It was probably the most famous album cover in history, much to the chagrin of drivers, who had to drive around many tourists who try to recreate the picture. Officials have long been trying to move the crossing, citing that it’s a tourist “death trap”; there were 22 accidents at the crosswalk since 2000. The original photograph for Abbey Road was snapped on August 8, 1969. The album cover did not mention the band’s name or the album title, acknowledging their status as the most famous band in the world*. Abbey Road went on to become one of the most successful Beatles albums ever.
The idea was by Paul McCartney who had sketched out four stickmen walking over the zebra crossin outside Abbey Road studios. Photographer Iain Macmillan was hired and was put on a ladder to snap this picture while a police officer held the traffic back. Macmillan took six photographs, and only now-famous photo number five featured all the band members’ legs in a perfect “V” formation.
Ironically, when the rumors that Paul McCartney had died in a 1966 car crash started, the Abbey Road cover was held up as a clue. On the cover, Paul was barefoot, which is the way corpses were buried at the time in England. In reality, Paul had turned up at the photo shoot wearing sandals, but had kicked them off after the first two takes. The Volkswagen behind George bears the license plate number “28IF”, meaning Paul would be 28 years old if he had lived.
*The band’s name and album title were on the back-cover also made by Macmillian. Macmillan took “Abbey Road” street marker sign at the Alexandra Road junction of and started taking photos of the sign. An oblivious woman in a blue dress walked right in front of his viewfinder in one of his photos, and Macmillan thought it was the best, so he ended up using it.
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