Q: Why’d the chicken cross the road? A: Because it thought it was a Beatle.

The four Beatles walked across the road outside the Abbey Road Studios, at 11.35am on August 8 1969, for the album cover photo of their last recorded album.

While brainstorming for a title and cover concept for their final album, the Beatles thought it should be something grand. They came up with “Everest” after looking a the packet of Everest cigarettes that belonged to their recording engineer Geoff Emerik. The world-famous Beatles planned to end big and and take a trip to Mount Everest to photograph themselves in front of the world-famous mountain.

Outakes of the Beatles Abbey Road Photo Shoot Below…

Abbey Road Album Cover Outtakes

Abbey Road Album Cover Outtakes

But, the recording process dragged on for longer than the soon-to-be-spit Beatles patience. So John Lennon sarcastically quipped, instead of calling it Everest and flying to bloody Mount Everest, why don’t we just call it Abbey Road and take the picture in front of Abbey Road. Paul McCartney, the planner, sketched the Beatles road crossing image in stick figures and the plan was set.

Photographer Iain Macmillan was chosen because of work he had done for Yoko. He was only given about 15 minutes to get the shot. Standing on a ladder in the road, He took only about eight pictures of the Beatles crossing in front of Abbey Road Studio while a policemen held traffic.

The Volkswagen Beetle that was coincidentally parked in front of the studio belong to someone who lived on the street. The car was sold in 1986 auction for only $23,000 and is currently on display at the Volkswagen museum in Germany.

The man standing on the sidewalk learing at the Beatles is Paul Cole, an American tourist who was waiting for his wife who was lingering in a museum. Cole remembers, “I just happened to look up, and I saw those guys walking across the street like a line of ducks. A bunch of kooks, I called them, because they were rather radical-looking at that time. You didn’t walk around in London barefoot.”

The man who stepped into history didn’t know he was in the shot until a year later when his wife was learning “Something” on the organ. Trying to convince his children that it was him on the Beatles new album cover, he told them to get out the magnifying glass. Paul Cole died just last year at 96 years old.

Unusual for an album cover, there is no writing. Not even the name of the band. Josh Kosh, creative director at Apple records, insisted the Beatles were the most popular band in the world and didn’t need their name on the cover. EMI said they would never sell albums if they didn’t say who the band was. I guess it worked out selling OK in the end anyway.

- Beatles Geek Pete
For more Beatles News and cool Beatles Merchandise, visit my blog!

Album Cover for the Beatles Abbey Road

Album Cover for the Beatles Abbey Road

Tagged with:

Filed under: Beatle News

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!