Tag Archives: graffiti

Let It Be

Abbey Road As a child of the ‘60s I have seen The Beatles in their heyday.

My first chance to see them was at the BBC Paris Theatre formerly in Lower Regent Street when they came to London and nobody had heard of the Fab Four outside of Liverpool or Germany.

Within weeks they had a No. 1 hit and the rest as they say is history.

[I]n 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 apartment 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 hour 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!

Abbey Road picture: http://michaelhughes.wordpress.com

freddie-mercurysAs a footnote to this, the late Freddie Mercury’s Kensington house also suffers the same fate.

George Davis is Innocent

A change in attitudes has taken place over the past few years. For years graffiti has been the bane for any owner of a suitable wall which is acceptable for tagging. In the 1970s a successful campaign proclaiming on any suitable wall G. DAVIS IS INNOCENT O.K. It was claimed that a Mr. Davis was ‘fitted up’ by the police for an armed payroll robbery and after a long campaign the courts were forced to reprieve him – he was banged up later for a crime he really had committed.

[O]ther well known sayings daubed on walls are: ‘If voting changed anything, they would ban it’; or ‘Jesus Saves – at the Woolwich’.

Now an artistic genius has changed many peoples perception of street art. This person, who revels in his anonymity, goes under the name of Banksy

Banksy’s stencils feature striking and humorous images occasionally combined with slogans. The message is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment. Subjects include animals such as monkeys and rats, policemen, soldiers, children, and the elderly.

Banksy even smuggled one of his works into Tate Britain art gallery which went unnoticed until it crashed to the floor hours later.


So loved are his anarchic offerings, a parody of a Tesco flag being raised painted on a wall in Islington North London has a Perspex screen put in front of it, as if it needs protecting like the Mona Lisa.

Many people regard Banksy as a generic name for a group of like minded artists, hell bent on changing people’s perception of authority, one of my favourites is the simple slogan: One nation under CCTV. Another image depicted a scene from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, with Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta clutching bananas instead of guns, alas London transport workers painted over this mural which was estimated to be worth more than £300,000.

So what is to be done to combat vandalism? A recent story of an oik after being given community service was told to wear a high visibility vest while cleaning up public property, he refused to wear the vest as his friends were making fun of him, so he walked away from his duties, jail him or what?

banksy postcard

Answers on a postcard or written on any suitable building please.

An excellent site for graffiti images is to be found at the art of the state

We have heard recently of the death of Rosie, George Davis’ ex-wife from cancer. She was the driving force with Peter Chappell to free George Davis. An excellent article has been written in The Daily Mail of the campaign and Rosie has also written a book recording her involvement.