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Rock & Roll Virtual World Tour: Stops 1 & 2

Join The Mountain as it embarks on a virtual world tour visiting iconic Rock & Roll landmarks throughout July.

1. Abbey Road 

The small crosswalk located in London, was featured on the cover of The Beatle's Abbey Road album (1969) and has since been mimicked by everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to The Simpsons. The infamous photo was taken by Iain Macmillan who only had 10 minutes to get the shot as a policeman stopped traffic. To this day, Abbey Road remains the Beatle's best selling album. Click here to see a live stream of the crosswalk. (Courtesy
Strange facts about Abbey Road

  • Abbey Road was the Beatles’ 11th studio album and was released September 26, 1969. The album is widely agreed to be one of the Beatles’ most tightly constructed albums, even though the band was hardly functioning as a group at the time. It is still considered one of the greatest albums of all time and rightfully became the Beatles’ most successful album ever.
  • In the photo that is the famous album cover, McCartney is barefoot as the four walk across Abbey Road on the crosswalk. The white Volkswagen in the background parked on the side of the street became famous all in itself. After the album was released, the license plate LMW 281F was stolen repeatedly from the car. The car was sold at auction in 1986 for 2,530 Euro.
  • It was then put on display in Germany in 2001. The image of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road is iconic and the most imitated photo in recording history. 
  • Courtesy of
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Abbey Road General Information 
The album title, of course, refers to the Emi Studios in Abbey Road where The Beatles recorded almost all their songs. The LP was going to be called Everest, honoring the brand of cigarettes Geoff Emerick used to smoke. In fact, a trip was planned to the Himalaya to photograph the album cover. However, as the completion of the album seemed closer, someone said "look, why don't we get out there, make the cover photo and simply call the album Abbey Road?". And on August 8th, Ian Macmillan stepped up a small ladder to take the picture of all four Beatles crossing the most universal zebra crossing of all. Abbey Road has quite a lot of traffic and only 6 shots were made.

Neither the Volkswagen nor the suits, not even Paul's bare feet were prepared for the picture. The Volkswagen (with the LMW 281F license plate) used to be parked there often and it belonged to someone living in the block of flats next to the studio. The suits were simply the ones that The Beatles were going to work in that day. Paul, living very close to the studio, had arrived with his sandals on, and even in some of the shots appears with them on. Just as a last curiosity, the back cover picture actually corresponds to a street sign long since gone. The word BEATLES was later added to a picture of such sign also by Ian MacMillan. The blue blurry thing at the right of the Abbey Road sign is in fact a girl with a short dress and pretty legs. (Courtesy of

First issued on 26th September, 1969 Abbey Road was the final Beatles album to be recorded but not their last to be released. Let It Be, though mainly recorded in January, 1969 was finally released in May, 1970 alongside the film of the same name. 
Following the ‘live’ nature of the “Let It Be” recordings, Abbey Road, The Beatles returned to the North London studios to create carefully crafted recordings with ambitious musical arrangements. Interestingly 12 of the songs that appeared on the finished album were played during the filmed rehearsals and sessions for “Let It Be” back in January. 
For the first time on a Beatles album, the front cover contained neither the group’s name nor the album title just that iconic photograph taken on the zebra crossing near the entrance to the studios in London NW8 in August 1969.
Abbey Road entered the British album chart at no. 1 in October and stayed there for a total of seventeen of its 81 weeks in the chart. In the US, it spent eleven weeks at # 1 during its initial chart stay of 83 weeks. (Courtesy of

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2. Hotel California
Eagles- "Hotel California"

 Song Facts
Written by Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Don Felder, this song is about materialism and excess. California is used as the setting, but it could relate to anywhere in America. Don Henley in the London Daily Mail November 9, 2007 said: "Some of the wilder interpretations of that song have been amazing. It was really about the excesses of American culture and certain girls we knew. But it was also about the uneasy balance between art and commerce."

On November 25, 2007 Henley appeared on the TV news show 60 Minutes, where he was told, "everyone wants to know what this song means." Henley replied: "I know, it's so boring. It's a song about the dark underbelly of the American Dream, and about excess in America which was something we knew about."

California is seen from the perspective of an outsider here. Only Bernie Leadon and Timothy B. Schmit were from the state: Joe Walsh came from Kansas, Don Henley was from Texas, Glenn Frey was from Detroit, and Don Felder was from Florida. In our interview with Don Felder, he explained: "As you're driving in Los Angeles at night, you can see the glow of the energy and the lights of Hollywood and Los Angeles for 100 miles out in the desert. And on the horizon, as you're driving in, all of these images start coming into your mind of the propaganda and advertisement you've experienced about California. In other words, the movie stars, the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, the beaches, bikinis, palm trees, all those images that you see and that people think of when they think of California start running through your mind. You're anticipating that. That's all you know of California." (courtesy 

Click here to learn more facts about the song. 

Song Trivia
1. Alright, so we've got this guy. He's on a dark desert highway, there's cool wind in his hair. He smells the warm smell of colitas rising up through the air. And then, up ahead in the distance he sees what kind of light? A shimmering light. The song starts out by saying "On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair. Warm smell of colitas rising up through the air. Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light. My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim. I had to stop for the night."

2. His head is growing heavy, his sight's growing dim; he just has to stop for the night. There she's standing in the doorway and he hears this bell. What kind of bell? A mission bell. "There she stood in the doorway, I heard the mission bell." The Eagles first hit #1 with "Hotel California" in 1977.
3. So he's standing there, right? Then he starts to think this could be ______ or this could be ____. What two contrasting ideas does he ponder? Heaven and hell. "And I was thinking to myself, 'This could be heaven or this could be hell.'" 
4. So then this woman lights up a flammable stick of wax. What exactly does she light? Candle & a candle. "Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way." The Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. (courtesy of funtrivia.comGet more "Hotel California" trivia here

"Hotel California" -- It's About Satanism, Right?
Whether you know "Hotel California" as "that weird Eagles song" or "that weird devil-worshiping song" probably depends on how religious your parents were.
When "Hotel California" was released in 1976, everyone heard it but no one really knew what it meant. The lyrics talked about trying to "Kill the beast" and "Stab it with their steely knives," and included the ominous line, "You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave." Honestly, it kind of sounds like they're singing about using the reference section in a library full of giant monsters, since those are the books you can technically check out but aren't permitted to remove from the building. 
That was when someone noticed something odd about the album cover, which features a picture of the band in some luxury hotel courtyard with crowds of people in the background. Above the crowd, looking out from a balcony on the upper left, is a shape whose face you can't fully see, but vaguely looks bald, goateed and threatening., people came to the conclusion that the figure on the balcony was none other than Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, author of The Satanic Bible and proud parent of a son that he freaking named Satan.

Now that Anton LaVey was found, the lyrics seemed to make sense: "The Beast," "You can never leave" "This could be heaven or this could be hell." "Hotel California" is a song about Anton LaVey converting people to his church of Satanism, from which they could "never leave." The "truth" about the song persists to this day, found in Internet forums, an old issue of The Milwaukee Sentinel and the nothing-if-not-reputable website Jesus Is Savior.

Actually ...

"Hotel California" has pretty much nothing to do with Satanism. The Eagles have admitted it was a way of speaking out against the greed and hedonism of the music industry in the 1970s (i.e., the drugs, money and women they themselves were drowning in). The photographer responsible for the album cover said the picture expressed "faded loss of innocence and decadence," which is pretentious-speak for "a bunch of assholes standing in a lobby."

"What about the face in the window?" you say. "I heard somewhere they didn't even know it was there. Maybe it wasn't Anton LaVey, but really ... a ghost." Unfortunately not. As Snopes points out: "The shadowy figure was a woman hired for the photo shoot."

Yep. The person mistaken for a bald, goatee-sporting antichrist was, in fact, just some lady who had nothing to do with anything and wouldn't even have been memorable were it not for the poor lighting of the photograph and the bafflingly deliberate decision to separate her from the rest of the group, presumably because she showed up late for the shoot and/or got Don Henley's name wrong. (courtesy of

Want to see the actual Hotel California in Palm Springs, CA? Check it out hereVisit the Hotel California Facebook page


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Topics : Entertainment_Culture
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Locations : London
People : Iain Macmillan

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