Abbey Road Crossing

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/simpsons_abbey_4234.jpg

The cover for The Beatles' album Abbey Road is an image that is instantly recognizable. Four people (usually), belonging to the same group, cross a road single file. If the author is really showing his/her work, they will be single file, traveling to the right, in this sequence: dressed in all white, dressed in all black, dressed in all black or dark, and entirely in blue denim. Whomever is third in line will be barefoot and walking off-step from the others. For bonus points, there will be a 1960s Volkswagen Beetle and a man walking a dog in the background.

Often used as a cover or poster. Expect long-running bands to use it sometime in their career.

Movies or episodes discussing long-gone Glory Days of a Bob & Alice's band will often feature this pose as well.

For some collections of these images (some better than others), go here, here or here.

And for the live web cam feed of Abbey Road go here to see people disrupt traffic for their own personal recreation. Make sure you go to the right Abbey Road in London - the DLR station is several miles away (although TFL have produced a Pun-laden poster there directing you to the right place in St John's Wood).

Sgt. Pepper's Shout-Out is another trope based on parodies of a specific Beatles album cover.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • Seen in an American Express commercial with Jerry Seinfeld touring England.
  • Utah Transit Authority used a cartoon version of this to advertise a family pass where four people ride for the same price. They also used The Wizard of Oz imagery for the same campaign.
  • VolksWagen did it with 4 Beetles.
  • McCain, a British manufacturer of potato products, did it with their four guys walking across a (potato?) field, striped with alternate strips of potato plants and strips of bare earth. The clothes are similar to those on the album cover, and the guy second from the back is out of step with the others.
  • At the same time (Spring 2014) as the McCain example above, British online food-delivery-ordering service Just-Eat did a version with four Indian-restaurant chefs crossing a zebra crossing in a quiet country road, with the caption "Tikka To Ride". The "John" figure in the front is wearing an all-white outfit, and although the four are in step, "Paul" is wearing sandals whilst the rest have shoes.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The cover art for Hidamari Sketch's original soundtrack.
  • An illustration from Genshiken which was used as the cover image for the season 1 DVD set (in the US, at least).
  • One is featured, along with a barrage of other music references, in the music video "Help! We are Angels" from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. In this instance, Chuck gets flattened by the white Volkswagen.
  • This back cover for a Tenchi Muyo! soundtrack CD (which was entitled Meet The Tenchi Muyo! and featured several other Beatles cover pastiches).
  • Referenced in K-On! (season 2) episode 27, when Mio fantasizes about a trip to England—the land of Rock Bands! (Apparently Mio really is a Classic Rock fan).
  • The cover of a Durarara!! Blu-ray set packaged in a lunchbox.
  • The World God Only Knows has a special chapter about the 2-B Pencils Band, in which Elsea and the rest of the band cross a road Abbey Road style.
  • The cover page of chapter 99 of Dorohedoro has this with four of the Cross-Eyes' top lieutenants.

    Comic Books 

    Film 
  • Appears in the Lindsay Lohan version of The Parent Trap.
    • Taken a step further because "Here Comes the Sun" is playing in the background.
  • Eric Idle's Mockumentary about a Fake Band with a career that very much mirrored The Beatles' history, The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash, gave us the album Shabby Road. While Paul was barefoot on the original cover, Stig (who is actually a stand-in for George Harrison) is not wearing pants on the joke cover.
  • The actual crossing pops up in Get Him to the Greek.
  • In Shaun the Sheep, this is done twice by the sheep in the Big City.
  • The Beatles themselves briefly appear doing this in Minions.
  • Towards the end of The Hangover Part III, Phil, Stu, Alan, and Doug briefly do this while walking across a road in the Las Vegas strip.

     Literature 
  • Marc Simonetti's cover for the French translation of Soul Music shows the Band With Rocks In on a bone zebra crossing, with Susan on Binky in the place of the white car and Buddy in Paul's place, complete with bare feet. (Note that the plot of Soul Music really kicks off when Buddy should have died, and didn't.)

    Live Action TV 

    Music 
  • The original was Paul McCartney's idea. Photographer Iain Macmillan spent ten minutes snapping only six photos as the band walked back and forth across the street a few times, and the fifth was selected because it was the only one where they were mostly in step with each other. The crossing was designated a Grade II English Heritage Listed building in 2010.
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers repeated the image for The Abbey Road EP. Being the Chili Peppers, they did so wearing only the wang-covering gym socks.
  • The cover of the soundtrack to VVVVVV, PPPPPP, has the V-men crossing the road... upside down, of course.
  • The cover of the Paul McCartney album Paul Is Live showed an older Paul walking a dog through the crossing, digitally edited into the famous 1969 photo in place of The Beatles. It contains visual Take Thats against the Paul Is Dead rumors sparked in part by the Abbey Road cover:
    • The white Volkswagen's number plate, which originally read in part "281F" (misread as "28IF" and interpreted as "Paul would be 28 if he were still alive"), was changed to "51IS", as in "He is still alive, and he is 51."
    • He's wearing shoes and his left leg is forward. (It was suggested that being barefoot and out of step was symbolic. Paul actually ditched his shoes because it was a hot summer's day. If anything has symbolic value, it's the fact that the cover depicts the Beatles walking away from Abbey Road Studios.)
    • He's holding the leash in his left hand. (Noted lefty Paul having a cigarette in his right hand was seen as evidence it wasn't really him.)
  • Paul did a variant at the end of the music video for Spies Like Us. It has Paul, Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd at the crossing, but it's done at night with spotlights on them, so that it's a homage to Abbey Road AND Band On The Run.
  • Benny Hill on the cover to a 1992 Best Of album. Uses the actual crossing, but in winter and without the wide angle lens.
  • Imagine Dragons performs a short homage to this in their video for "On Top of the World". As the band strolls down a crosswalk past some cars from The '60s, the scene slows down right when they strike the same pose from the album. This part also gives a nod to the "Paul is Dead" conspiracy, through a Freeze-Frame Bonus in which the license plate of a car reads, "BENISDEAD".note 
  • The Enya song "My! My! Time Flies" mentions "four guys across Abbey Road, one forgot to wear shoes." You can find the song on her ...And Winter Came soundtrack.
  • This picture by Black Metal band Abbath (project of the former front man of Immortal). The choice of location is, of course, also a pun on the band's name.
  • Beatallica, being Beatles meets Metallica, had Abbey Load. Not done in the actual road, but with plenty of in-jokes - the Paul stand-in is in bear slippers, and the licence plate becomes a reference to a deceased Metallica bassist, "28KLIFF".

    Other 

    Video Games 
  • One piece of official art for Deadly Premonition shows the four members of the game's "investigation team" in this pose, crossing a street in Greenvale. The leader isn't in white, but the second from the back, York, is out of step! Fitting, really.
  • In one of the many random cutscenes of LEGO Island, four of the island's citizens cross a street in this pose. They even swap their normal hats and hairpieces for dark colored shoulder-length hair for this scene only, making the allusion even more clear.
  • The Mario Paint Player's Guide features Mario, Yoshi, a red Koopa Troopa, and a Bob-Omb reenacting this in the Table of Contents.
  • Parodied in Wolfenstein: The New Order, one of the collectables you can find is a Die Kafer record ''Das Blaue U-Boot. The cover features a silhouette of the band in the Abbey Road Crossing pose.
    • In a more sinister example, some of the promotional material for the game depicted four German soldiers doing the crossing.

    Webcomics 

    Web Originals 
  • This Flash-animated video for The Beatles "Come Together" features the Beatles as they appeared on the Abbey Road cover(John in white, George in denim, Ringo in black and Paul barefoot), and even references the zebra crossing on the cover. The video was made for beatles.com, and is quite well-made.
  • Moshi Monsters has featured three: one in a brief parody in their "Ponies" music video, the second in an in-game picture purchase called "Crabby Road", and the third in a promotional poster for the "Music Rox" album, complete with a barefooted Zommer (maybe also an extra "Paul is Dead" rumor as well, since Zommers are zombie monsters) out of step with the others and Bonkers in place of the photobomber.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • Done in the Beatles parody "Homer's Barbershop Quartet". One of the records Homer shows to Bart and Lisa, titled "Bigger Than Jesus" (a Shout-Out to another bit of Beatles lore). Homer's barbershop quartet (including a barefoot Barney) is even walking on water.
    • The cover to November 2002's Rolling Stone.
  • Total Drama:
    • The Drama Brothers are seen crossing Abbey Road during their segment in the Celebrity Manhunt special.
    • In the intro to Total Drama World Tour, Leshawna and Noah are walking over the Abbey Road Crossing.
  • One of the many variations of the intro song of Animaniacs had Yakko, Wakko and Dot walking on a road a la Abbey Road. "Penny laney..."
  • One of four Beatles album cover parodies seen briefly in The Powerpuff Girls episode "Meet The Beat Alls"note .
  • The Bremen Avenue Experience did this during a Music Video that contained multiple Shout Outs to British pop culture.
  • One of the records released by El Tigre's mother Maria during her stint as a mariachi singer. It featured Manny, Maria, and a goat.
  • The cover for the Ren and Stimpy album You Eediot! had Ren, Stimpy, Muddy Mudskipper and Mr. Horse walking down a live-action road.

    Real Life 
  • The zebra crossing was given official Grade II Listed Building status (along with the studio) in 2010. It is arguably the only famous street crossing in the world. As noted above, it has become a pilgrimage destination for Beatles fans who want their picture taken there. Like the Cassini space probe imaging team.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AbbeyRoadCrossing