"At some point, the [Abbey Road] album was going to be titled Everest after the brand of cigarettes I used to smoke," recalls audio engineer Geoff Emerick. The idea included a photo shoot in the Himalayas. But the Beatles decided to name the album Abbey Road and to shoot the cover photo outside the recording studio during an impromptu half-hour break between recording sessions in August 1969. Paul McCartney remembers the session:
"The crossing was right outside, and we said, 'Let's just go out, get a photographer and walk out on the crossing. It'll be done in half an hour.' It was getting quite late and you always have to get the cover in ahead of the sound. So we got hold of the photographer Iain Macmillan, gave him a half hour and walked across the crossing."
John Lennon recalled, "We were just wishing the photographer would hurry up. Too many people were hanging around ... We're meant to be recording, not posing for Beatle pictures - that's what we were thinking. And, I was muttering, 'Come on, hurry up now, keep in step.'"
The zebra crossing remains a popular destination for Beatles fans, one of them being the photographer of this clever shot, Christiaan Triebert.
:christiaan triebert flickr; abbey road; excerpts from the beatles anthology