Apollo Magazine

How to gain access to the Beatles (sort of)

The original foyer doors of Abbey Road Studios are up for auction – which isn’t quite the same as owning the zebra crossing, but still

Sleeve notes: Paul McCartney arriving at EMI studios, Abbey Road, in 1966 Les Lee/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Ringo Starr and George Harrison at the EMI Studios at Abbey Road in 1966. Larry Ellis/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The auction curiosity of the year so far? For Rakewell, it’s got to be a pair of old doors going under the hammer at Ewbank’s on 25 February. And not just any old doors: these pop portals once led to the foyer of Abbey Road Studios in London. Stars from Elton John to Michael Jackson have passed through them, as well as – yes – The Beatles, when they’d finished crossing the road.

We’re jambing: the original foyer doors of Abbey Road Studios

The doors did what doors do at the studios until 1988, when the complex in north-west London was refurbished and they were bought by an EMI executive. Their original frosted glass was changed in the 1960s, apparently because the security guards at the time kept getting spooked by ghost that stalked the studios at night. The guards wanted to be able to see when she was coming. Something in the way she moves, as George Harrison once sang.

What’s that you’re asking? Did The Doors ever pass through these doors? Well. Legend has it that Jim Morrison did indeed visit Abbey Road Studios in 1968, when The Beatles were recording the White Album – and that he sang along with John Lennon for a short spell. Double doors, then. Yours for £2,000–£4,000.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.

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