Hundreds and possibly thousands of Beatles fans crowded at the Abbey Road crosswalk on a beautiful London morning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band’s iconic album cover, which was taken across the street from the studio in just a few minutes on Aug. 8, 1969.
The famous photo, captured by freelance photographer Iain Macmillan for the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” record, shows the four band members strolling through the zebra crossing right outside of the EMI Studios where they recorded the album. The St. John’s Wood crosswalk has since become a popular tourist spot as countless fans recreate their own versions of the shot while visiting.
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Fan recreations were made even more believable on Thursday by the Black Volkwagon parked behind the crosswalk — the same type and model that sat in the background of the original picture. Some visitors even came dressed as members of the band, with one Lennon lookalike stepping on the crosswalk clad in an all-white suit as seen on the album cover, and a Paul McCartney double proposing to his girlfriend. Amidst the chaos, vehicles were reportedly stuck at the crosswalk for up to ten minutes due to the crowds, with police officers on duty to mitigate traffic.
The group and its label commemorated the date by announcing a forthcoming expanded edition of the album, due Sept. 27, which includes many studio outtakes and a deluxe book.
“Abbey Road” was the band’s 11th and last studio recordings by all four members of the group, including hits such as “Come Together,” “Here Comes the Sun,” and “Octopus’s Garden.” Although “Let It Be” was released in the following year and is technically the band’s last official album, it was recorded several months before “Abbey Road.” A playback of the album was the last time the four members were in the same room as the Beatles.