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See what’s left of Sir George Martin’s rotting AIR studios

On the Caribbean island of Montserrat lies an eroding part of rock and roll history: AIR studios.

Iconic English producer musician Sir George Martin opened the recording studio branch under Associated Independent Recording (AIR) in 1979.

Photos of a forgotten part in rock history: see the monumental AIR studios shown rotting away on a Caribbean Island.

Martin was informally known as the fifth member of the Beatles as he produced all of their records except for Let It Be. As for AIR studios, a total of 76 albums were recorded in the ’80s by the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Lou Reed, Paul McCartney and more. The studio came with all the advanced technical offerings as the original London branch but with the appeal of an exotic location.

The musical safe haven was short lived as only a decade after it opened, it was forced into closure due to natural disasters. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo destroyed 90% of Montserrat’s structures and obliterated the recording space. Then six years later, the Soufrière Hills volcano erupted making nearly half the island uninhabitable. The area surrounding the volcano is called ‘the exclusion zone’ in which the AIR studio ruins remain just on the cusp.

The following photos are taken by Shane Thoms, a photographer who focuses mostly on abandoned urban spaces littered with props of humanity.


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May 23, 2019