MARTIN AND JO HOLDEN – ABBEY ROAD GRAFFITI
BOOK REVIEW BY AARON BADGLEY
In this day and age, coming up with a new angle on The Beatles is extremely difficult. So much has been written and said about them, finding a new way to look at The Beatles seems almost impossible. Yet, Martin Holden found a great idea. He was a Beatles fan, after moving to London in the late 1990s, he became fascinated by the graffiti on the wall of Abbey Road Studios. He started taking pictures which he started forming into a book, but sadly, did not live to see its completion. He passed away in 2019 after a long battle with cancer, and his wife, Jo Holden, completed the project.
There is text in the book, but the star of the show is all of the graffiti. Martin Holden was also an excellent photographer, and the images he captured tell a story as much the actual art. Holden spent 12 years photographing and documenting fans’ devotion to Abbey Road Studios and The Beatles.
Abbey Road Graffiti also allows us a view of Martin Holden, and ultimately his wife, who finished the project. It is clear that this project started from a passion.
The beauty of this book is that you can never look at the same picture twice and not see something new. This makes for wonderful reading. Clearly Holden feels some sort of connection with these fans and their expression of love, devotion, and awe of The Beatles, but also the passion to document this phenomenon. There are other studios that have the same, almost mythical place in rock ‘n’ roll history, but everyone knows that magic was created in that building.
In the end, Martin and Jo Holden have lovingly put together a beautiful tribute to fans, a studio, and a band. Abbey Road Graffiti is a wonderful project and book. It is a welcome addition to any Beatle fan’s library, and any rock ‘n’ roll library for that matter. It is a totally unique and entertaining book.