Pilgrimage to Abbey Road

Woke up. Got out of bed.

The clock said 8:05 AM. And I rushed to catch the tube to St. John’s Wood station – a good 30 minute ride from my West Kensington location.

Drizzling… 5-degree weather… no breakfast… who cares.

I was about to embark on my pilgrimage to the one place on earth where words and music were once strung together… revolutionizing the way the world listened to music.

I didn’t want to be weighed down by anything – not by my disdain for walking long distances nor my distaste for leaving home without taking breakfast. And certainly, not by my 500-lb Canon… so I traveled light – with my Blackberry phone cum stills camera.

Finally, I alighted at the station that was destined to take me to legendary Abbey Road Studios – where the Beatles crafted some of the world’s best-loved songs.

Believe it or not, very few "locals" know how to get to Abbey Road. Actually - even more surprising - a lot of them don't even know who the Beatles are. (I kid you not.)
Right at the exit of the St. John's Wood tube station is a Beatles Coffee Shop. The two sweet ladies (who double up as baristas) will gladly give you directions on how to get to the sacred "shrine". If you buy a Beatle merchandise or two, they might even submit your name for sainthood.
There is a constant stream of "pilgrims"
A 10-minute walk takes you to the historic "crossing" where a lot of dads have been known to have forgotten that their families came along with them - in the excitement to "do the walk".
Every one wants to cross the most famous zebra crossing in the planet
The fame recording studio watches in perpetual amazement at the strange antics humans do just outside its premises
And as if wanting to create a link of sorts to this magical place, people from all over the world make it a point to write something. Anything.

While it's business-as-usual in this still very busy studio
You hear a cacophony of different languages - one minute French, then Portugese, and then rapid-fire Cantonese...
In the end, all agreeing that no language in the world can ever be a barrier to the magical music that the Beatles shared with the world

Ended my pilgrimage with breakfast (English bangers on baguettes) at a genuine English pub while loud music was playing – that of Sir Paul pleading, intoning to just “let it be”.

Now, is that cool… or is that cool?


(Totally shot with my low-tech Blackberry)

5 thoughts on “Pilgrimage to Abbey Road”

  1. Well expressed sentiments from a true fan. Thanks for sharing.

    I hope you had your picture taken on the most famous zebra in the world…at least for the sake of your grandkids.

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