Abbey Road Studios hosts The Duke of Sussex, Jon Bon Jovi, and the Invictus Games Choir
The Duke of Sussex visited Abbey Road Studios to meet Jon Bon Jovi and members of the Invictus Games Choir, who have recorded a special single, Unbroken, to be sold in aid of the Invictus Games Foundation.
Accompanied by Jon Bon Jovi, and Invictus Games Foundation CEO Dominic Reid, The Duke visited Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios, which was made famous by The Beatles who recorded 11 out of their 13 albums there. There, the Invictus Games Choir performed the track in front of an audience for the first time.
Two Invictus Games Choir members, Susan Warner and Andy Mudd, later joined the Duke and Jon Bon Jovi to recreate the iconic crosswalk image made famous by the Beatles on their Abbey Road Album.
Susan Warner, 60, from Belfast has been in the Invictus Games Choir for 2 years. She competed in the Invictus Games Orlando 2016 in swimming after being injured in Afghanistan in 2009. She said, “It was an honour and a privilege to take part in the recording – words can never express what this means.”
Andy Mudd, 63, has been in the Invictus Games Choir 4 years and sang at the Invictus Games Orlando 2016. In 1989, the IRA had placed an IED under his car outside married quarters, which led to Andy losing both legs and part of his right hand. After about 6 months and fitted with prosthetics, Andy returned to work in London. Andy said, “I never thought I would ever be singing about being blown up by an IED. The words to Bon Jovi’s song are very pertinent to me, and to many others of the Invictus community. The dark times, the pain, the nightmares for me in those early recovery weeks. The sweating through the sheets…. and then there’s the ending of the song. ‘Would I do it all again’? Our service to Queen and country? Of course I would.”
The song, Unbroken ft. the Invictus Games Choir, was written by Jon Bon Jovi to raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress and is told from the point of view of veterans. Jon has been a big supporter of the military for a long time as both his parents served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Jon Bon Jovi, after spending the two days with the Choir members, said, “You never give up right? That what it’s all about. No matter what challenges we face, you have to go on and go forward. They’re an inspiration. The next time that the lead singers complaining about a sore throat over here, these guys will come back into my mind and into my heart and I’ll remember what they’ve been through and it reminds you of the impact of song and get over yourself, because that’s the spirit of Invictus.”
Also joining on the day to hear the song performed were former Invictus Games competitors who were able to share their stories of recovery with The Duke and Jon Bon Jovi.
Michelle Turner, who competed in the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 as vice-Captain of the UK Team, said, “It’s been so powerful hearing the lyrics spoken by people who have lived through their own experiences of being unbroken. It used to be that people only thought of physical injuries coming back from service, but it’s so important to recognise the impact of the mental challenges post-service and the on-going effects we are seeing today from PTS.”
Naomi Aide, who competed in the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 for the UK Team, said, “The really great thing about Invictus is that it genuinely changes peoples’ lives. But not just the service personnel and the veterans, it changes their family’s lives. Those veterans and service personnel then go back into their own communities and they then give back to their communities.”
The Invictus Games Choir, which is managed and delivered by Help for Heroes, is made up of wounded, injured and sick veterans and serving personnel from all branches and different ranks of the UK Armed Forces who come together and use the power of music to aid their recovery.
The original version of Unbroken features on the forthcoming album Bon Jovi 2020. The charity version of the single, featuring the Invictus Games Choir, will be released separately in late March, in support of the Invictus Games Foundation.
The Invictus Games Foundation is the international charity that oversees the development of the Invictus Games, an international adaptive multi-sport event in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and veterans participate. It celebrates the power of sport in recovery and how it can help, physically or psychologically, those suffering from injuries or illness. The Duke of Sussex, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, founded the Invictus Games with the first event taking part in London in 2014. Since then, the Games have been held three other times – in Orlando (2016), Toronto (2017) and Sydney (2018). The fifth Invictus Games will take place in The Hague in May this year, followed by Düsseldorf in 2022.
You can buy your own Unbroken tshirt, in black or white, from our store here. Sales from every tshirt also go towards the Invictus Games Foundation: https://invictus-games-foundation.teemill.com/collection/n-e-w/