The Beatles Mere Seconds Before the Iconic Abbey Road Photo

The only thing that could make this photo of the Fab Four better, right before they walk out onto Abbey Road — for what could be considered the most famous musical photo in history — is well, nothing.  It is moments like this, when the super-famous-geniuses of the world are caught in repose, that transcend comprehension.  See!  They are normal!  Just like you and me!

Except they are not.

Here we have Ringo talking to a sweet old lady, Paul harmlessly fixing Ringo’s collar, John inhaling a deep breath and George taking a moment of contemplation for himself.  And yet, even in this photo, a toss away, an unimportant moment in time, it somehow manages to capture all of their singular personality traits that have been mythologized by Beatles lovers the world over.  [via Sarahspy]

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Pete December 12, 2010, 12:22 pm

    They are on the wrong side of the road to do the cover shot. If they walked across after this shot they would be walking towards the studio as opposed to away from it which the cover depicts.

  • EFAmericana December 9, 2010, 4:07 pm

    they spent the morning walking back and forth across the road, with pictures taken going both directions. Paul took his sandals off towards the middle of the shoot, so this is an early photo, not seconds before the picture they ended up using. sorry =)

  • Beedee December 8, 2010, 9:52 am

    Paul claimed that the sandals kept falling off and screwing up the shot – made it hard for him to stay in stride with the others. Since they knew wouldn't have much time (before getting hoarded by crowds), he opted to cast them aside and go barefoot – so the story goes.

  • SML December 7, 2010, 7:27 pm

    You can see someone's foot between Ringo's legs and a slim shadow to the left. George is likely talking to someone sitting on the stone wall behind them. Great photo!

  • Kiki December 7, 2010, 2:56 pm

    Billy Shears

  • John Gault December 7, 2010, 1:50 pm

    That is not Paul (he is dead). That is Billy Spears, Pauls replacement.

    • jamesfurbush December 7, 2010, 1:56 pm

      HA HA, I was going to make a Paul is dead joke, but I couldn't remember if it was Abbey Road or Sgt. Pepper's that everyone thought was proof of his death.

      • Susan December 11, 2010, 8:45 am

        The dead Paul joke was both albums; that is why he was wearing no shoes in Abbey Road and for Sgt. Peppers's he had OPD (Ontario Police Department) flash on his shoulder, interpreted as Offically Pronounced Dead. lol awe – the good old days. :)

  • Walter Bellhaven December 7, 2010, 1:00 pm

    Notice Paul is in sandals. He must have taken them off just seconds later. Also, it shows that his bare-footedness was premeditated…

    • jamesfurbush December 7, 2010, 1:12 pm

      Oh wow! Walter, I didn't catch that he was in sandals. Good call on the premeditated bare-footedness.

  • notmtwain December 7, 2010, 9:32 am

    The only thing that could make this photo– what?

    • jamesfurbush December 7, 2010, 9:43 am

      Thanks! I totally forgot to include the word "better". D'oh.