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A bunch of kooks

A man in Abbey Road

On the morning of August 8, 1969, a policeman held traffic outside the recording studio at 3 Abbey Road, in London, so photographer Iain Macmillan could get the iconic shot of the 11th Beatles album, the last they recorded together even though Let It Be was the final album of the band — it had been mostly recorded prior to Abbey Road. He climbed a ladder to take the photographs, and the whole thing only took around 10 minutes. Macmillan credited McCartney in coming up with the idea as he had drawn it out a few days before. He took only six pictures and picked the one where the men’s legs were in unison walking across the road.

Because of the quick nature of the shoot and the simplicity of the cover, fans were able to see exactly what was going on that day. Paul McCartney wasn’t wearing anything on his feet, opting to take off the sandals he was wearing after the first two shots. There was a group of people in white standing farther up the street, and the license plate number of a Volkswagen Beetle that read “LMW 281 F” was parked on the curb. While it was ironic there was a Beetle on the Beatles album cover, another figure caught in the photograph standing on the sidewalk at the right watching the group had a story all his own.

The man was an American tourist named Paul Cole. He wasn’t there because he wanted to get a glimpse of the Beatles. He actually didn’t want to follow his wife on their next tourist stop, opting to spend his time outside. He struck up a conversation with the police officer holding up traffic for the photo shoot and saw the four men walking across the street. Cole had no idea who the men were or what they were doing, only thinking that they looked like “a bunch of kooks”. Months passed until Cole’s wife, who was a church organist, had gotten a copy of the album to play at a wedding. It was then when Cole discovered he was on one of the most famous album covers of all time.

Other rather strange things also spawned from the Abbey Road album. The white Volkswagen Beetle in the picture was stolen multiple times since it was owned by a person that lived in the flats across from the recording studio. It eventually sold at an auction in 1986 for £2,530 and was put on display in a German museum in 2001.

1 Commento su A bunch of kooks

  1. L’ha ribloggato su e ha commentato:
    Da Dioniso Punk: dietro le quinte.

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