I guess we all know the album cover very well. Abbey Road, released in 1969. The zebra crossing in front of the Abbey Road Studios. The four Beatles crossing the street. Paul McCartney barefoot.
The image of the Beatles on the crossing has become one of the most famous and imitated in recording history. The crossing is a popular destination for Beatles fans and there is a webcam featuring it. In December 2010, the crossing was given status for its “cultural and historical importance”; the Abbey Road studios themselves had been given similar status earlier in the year.In 2013, Kolkata Police launched a traffic safety awareness advertisement against jaywalking, using the cover and a caption that read: “If they can, why can’t you? The cover has been parodied on several occasions, not least from McCartney’s own 1993 live album,Paul is Live. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ The Abbey Road EP parodies the cover with the band crossing a similar zebra crossing near-naked, though the musical content is different. Source: Wikipedia
On my last visit to London I decided to take a look at this famous place. Abbey Road is located in North West London, in the Maida Vale quarter. Not to be confused with the Abbey Road Station on the Docklands Light Rail, because that is on the other hand, in East London. See the Daily Mail
There is nothing written about Abbey Road in my travel guide of the ANWB. That does not surprise me at all, because there is really nothing special in this environment. There is no subway station nearby, but there are buses going to Abbey Road.
The bus stop is exactly in front of the studios. The Abbey Road studios are still being used. It was like a pilgrimage place, the walls on the street are completely full with writings. And it seems to be allowed, as long as you do it on the wall.
And now, where is that famous zebra crossing? There were some people making pictures, otherwise I just would have passed it, without noticing.
What a narrow crossing! Is that all? And indeed the traffic is running, it is a fairly busy road. So with green pedestrian light you have to take your pictures quickly and run to the other side.
Actually it was a bit disappointing. Is that all? Without the Beatles you would never have seen tourists come here.
And if you’re still here…. Besides the crosswalk there was a man handing out a leaflet of St. John’s Wood Collectibles.
I was thinking to arrive into a kind of small museum, but it turned out to be a tiny shop. Such a building which you would normally hardly notice. It was packed with collector’s items and of course with records. The shop was so tiny that it was not easy to take some pictures.
The last stop was at the Abbey Cafe, because it was lunchtime. It’s not a real pub, but a luncheon address. A delicious chicken and curry plate, right out of the bins in the showcase. And they also have Wi-Fi, old-fashioned with a code. A poster of the famous crosswalk on the wall, but that was the only link with the name of Abbey Road. Yet smart, to get a piece of the pie in a rather deserted street.
In his neighborhood you can find those typical white stately houses, some with stairs
Back to Abbey Road, to take the bus.
That’s it. I was already in the neighborhood, because I had been walking along the Regent’s Canal. Otherwise it’s quite a long trip, for those only 5 minutes you are standing near the zebra crossing. But, as it goes with a lot of things, you should have seen it once in your life.
By the way, Abbey Road still is a beautiful album.