February 20, 2010 / 12:32 AM / 9 years ago

Lloyd Webber interested in buying Abbey Road studios

LONDON (Reuters) - British musical theater impresario Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is “very interested” in buying London’s Abbey Road recording studios, made famous by the Beatles, his spokesman said on Friday.

Lloyd Webber, whose stage musicals include “Cats” and “Phantom of the Opera”, “thinks it is vital that the studios are saved for the future of the music industry in the UK,” the composer’s spokesman told British news outlets.

Debt-laden music company EMI is seeking buyers for the studios in North London and is talking to a few interested parties but a deal is not imminent, a person familiar with the situation told Reuters on Tuesday.

The company and its private equity owner Terra Firma has declined to comment.

Abbey Road has become a mecca for Beatles fans around the world who pose for photographs imitating the picture on the 1969 “Abbey Road” album cover showing Paul, John, George and Ringo strolling over a pedestrian crossing outside the studio.

The Beatles recorded many of their 1960s hit singles and albums in the former 1831 town house in North London under the direction of producer George Martin.

Many of Lloyd Webber’s musicals have also been recorded there along with music performed by classical composer Edward Elgar, rock bands Pink Floyd and Radiohead, violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin, 1980s bands Spandau Ballet and Simple Minds, as well as Mike Oldfield and Jeff Beck.

“Andrew has probably brought more musicians to record there than anyone else, because it has the capacity to record large orchestral productions,” Lloyd Webber’s spokesman said.

Sir Paul McCartney has also spoken this week about the need to save the studio. Britain’s National Trust charity, which owns the childhood homes of McCartney and John Lennon, has asked Britons for their views on whether it should step in and preserve the building for the public.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant in Los Angeles; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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