8 Aug: When The Beatles Crossed The Road

Abbey Road was a street known only to North Londoners until The Beatles posed on the zebra crossing outside EMI Studios on 8th August, 1969. Photographer Iain MacMillan took just six snaps, one of which graced the front cover of their penultimate album, ‘Abbey Road’.

The image became instantly iconic, partly due to the decision not to name the band or the album on the front of LP. It even spurred a conspiracy theory that claimed that Paul McCartney was dead, and being played by a lookalike, attested to his by bare feet and the number plate on the vehicle behind him.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain why the picture nearly didn’t happen in St John’s Wood at all, but in NEPAL; dive into the ‘Paul Is Dead’ conspiracy; and check out the live feed of hapless tourists approximating the picture… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Obituary: Iain MacMillan’ (The Independent, 2006): https://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/iain-macmillan-364645.html

• ‘Revisiting London’s iconic album cover images’ (BBC News, 2008): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-43318498

• ‘Beatles fans flock to Abbey Road for 44th anniversary’ (Telegraph, 2013):

Thanks so much for supporting the show! We’re your Octopus’s Garden

The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill. Edit producer: Sophie King

Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders.

Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2022.