Abbey Road review
It's amazing how many people are hanging around this little zebra crossing on Abbey Road. There are couple of benches on the corner of Grove End Road and Beatles fans are sitting on them, and on the arms of the seat, and on the brick walls, chatting happily and wondering where everyone is from. How far have you come? Who's your favourite Beatle? (Paul, Paul, Paul, Paul, and a few Ringos.) Beatles fans are generally quite a friendly lot. You wouldn't get this camaraderie with the Stones or The Who.
Okay, here we go... here come the first lot... four giggling girls have patiently waited for a lull in the traffic and are now goose-stepping across with arms and legs at forty five degrees. When they get to the middle they pause in a frozen pose and their buddy on the pavement (who has a mild panic on) starts fiddling with his camera trying to get it to work. He can't do it. It's too much pressure. Take the photo! Take the damn photo! Hurry up mate because they're holding up all the traffic. They're going to get run over in a minute. Oh for chrissakes this guy is totally useless and now they're going to have to start all over again.
Next contestants... it's an elderly American couple this time (they must be in the sixties). They're too old for silly selfies and they just want say they've done it. It's like a pilgrimage to them, like seeing the Jungle Room at Graceland.
Next lot... this group really mean business and it's obvious that they've been practising for months. Their entire lives have been in preparation for this moment. They have the walking line-up pre-arranged and are counting down the seconds to showtime. Their photographer buddy is standing on the concrete obelisk in the centre of the road giving them the thumbs up (that's where everybody stands to take a photo). Deep breaths. Off they go... step step step, like a military march. One of them is acting like a cox at the back, shouting out the strides so they can can keep in time. This is how you do it. Everybody else please take note -- I hope all the other tourists are watching this.
Once you've had your photo taken on the zebra crossing remember to walk a few doors down to Abbey Road Studios. It's that big white building behind the white wall and railing. You can't miss it because the walls are covered in Beatles graffiti. They whitewash it every three months or so, so if you scrawl your name on it you'll have to come back next year and replace it.
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