On This Day in 1969, The Beatles' Iconic 'Abbey Road' Photo Was Taken

August 8, 2017
Abbey Road in London

© Claudiodivizia | Dreamstime

On August 8, 1969, The Beatles took to the crosswalk at Abbey Road. The seemingly mundane act was captured and used as the artwork for their 11th studio album, Abbey Road, and went on to become one of the most well-known musical photos of all time.



Abbey Road, which was released on September 26, 1969, was the final album recorded by the band, although their last album released was actually Let It Be in May 1970. At the time of recording they didn’t feel like Abbey Road would be the last album they made together, but it did feel like they were making their way towards the end.



Yielding hits like George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something,” the iconic 1969 album has attracted tourism to Abbey Road for decades.

And then there’s that whole Paul-McCartney-actually-died-in-1966 conspiracy theory that was further fueled by “evidence” from the Abbey Road album artwork—that the image depicts the Fab Four walking in a funeral procession. According to the theories, George Harrison doubles as the grave digger in jeans, Ringo Starr as a mourner in black, John Lennon as some type of religious figure in white, and Paul McCartney shoeless because, well, it doesn’t matter if you wear shoes or not when you’re dead.

Of course, the conspiracy theory is just that—a theory—but in any case, the album’s artwork remains one of the most often-imitated-never-duplicated musical photos of all time.