For those new to CabbieBlog or readers who are slightly forgetful, on Saturdays I’m republishing posts, many going back over a decade. Some will still be very relevant while others have become dated over time. Just think of this post as your weekend paper supplement.
Let It Be (15.05.09)
As a child of the ‘60s I have seen The Beatles in their heyday. My first sight of them was at the BBC Paris Theatre formerly in Lower Regent Street when they first came to London and nobody had heard of the Fab Four outside of Liverpool. Within weeks they had a No. 1 record and the rest as they say is history.
In 1969 The Beatles released their final album Abbey Road, with the iconic pedestrian crossing sleeve, photographed by Iain Macmillan, who had but 10 minutes for the shoot on the 8th August 1969. Apparently the man on the pavement in the background was an American tourist who only found out much later that he had been immortalised. On the left of the original picture is a VW Beetle which they had tried to have moved for the shot. The owners lived in the appartment block opposite and later the number plate was stolen as a souvenir. The car was sold at auction in 1986 for $23,000 and is on display at the VW Museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.
The genesis of this week’s blog was started by a recent fare of mine who lived next door to the studio, who told me that once she saw a Japanese man walking naked across the crossing, being photographed for posterity. Dozens of near accidents happen here, and all day vehicles are sounding their horns. At least if there is an accident, some evidence could be available as there is a 24 hours live web cam of the crossing.
Now correct me if I am wrong, but can anybody tell me why everyday scores of people, many not even born in 1969 risk injury by being photographed jaywalking across this crossing?
These same people also graffiti the wall of the studios (and their neighbour’s wall), which the clever Abbey Road people have painted white for that very purpose. The wall get so much attention that it has to be repainted white every 6-8 weeks.
Paul McCartney lives nearby and he must be as baffled as the rest of us at this behaviour, especially as most of these people have never heard the Abbey Road album. Well Paul McCartney might not have to wait much longer to sell this album to these young blades. Later this year, after many hours of work in the Abbey Road Studios (who claim incidentally to have the largest purpose built recording studio in the world), the entire back calalogue will be available on a new completely remastered set. Whether downloads, previously unobtainable from i-tunes, will be sold remains to be seen.
Well all of you, buy the CD set but just keep off that bloody crossing when I’m driving past!
As a footnote to this, the late Freddie Mercury’s Kensington house also suffers the same fate.