We step out of the St. John's Wood London tube station onto the posh heavily treed neighbourhood of Abbey Road on a mission: to visit the iconic Abbey Road street crossing and studio. Yes the Abbey Road album was recorded in 1969 and this is 2014. But quite frankly I haven't had a good nights sleep since the Beatles broke up. Maybe this will bring me some closure?
It's mid morning but the busy intersection is all ready crowded with tourists like ourselves, taking their picture singly or in foursomes just like on the Beatles iconic Abbey Road album cover. By law, the cars, trucks and buses must stop at a crossing. Not too many happy drivers here, but as Janet notes, you'd think they would know better than to come this way in a hurry by now. Hmmm.
The flip side is that if too many vehicles stop it ruins the photos. And there's nothing like somebody cutting you off on foot as you cross because they are impatient to get their photo taken too. It takes a few attempts before you get it just right. We finally lined up one street crossing perfectly only to have another fellow rudely jump in front of me. When we got across the street, I made a point of stepping into his next four photos. He left cussing up a storm. Tch. Tch. Sometimes I hate myself when I do things like that. But not now.
Most folks were just having a lot of fun. All ages. From around the world. We laughed, joked, took turns while the drivers waited impatiently. It was truly a Beatles moment. Better late than never.
Janet and I strolled up a few doors to the Abbey Road studios. Nope, the Beatles were not there.
The driveway gate was closed but the famous Abbey Road door is highly visible nonetheless. It and the wall out front are covered with fan graffiti against a whitewash background. They are painted over once a month.
An older fellow dressed in Beatles regalia hands out pamphlets for his Beatles shop around the corner. He has a very, very thick English accent. Quite a crudge mudgeon, he gets irritated when we can't understand a word he says. We later checked out his store and I bought a t-shirt. Could've gotten it elsewhere for cheaper I suppose, but one peak in the door shows he is an obvious aficionado.
On our way back we stopped at the Beatles Coffee shop in the tube station. Some nice English girls serve us up hot cups of coffee behind a counter full of Beatle souvenir's. Beatle mouse pads. Fridge magnets. Buttons. Wallets. You name it.
All in all: no big deal but a lot of fun. If your are a Beatlemaniac do go see when in London. Just beware the traffic and the antsy fans. As for me? I suppose I will sleep a bit better at nights knowing that at least the Abbey Road crossing is still around.
You can listen to the Abbey Road album @ HERE!
You can watch what's happening at Abbey Road crossing any time of day @ Earthcam
Info on the aforementioned Beatles shop is @ Beatles!