By Ally Hamzey
I consider myself a fanatic for a lot of bands. Ask many of my friends, family, colleagues, or peers and they could contend the fact that I am a knowledgable source on many facets of music and popular culture.
However, Richard, our Beatles Walking Tour guide earlier today, put me to shame. He was acclaimed as the “Beatles Brain”, and he held that title rightfully. His knowledge of the Beatles was exceptional.
i’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it is wonderful enough when you feel a deep connection to an artist or music, but it is even more magnificent when you can immerse yourself into the life and upbringing of that artist. Media is more personal when you learn of its roots and the inspiration that created it.
We encountered the real, iconic Abbey Road today in the flesh, and our tourist-ness enraged and appalled local drivers. Abbey Road looks like a tranquil, non-busy road from the iconic photo of the Beatles. My oh my, is that misleading, my friends.
If you are among the brave tourists like ourselves who attempt to get that classic photo on Abbey Road, you must be willing to be hit by an incoming vehicle for it. Yup, folks, this is what they don’t tell you about being a tourist: sometimes death is a consequence if you tourist too hard.
Tours have been a very large part of our study abroad here. In order to become acquainted with an area, it is extremely helpful to have a local expert guide you through your experience. Once an expert brings us the culture, history and interesting facts about the area into perspective, I feel more comfortable and aware of my surroundings. Experts such as Richard, who knew every detail about the band down to their personal arguments and marriage dates, help us tourists have a feel for where we are. I wouldn’t have even known I passed John Lennon and Ringo Starr’s old home if it wasn’t for him, I would’ve just strolled past!