A Silly Walk Across Abbey Road

My Facebook feed — and yours, too, I’m sure — is filled with ads for bootleg, unlicensed t-shirts and has been for at least three years.

I was going to write “months” there instead of “years,” but I remember that, when I was in Chicago on business in 2017, I saw someone wearing an unlicensed Chicago Cubs/Peanuts t-shirt that I had seen on Facebook and thought about buying but never did.

The shirts, as with that Cubs/Peanuts example, are generally pop culture related. Typically, my ads show me Harry Potter and Peanuts shirts. Sometimes baseball shirts. There’s was a Peanuts Hawaiian shirt over the summer, which was a little different, and it was cute, but it was also stupidly expensive and Hawaiian shirts are not my thing.

Over the weekend, Facebook offered me this.

This t-shirt design amused me — the Beatles, crossing Abbey Road, doing the silly walks from Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks.

I also found it very appealing, because it’s not half as silly and absurd as one might think.

The Beatles were Python fans, George especially, who wrote one of the earliest fan letters the BBC received for Monty Python, mortgaged his home to pay for Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, appeared on stage as one of the Mounties in Python’s City Center stage shows in New York City, and produced the single version of “The Lumberjack Song.” But the other three were no less Python fans; for an article in Mojo a few years ago about the Monty Python records, Michael Palin mentions that “Paul McCartney would stop recording sessions for Python “

The Pythons’ humor really appealed to the Beatles, and you can draw a non-zagging line from The Goons and Peter Sellers through the Beatles through the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band straight to Monty Python. At one point, George Harrison even talked about how the Beatles and Python should do one big, joint reunion concert, which obviously never came to fruition.

Suffice it to say, the shirt amuses me on many, many levels. I’m not sure I’ll order one, and these Facebook ad t-shirts disappear like mayflies, but I do like it.

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