James Fortune Logo

Abbey Road was not the only studio the Beatles recorded in

The Beatles usually recorded at Abbey Road, but on occasion, they ended up at Olympic or Trident Studio. In Dan Matovina’s book “Without You,” Badfinger was in Trident Studios in Soho (now called The Sound Studio) is located in Soho on 17 St. Annes Court. The Beatles came here to record “Hey Jude” and several White Album tracks in 1968, according to this website.


The Iveys (Badfinger) were just signed to Apple Records, and they were put in Trident Studios in the summer of 1968 with producer Tony Visconti. On the second day, Ron Griffiths and Mike Gibbins sat down for a break. Ron was The Iveys first bass player, subsequently replaced by Joey Molland, and Tom Evans changed to bass).

According to Ron, in came Paul McCartney, and he said “Hey lads, come over and have a listen to this. This is going to be our next single.” He sat down and gave us a full concert rendition of “Hey Jude.” He didn’t hold back at all. This just after he wrote it. It hadn’t been recorded yet. We were gob-smacked!”

Shortly after this, The Beatles recorded “Hey Jude” at Trident, and along with a few White Album tracks, this was one of the rare times they did not use Abbey Road.

Later, in August, Badfinger went into Trident to record “Seesaw Granpa” and “Sali Bloo” with no less than super-session player, Nicky Hopkins. Hopkins is probably the most legendary keyboard player that most people have never heard of. He played on “Revolution” by the Beatles, “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin, “Jealous Guy,” by John Lennon, and on dozens of legendary Who and Rolling Stones records, and many, many others.

He may have played on “Name of the Game,” by Badfinger on “Straight Up,” but no one knows for sure. Hopkins was legendary for turning out stellar performances with little or no rehearsal, and was well loved by the musicians. He died at the age of 50, but left a catalog of material that is unmatched.

During this time, Badfinger’s first single was recorded, a tune by Tommy Evans called “Maybe Tomorrow.” I like the story of Paul McCartney coming into Trident Studios in this time period while Badfinger was recording. He said, “Oh, I thought the lads were here (meaning the other Beatles). He said: “We must be recording at Abbey Road, I was under the impression we were recording here.”

Before he left, he listened to a Badfinger song called “I’m In Love,” that had a spoken word part, and said “That’s a bit loud, you don’t want to be listening to that ten years from now and wondering why you left it in.” Tony Visconti responded sharply, “We’re not up to that bit yet,” and Paul said “Oh, excuse me, I’m sorry.” Visconti says in “Without You” ‘great, I’ve leveled a Beatle!” The call and response with a Cockney accent ultimately was taken out.

When I was in London in 1977 and 1980, we often went to the Marquee Club on Wardour St., a great area for rock history. Badfinger played a number of shows there, as did the Who, Led Zeppelin, and countless others. There was something about that place, like CBGBS, or the Whiskey A Go Go, they just were at the the right place and time to be forever frozen in rock history. With Trident Studios right around the corner, and literally thousands of bands centering their business in London, it’s no wonder there is so much great music out of there.

Did you like this? Share it:

Leave a Reply