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Studio photo credit: Eddie Veale

Tittenhurst Park and its legendary recording studio. It was there John Lennon wrote ‘Imagine’. I wondered if he would have written such a song if he had been living in the middle of some ghetto, versus living on a 70+ acre estate filled with lush greenery. Probably not. I wondered if he would have been productive if he didn’t have his own recording studio right in his house. Probably not. While interviewing dozens of musicians who recorded there, I asked them if beautiful environments inspired their creativity and increased their productivity. The answer was overwhelmingly yes. John Lennon started an incredible trend which inspired George Harrison’s F.P.S.H.O.T. At Friar Park, Richard Branson’s The Manor, and countless others, including Peter Gabriel’s extraordinary residential recording complex. Now that my book series is done, I’m developing a series of time-travel-style audio tours so people can experience what it was like to visit, and work in, many of the U.K.’S amazing recording studios that may or may not still be around. We call them ‘Audible Adventures.’

John Lennon, recording Imagine

Tittenhurst Park SCOTT CARDINAL shares extracts from his book on John Lennon’s ‘home studio’


ittenhurst Park has an amazing history. It was the home of patent medicine inventor Thomas Holloway, and in the mid-20th century it was owned by Peter Cadbury. Most notably, it was the home of John Lennon from 1969-1971, who then sold it to Ringo Starr. From 1973-1975 Ringo used it as a personal recording studio, when he moved to Monte Carlo he had the studio upgraded and made the facility available for use by other artists. Portions of Ringo’s documentary Born to Boogie were shot there, with Marc Bolan singing and playing guitar and Elton John on piano. In the late 1980s it was sold to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, former President of the United Arab Emirates, who devoted a good deal of his wealth to beautifying the gardens and expanding the size of the lake that Lennon had originally built. Beautiful homes and gardens have always been of great interest to me. Anytime I ever walked past the Dakota apartment building in New York City, there were always people there to take photos of where John Lennon was shot. That always bothered me. In addition to being incredibly morbid, I thought it was a shame that so many people took their snaps and then moved on without giving any consideration of the beauty and history of the building he chose

to live. So I began studying architecture and design psychology. I was fascinated by how people — especially creative artists — were inspired by their environments. While researching the Dakota I learned quite about

In 1969, the young Eddie Veale, a former engineer at legendary London recording facility Advision, was given the opportunity to design a studio at Tittenhurst Park, the home of John Lennon. Not only did Veale set a precedent by building the first home studio, he also lent his skills to engineering Lennon’s famous Imagine album. When it comes to studios there is perhaps none more iconic than Tittenhurst Park, Ascot, not only the birthplace of John Lennon’s legendary Imagine album but also the country’s very first home studio. Who can forget Lennon at the grand piano in the White Room? While no longer in existence, Tittenhurst deserves its place in the spotlight not least because it was the model that spawned a

/ Control Room at Tittenhurst

Digital • April 2018 / 43

Resolution v17-D Digital April 2018  

Audio for broadcast, post, recording and media production

Resolution v17-D Digital April 2018  

Audio for broadcast, post, recording and media production