Side Note: Bands, fans share memories of ‘Abbey Road”

On a visit to London, John Toennessen made sure to track down the crossing used for the 'Abbey Road' album cover and get his picture taken.

On a visit to London, John Toennessen made sure to track down the crossing used for the ‘Abbey Road’ album cover and get his picture taken.

John Toennessen:

Abbey Road is the last released album by the Beatles and was for most people the best they made. Here is my experience with Abbey Road. The actual location:

In the spring of 2006 I visited my daughter who lives in London. The trip was short (only a week), so we crammed as much as we could into that week. Had I been there longer I would have taken a day trip to Liverpool. Perhaps on my next visit.

One place put on the must-see list was Abby Road and specifically the crossing by the recording studio where the famous cover photograph was taken. We took the tube and and began walking down Abbey Road. We walked for quite a while and it got to the point where my daughter, bored with the whole idea said, “Gee dad this must be the corner.” I said, no it wasn’t, that I would know the crossing we we got there. This was a MUST-see spot, and I was not going to be denied. My daughter was born way beyond the time of The Beatles and has no idea how much influence they had my generation.

We finally arrived as I recognized the recording studio, and I crossed over and had my wife capture me making the famous crossing. Had I not been such a wuss, I would have done it barefoot, but it was a damp, rainy day and the idea of walking in the footsteps of the “fab four” was more of my goal than the details on how I would take that stroll across Abby Road. Attached is that moment captured.

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Michael (Did not leave his last name):

I was 10 years old when Abbey Road came out. I remember liking Abbey Road much more than the White Album, and thinking, “They’re back!”

Little did I know …

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Randy Chalbot is the driving force behind the Detroit electro-pop band Deastro. The group will be releasing its upcoming album,
Moondagger, on Ghostly International June 22. Chalbot took time to weigh in on the impact The Beatles’ Abbey Road had on him as an artist.

“My earliest memory of Abbey Road was sitting at a pizza place with my grandparents when I was about 12. It was a grimy sports-bar type of an establishment. Dark with blue running lights, billiards, and a thick haze of cigarette smoke, but probably some of the best pizza around. “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” was playing on the radio, and for the first time the topic of the song broke through those jangled Beatles melodies. I sat there stunned. Who knew you could write a song about a serial head smasher? My pre-teen mind was racing. At first I felt a little guilty for enjoying it, like the first time you said the “f word”
before you realized what it meant and got your mouth washed out ’cause the kid next to you already knew what it meant from his older brother and told the teacher. After awhile though I caught onto the humor of it all and the possibilities that exist within a song. Plus the use of Moog synths throughout the album — even to play lead lines — were really important to the development of pop music and are the great granddad of what I try to do with my own music.”

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Growing ever wilder and more daring with each release, upstate New York’s Hopewell has managed to traverse celestial worlds and the vast terrain of the imagination with its mix of powerful psychedelia and symphonic space-rock. Hugely influenced by The Beatles, Hopewell has a new album out called Good Good Desperation, and the brothers Russo, Jason and Justin, also the driving force behind The Silent League, took time out of their very busy schedules these days to provide their thoughts on Abbey Road

Jason Russo:

Growing up, The Beatles were like uncles to us. My mom saw them at Shea Stadium when they first came to the U.S. Abbey Road was a record that I loved in different stages. As a kid I loved the more childlike songs and later on I became more enamored with John’s contributions. The lyrics to “Come Together” have remained some of my favorite rock lyrics to this day. Between that and “I Am The Walrus” the gauntlet has been thrown for generations. The medley at the end was something that Justin and I have referenced every time we write music together. When we got the opportunity to do some work at Abbey Road Studios early in Hopewell’s career we refrained from taking the requisite “walking across the crosswalk” photo. But we were (literally) like kids in a candy store, peering through open doors, as if expecting to see George or Paul sharing a smoke.

Justin Russo:

The Beatles are like history’s musical wallpaper at this point, but how can you not love them? Everybody’s influenced by them. It’s unavoidable … and Abbey Road, in my opinion, is one of their true gems. (Well they all were, but you know what I mean.) Every song on that album is hands-down amazing, and, well, anyone who says that second half didn’t change their life is lying or lives under a rock. When people tell me Abbey Road is their favorite Beatles album, I know they know what they are talking about.

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