Auction News

Beatles recording console up for auction


Image by Brian Gibson

The EMI TG12345 Mk I console with which The Beatles’ recorded the 1969 album Abbey Road will be auctioned in London December 14. It is the first sale for historic piece of Beatles memorabilia.

The recording desk was built specifically for Abbey Road Studios. Its solid-state transistorized design was intrinsic to the bright, polished sound of their final album together.

The zebra crossing in Abbey Road, where the Beatles recorded.

The zebra crossing in Abbey Road features on the cover of The Beatles final album.

Remade by experts

The desk is a reconstruction. The original desk was removed from the legendary North London studios in 1971. Parts were gifted to a nearby school. After the school discarded it a sound engineer started to reconstruct the desk. It is now majority comprised of parts from the original recording sessions.

The desk was built by EMI from 1967. It represented a major leap in recording technology and was used on post-Beatles albums by each of the Fab Four.

Before the release of the Abbey Road album, the recording studios in the street were known simply as EMI Studios.

Claire Tole-Moir, Head of Bonhams Popular Culture department, said: “Abbey Road was unlike any of the Beatles’ previous albums. This TG console allowed the Beatles to realise their creative ambitions for what would be their final album recorded together.

“This console is an incredibly important piece of Beatles history, and of music history overall – and Bonhams is honoured to bring it to auction.”

Gear fans can also bid on an EMT 140 echo plate reverb used by John Lennon to record Imagine at the sale on December 14.

No estimate has been published for the desk but a seven-figure sum has been set.

An Abbey Road mixing desk from the 1970s to ’80s realised $1.8 million when it was sold in 2017. Association with The Beatles adds a premium to any item. And such a unique, unusual and significant item could reach almost any figure.

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