature-length documentary” about the world famous studios.

If These Walls Could Sing features interviews with those at the centre of its long history, from Sir Elton John to Nile Rodgers of Chic and newcomer Celeste.

Linda died of breast cancer in 1998 aged 56 and Mary, who was often taken to the studios as a child, was inspired to work on the project by a photograph of her mother leading a pony across the nearby zebra crossing.

Speaking from Abbey Road’s Gatehouse studio, she told the PA news agency: “My mum is such an inspiration and I just love seeing her. She’s sort of scattered throughout the documentary. She loved the space here.

“Things that I hadn’t realised… something that’s not in the documentary but someone was saying… she would come and would sometimes be like, ‘Look, me and Paul are going out – could somebody babysit the kids?’ And that just shows how comfortable she was.

“When I started doing this project, people would take me aside and say, ‘We remember your mum coming here and she was so great with everyone’, and affection for her. So she’s definitely an inspiration for the documentary.”

Abbey Road studios documentary
Mary McCartney directed the feature-length documentary (Grace Guppy/PA)

Mary said she wanted to prove the studios are more than simply the Beatles.

The Fab Four recorded most of their music at the complex, which recently celebrated its 90th anniversary, but Pink Floyd, Fela Kuti, Kate Bush and Oasis have also worked there.

“People think it’s the Beatles but it’s so much more as well, and that’s what I wanted to show,” she said.

Mary stressed the wide range of genres recorded in the space, from classical to pop and soul.

She added: “It’s all encompassing and it’s a place where an artist can come and feel safe. You are just here to do the best you can do.

“The thing I’ve learned about recording studios is that you can come somewhere, you can close the doors, you can shut out the outside world and create. I think that’s why a lot of the music that comes out of here is so successful.”

On Monday night, the UK premiere of If These Walls Could Sing took place at Abbey Road, with numerous stars connected with the space in attendance.

The film will stream on Disney+ in the UK from January 6.