Musical Pilgrimage (part 2)

As one of my first posts on this blog, I showed a picture of my pilgrimage to the famous Abbey Road crossing, where the Beatles shot their iconic cover. (See that post here)

Of course I did not stop at the crossing, and went to see the world famous Abbey Road Studios. To my surprise, it is a very unassuming building.


In retrospect, I should not have been surprised by the conservative look of the studio considering that well into the 60’s, engineers working there had to wear a white lab coat or suit and tie!

Since it is not possible to visit the studios, the front gate has become the focal point of Beatles pilgrimages. As you can see, graffiti testimonies abound! My tourist guide mentioned that the gate is repainted monthly!


I had fun imagining the famous musicians that walked through this gate, and to think of all the great albums that were recorded in that building.

Since I was in London on business, I did not have a lot of time for sight seeing. I marked on a map every location I wanted to visit, and devised an itinerary that would get me to most of them in the time I had. One location that was just a little out of the way from the Parliament building was the old Battersea Power Station.

Now why visit an old, decomissioned coal power station, even if it is the largest brick building in Europe? For its part in music history, of course!

Rock fans know the Power Station as the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals album. Back in 1977, the station was still in use (it closed in 1983), and a giant inflatable pig was flown over the station to tie in with the album title.


Image © EMI Records 1977

While it had seemed to be a short distance away from the Parliament on the map, it took me a good 15 minutes of brisk walking to get there. But when I turned a corner and it finally came into view, I was struck by how huge the building is, even when viewed from across the Thames! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a building that large, it was quite impressive! Pictures don’t do it justice.


I would have liked to photograph it from the same angle as the album cover, but since I had limited time, I took a few pictures and walked back towards Westminster for the rest of my tour.

The last musical landmark I managed to visit during my short stay in London turned out to be underwhelming visually, despite its historical significance in Beatles lore.

3 Saville Row was the location of The Beatles’ Apple Corps headquarters, and the location of the famous rooftop concert. But from a street-view perspective, it doesn’t look like much. 🙂 (And it was getting dark and snowing when I finally found the building)


Anyone ever visit famous music landmarks? Where would you like to go?


Jean-Frederic Vachon
Follow me


  • Yan , September 10, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

    On my side, the CBGB in NYC.

  • jfvachon , September 10, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

    Hurry up before it becomes completely unrecognizable. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cbgb#Building

    • yan , September 10, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

      I already saw it. Even saw a show there back in 2004.
      I can also add the rockaway beach on my checked list, but not the 53rd and 3rd. I guess there’s not much to see there.

      • jfvachon , September 10, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

        I figured after I sent my reply that you’d replied to the other question. 🙂

        Must have been cool to see a show there.

Comments are closed.