The Beatles, Abbey Road

82 – Scot snaps Beatles Abbey Road photo

August 8, 1969

GREAT album covers are a thing of the past, you don’t get a cracking image on the front of your digital download nowadays.

But one cover is so iconic tourists still stop traffic in an otherwise quiet corner of north London to imitate it. And it was a Scot, Dundonian Iain McMillan, who took the photo that became the front cover of the Beatles’ Abbey Road album.

It has inspired countless copies, but that shot took just 10 minutes to set up and take.
Appropriately enough it was a Lennon and McCartney concoction – Paul sketched the idea and John called Iain to take it.

Iain McMillan took the iconic photo
Iain McMillan took the iconic photo

Iain McMillan had moved to London after news agencies there had picked up on his pics of Dundee streets. He met and got to know Yoko Ono and, in turn, John Lennon.

On the morning of the shoot he had just a few minutes to put up a stepladder in the middle of the road and take a series of pictures of the Beatles crossing.

A VW Beetle added to the idea that the picture summed up the swinging Sixties.

McMillan captured a moment in time – the Fab Four walking away from their studio and away from their time as the Beatles. Abbey Road was the last album they recorded.