Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sgt. Pepper on Abbey Road

One of my blog pals, Sharon in Phoenix, occasionally visits London virtually by checking out the live web cam trained on the Beatles' famous Abbey Road crosswalk. A few days ago, she mentioned that there appeared to be a Sgt. Pepper-themed mural on the wall in front of Abbey Road Studios, where the band recorded that album and more.

So I walked over there yesterday morning to see it "IRL," as the kids say nowadays. (It's funny that it took someone in Arizona to tell me about a mural located two blocks from my workplace!)

Sure enough, the wall -- which is normally plastered with visitors' graffiti -- has been adorned with photographic images taken from the famous cover of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." That album, as you've probably read, came out on June 1, 1967.

It was fifty years ago today
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play...

The mural hasn't deterred the graffiti, I noticed.

I don't remember when I first heard this album. I wasn't even a year old when it was released, so there's never been a time for me when the songs weren't "oldies," but that's not to say I don't recognize how different it must have seemed.

What I do remember is the risible 1978 Sgt. Pepper-themed movie featuring the Bee Gees, George Burns and others. Does anybody else remember that? My stepbrother had that soundtrack and for a couple of months we listened to it quite a bit. Then he decided he hated disco and the Bee Gees were permanently banned from his turntable. I think that's about when I got my first Beatles albums and, fortunately, went back to the source!


  1. One of my faves, for sure. This is the album that showed The Beatles at their most mature yet. Lovely post. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  2. A friend of mine first bought Sgt Pepper's in the week it came out. We listened to it over and over again till I knew all the lyrics by heart. It was an amazing album and a huge shift from previous work by The Beatles.

  3. I grew up listening to the Beatles as my mother had a couple of their earliest albums and would also listen to the radio in both the house and car quite often...

  4. He banned the Bee Gees? Unacceptable!!

    I was a tad young for the Beatles craze but my older brother was just the right age to mimic them, so I got pulled into the vortex too. Sometimes older siblings can be useful :)

  5. I used to have that album. I'll have to look through my old ones. It could be one my first husband 'stole' from me when we split up.

  6. I have that album. It's been a part of my life for yes, fifty years. I was twelve when it came out. It's what I learned to get stoned to when I was older. It was, and IS, a major work of art.

  7. It's hard to believe the Beatles were that long ago. It took me a while to warm up to the Beatles.

  8. Thanks for going over there to photograph this. All I could see on the web cam was the one gate post. I had that album too and loved it. I have a sort of vague memory of that movie but, that's all. You are right, the mural certainly didn't stop all the graffiti and signatures. Now if I could just get them to put a web cam on the London Eye, that would be great!