Back in 1969, The Beatles recorded their 11th album at Abbey Road Studios. And it was 50 years ago today that the Fab Four walked across that famous zebra crossing for the album cover. With such an anniversary, it’s no surprise that thousands of Beatles fans have headed to the grade II listed crossing to celebrate. The original idea for the photo featuring John, Paul, George and Ringo, was based on an idea by McCartney.

On August 8, 1969 at 11:35am, photographer Iain Macmillan had just 10 minutes to snap The Beatles from a stepladder, while a policeman held up traffic.

Of the six photos take, McCartney chose the one that is now the Abbey Road album cover.

In the background of the shot was a parked Volkswagen Beetle, belonging to people living in a flat near the recording studios.

After the album was released, they saw their license plate stolen a number of times, so in the end, sold the car at auction.

The Abbey Road album cover was also analysed by conspiracy theorists who believed McCartney had died in 1966 and was replaced by a lookalike.

They argued that Lennon was dressed in white as a religious figure, followed by Starr in black (the undertaker), out of step and barefoot McCartney (a corpse) and then Harrison in denim (the gravedigger).

In the half a century since the photo was taken, it’s become of the most imitated images in music history.

McCartney even parodied it and the conspiracy theories surrounding his death with his 1993 live album cover, Paul is Live.

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ 12th and final studio album Let It Be.

And to coincide with it, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson is making a documentary film full of unseen footage from the studio recording.

In a statement, Jackson said: “The 55 hours of never-before-seen footage and 140 hours of audio made available to us, ensures this movie will be the ultimate ‘fly on the wall’ experience that Beatles fans have long dreamt about.

“It’s like a time machine transports us back to 1969, and we get to sit in the studio watching these four friends make great music together.

“I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth. After reviewing all the footage and audio that Michael Lindsay-Hogg shot 18 months before they broke up, it’s simply an amazing historical treasure-trove.”

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