Monday, August 8, 2011

Today in Beatles history

This day in 1969 witnessed a brief photo-shoot that would turn out to produce one of the most legendary album covers in music history. In my opinion, it doesn't get any better than the Abbey Road zebra crossing.

Excerpt from the Gibson article:
The album’s iconic cover, with all four Beatles walking across a zebra crossing on Abbey Road outside of the EMI Studios, was based on sketch ideas from McCartney. At 11:30 a.m. on this day in 1969, photographer Iain Macmillan was given 10 minutes to get the shot he wanted while a policeman held up traffic. Macmillan climbed a stepladder in the middle of Abbey Road and photographed the band as they walked, single file, from left to right. With Lennon in front, followed by Ringo Starr, McCartney and George Harrison, all members except for Harrison were dressed in suits, while Harrison wore blue jeans and a blue denim shirt.

When rumors of McCartney’s death began to surface, the imagery from Abbey Road’s cover helped fuel the nonsense, with many seeing each band member’s attire symbolizing some role in a funeral sequence. Lennon, dressed in a white suit, was seen as a sort of evangelical preacher, while Ringo, dressed in black, was a mourner. Harrison, with his denim pants and shirt, represented a gravedigger, while Paul, dressed in a nice suit and barefoot, was the decedent (though many believed it wasn’t actually McCartney in the photo but a look-alike). The fact that Paul is out of step with the other three further fanned the flames of his untimely demise.

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