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5th Beatle

Analyzing the Iconic Beatles' Abbey Road Album Cover

5th Beatle thanks to Keith Blake

Fab Four lore... The Beatles were falling apart in 1969. During the disastrous 'Let It Be' sessions, the working title for their LP was 'Everest', for engineer Geoff Emerick's favourite brand of cigarettes, with plans initially called for the band members to charter a private jet to the Himalayas and shoot the cover photo there. With EMI desperate for product, and the group fanning its last few creative embers, they settled on a far simpler and closer concept: a shot of the quartet (George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon) strolling through the crosswalk outside their studio on Abbey Road. Around 11:30AM on August 8, 1969, with traffic blocked, and photographer Iain Macmillan toting a ladder into the middle of the street, they got the photo shoot done in roughly 10 minutes... but no one noticed the fifth Beatle in the background...

"I remember we hired a policeman to hold up traffic while I was up on the ladder taking the pictures," Macmillan later told The Guardian. "The whole idea, I must say, was Paul McCartney's. A few days before the shoot, he drew a sketch of how he imagined the cover, which we executed almost exactly that day. I took a couple of shots of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road one way. We let some of the traffic go by and then they walked across the road the other way, and I took a few more shots. The one eventually chosen for the cover was number five of six. It was the only one that had their legs in a perfect 'V' formation, which is what I wanted stylistically."

The Abbey Road cover design was kept simple by not including the band's name or the album's title, which ironically fuelled more interest in the LP: fans focussed on the incidental details of the shot (i.e. Paul McCartney wasn't wearing shoes; the license plate on a car in the background reading 'LMW 281F'; the shadowed pedestrian eyeing the Beatles' stroll from the distance).

Post Note: Paul McCartney celebrated his 77th birthday on June 18, 2019

QuotaBills
Jazz is democracy in music. - Wynton Marsalis

Love is a friendship set to music. - Joseph Campbell

He has Van Gogh's ear for music. - Billy Wilder

Music is spiritual. The music business is not. - Van Morrison

My music isn't just music - it's medicine. - Unknown

My music is best understood by children and animals. - Igor Stravinsky

Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end. - Igor Stravinsky

Dancing can reveal all the mystery that music conceals. - Charles Baudelaire

Modern music is three farts and a raspberry, orchestrated. - John Barbirolli

Don't play what's there - play what's not there. - Miles Davis

Music is my mistress, and she plays second fiddle to no one. - Duke Ellington

Learning music by reading about it is like making love by mail. - Luciano Pavarotti

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. - Bob Marley

Life is a rich strain of music, suggesting a realm too fair to be. - George William Curtis

If in the afterlife there is not music, we will have to import it. - Domenico Cieri Estrada

Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist. - G K Chesterton

Nothing is capable of being well set to music that is not nonsense. - Joseph Addison

Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune. - Kin Hubbard

All music is folk music. I ain't never heard no horse sing a song. - Louis Armstrong

Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music. - George Carlin

Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music. - William Stafford

Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing. - John Erskine

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. - Aldous Huxley

The truest expression of a people is in its dance and in its music. Bodies never lie. - Agnes De Mille

Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think that people own it. - John Lennon

Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours. - Elton John

Just as Jesus created wine from water, we humans are capable of transmuting emotion into music. - Carlos Santana

Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought. - E Y Harburg

It is simply my life, music. I live it, breathe it, talk with it. I am almost unconscious of it. - Arthur Rubinstein

The Volkswagen Group has proved that it can remain firmly on track even when the terrain is slippery. - Martin Winterkorn

I think Paul McGuinness and U2 created the Irish music industry. It certainly wasn't there before that. - Van Morrison

All is beautiful and unceasing, all is music and reason, and all, like diamond, is carbon first, then light. - Jose Martin

What sounds to you like a big load of trashy noise... is in fact... the brilliant music of a genius... myself. - Iggy Pop

What's the earth with all its art, verse, music, worth -
Compared with love, found, gained, and kept? - Robert Browning

Music is by far the most wonderful method we have to remind us each day of the power of personal accomplishment. - Chris S Salazar

The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular? - David Sarnoff

Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid. - Frank Zappa

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water bath is to the body. - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Reporter to Beatles during their first US tour: "How do you find America?"
Ringo Starr: "Turn left at Greenland." - Ringo Starr

I've seen whales calving in the waters off Maui, and I've watched my children being born. But music is the most beautiful thing of all. - Steven Tyler


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