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Tommy’s Coffee Break Calendar for August 8th

The Edge
The Edge; U2 live in New Orleans, April, 2006. (Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Today, you got quite possibly the most imitated photo in history, the meaning of “props” and guitarist Dave Evans is having a birthday…

8/08/1969 – (45 years ago today) If you go to London, you have to do this: The photo session for the cover of “Abbey Road” takes place, with The Beatles walking on the crossing outside Abbey Road studios. A local policeman actually held up traffic, thus enabling photographer Iain McMillan to get his balance on a step-ladder in the middle of the road; only six shots are taken of John, Paul, George and Ringo strolling over the zebra-painted crossing (then, la-de-da, the boys went back in and finished overdubs on “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and “Oh! Darling”. Just another day, eh?). These days, that part of the street is one of the busiest and most photographed places in the world. If you get to go there, you kinda hafta do it.

8/08/1970 – (44 years ago today) It’s what Aretha Franklin was singin’ about: Janis Joplin buys a headstone for the grave of her biggest influence, the absolutely incredible blues singer Bessie Smith. It gets placed on Bessie’s spot at the Mont Lawn Cemetery in Philadelphia; turns out the reason Bessie died in 1937 was that she was refused admission to a whites only hospital. Way to go, mankind.

8/08/1961 – Happy Birthday to U2 guitarist The Edge, 53 years old today. Good Lord, what more can you say about that guitar sound which has spawned countless bands? By the way, “The Joshua Tree” spent 156 weeks on the U.K. chart, and U2 also have had five consecutive U.S. Number One albums starting back in 1987. They’re all right, then.

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