Scottish photographer, Iain Macmillan (1938-2006), was introduced to the Beatles through Yoko Ono who he worked with in 1966: Iain included a photograph of her in “The Book of London”, a collection of his photographs published that year. She then commissioned Iain to document her exhibition at London’s Indica gallery, and as a result, Iain was introduced to John Lennon – establishing the Beatles connection. Subsequently, John Lennon invited Iain to photograph the Abbey Road cover.
On Friday, 8 August, 1969, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr walked over the zebra crossing next to Abbey Road studios. There and back. Three times. Six clicks of the shutter. Just six photographs, and the shoot was over. Three frames showing the Beatles crossing from left to right, and three walking from right to left. The same order in each of the six frames – John Lennon first in white, then Ringo Starr in black, Paul McCartney in grey, barefoot, holding a cigarette in his right hand (all three in Tommy Nutter suits) and at the back, a denim clad George Harrison.
The fifth frame of six, showing a left to right traverse, was chosen as the actual cover.