THE DWARF IN ABBEY ROAD: Opportunity Knox

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THE DWARF IN ABBEY ROAD: Opportunity Knox

In mid-2009 as we were preparing to leave for a trip to London, Liverpool, Scotland and Ireland we got a distressing phone call.

It came from Chris Knox's partner Barbara who told us Chris had had a stroke.

As soon as he was in a state to see visitors – a couple of days later – we went to the hospital.

Chris was paralyzed down the right side (he was right-handed) and had very little speech but could understand short and clear sentences.

It was terrible to see.

I asked him – great Beatle fan that he was – had he ever been to Abbey Road and he indicated he hadn't.

I said I would get him there.

Our trip was a few months in advance of the release on 9/9/09 (think about it) of the remastered Beatles' catalogue and through a mate at EMI in New Zealand I was going to be going to Abbey Road (I'd been previously) to listen through to some of these polished recordings.

In Abbey Road, on the equipment used to remaster, in one of the rooms the Beatles recorded in and with the two main engineers of the remastering, Allan Rouse and Steve Rooke.

Yeah. I know, right!

On the day I took along one of my sons living in London and we passed Ab off as New Zealand journalist based in Britain, not that anybody asked.

With two French journalists we listened to some tracks which sounded extraordinarily fresh as they came out of speakers the size of a VW – “It’s as if a layer of grime has been removed, isn‘t it?” said Rouse with a smile of satisfaction – and then they asked what we would like to hear.

IMG_0011The French guys chose Yesterday and something equally obvious and, satisfied, decided to leave.

Ab and I were certainly in no hurry and I asked for something like Happiness is a Warm Gun. And they were delighted.

No one had ever asked for a track like that, a deep cut as we might describe it now.

Ab asked for Glass Onion if I recall and was met with a similar response.

These guys were enjoying our company and our choices, and so it went. We heard track after track until it seemed we might be taking up too much of their time.

IMG_0015There were hefty handshakes and a come-back-anytime offer and we left, grinning like drains.

And what of Chris Knox?

Before we left home I took one of his album covers which featured a papier-mâché likeness of Chris's face which he'd made and when our listening session was over photographs were taken.

Ab with Allan and Steve, at the huge mixing desk and then one of Chris propped up on a chair in Abbey Road.

On the way there we'd also had my wife Megan take a photo of us on the famous crossing carrying Chris.

So in a strange way I did get Chris to Abbey Road and he was delighted when I dropped the photos below round some months later when we got home.

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These entries are of little consequence to anyone other than me Graham Reid, the author of this site, and maybe my family, researchers and those with too much time on their hands.

Enjoy these random oddities at Personal Elsewhere.

There are a whole to of articles at Elsewhere about Abbey Road (the history, the studio and the album) starting here.

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https://www.elsewhere.co.nz/absoluteelsewhere/7123/beatles-for-sale-yet-again-2009-remastered-and-remarkable/

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Al Baxter - Feb 6, 2023

what a lovely story Graham

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