How ‘Rocketman’ Music Came Together at Abbey Road
Giles Martin, music director of the Elton John biopic Rocketman, has revealed the movie’s strong association with Abbey Road Studios in London.
Martin’s father, George, helped secure the complex’s part in history as he produced Beatles albums there in the ‘60s. Giles has taken over the mantle, having been involved in the band’s reissue series in recent years.
But he also explained that Abbey Road played a major part in the creation of John’s movie, which ended its theater run earlier this month.
“Our first session we did for Rocketman, our first training with [star] Taron [Egerton] learning to be Elton, was done in this room, actually,” Martin said in a studio video. “It was an 18-month process from start to finish, Rocketman. It was a great project; it’s been really well-received. … Rocketman is quite fantastical and weird. You’re never quite sure if you’ll be laughed out of the building or not, and you just try and do what you think is right. It was a really fun project.”
You can watch the video below.
Martin said he was able to take advantage of Abbey Road’s scale as he worked on the soundtrack. “You’re thinking, ‘Who can I get to play piano that plays like Elton?’" he recalled. "And I bump into this man called Dave Hartley in the corridor, who I know really well. You can start having these conversations. I did a slightly funkier version of ‘Honky Cat,’ and Nile Rodgers was here with the guys from Chic. And I bumped into the rhythm section: ‘Hey, do you want to play on this thing – this evening?’ They basically came to the studio and we tracked a couple of tracks."
He noted "that's the way great studios work. You want to be a hotbed for music and musicians and inspiration. … You bounce ideas around. That’s when you get creative and good things happen.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Martin looked back on his own career development. “Even though my father was George Martin, the dream as a kid was [to be a] tape op," he said. "‘Maybe I’ll be a tape op, maybe I’ll appear on a record.' You still want more. Being at Abbey Road is the pinnacle of that.”