The diary of Beatles roadie Mal Evans reveals what the band members did when they found themselves with three hours to spare after shooting the cover for Abbey Road.

The iconic image was one of only six frames shot by photographer Iain Macmillan while a police officer held up traffic on the London street on Aug. 8, 1969. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were joined by just a handful of assistants – “No managers, no stylists,” as Beatles Podcast presented Jason Carty tweeted. “They were finished so quickly they had 2-3 hours to kill before their recording session started.”

Carty followed that with a picture of the page from “roadie/fixer/pal” Evans’ diary entry for the day that reads, “Up at 8.30AM arriving at 9.45AM. Ringo first at 10:13 with the others arriving just after 11. Policeman gets quite excited at a few people, and Ian missed the picture. George … and I go to Regents Park Zoo and meditate in the sun. To Krishna Temple for lunch and studio for 3PM”

Added in capital letters was the line, “Yoko [Ono], John and Ringo went to Paul and Linda’s for lunch it was very nice”. There was also a pen sketch of the Abbey Road scene.

“The original working title for Abbey Road was Everest, and the legendary cover was never in the plan at all,” an anniversary post on the Abbey Road website explained. “Engineer Geoff Emerick was smoking Everest cigarettes in the studio, and the band eventually took a liking to the stark image of their silhouettes against a white mountain. Everest became the working title of their then-unnamed 11th album. … Once the group decided that Nepal was out of the question, Paul McCartney then came up with the idea to take a photograph outside of EMI Studios on a break from recording.”

The article added that the image “satisfied the Beatles' desire for the world to see them walking away from the studios they had spent so much of the last seven years inside.”

 

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