Empty Abbey Road
This photo is currently being auctioned off by reputed auction house Bonhams. They describe it as from Iain Macmillan’s collection, the photographer who took the photos for the “Abbey Road” Beatles album cover. Seemingly a vintage photo from possibly around or indeed the same day, August 8, 1969 as he took the Beatles photos, Iain or someone else has experimented with this print, superimposing a modern day photo of an Abbey Road street sign into the sky above.
As the story goes, the owner of the VW Beetle parked his car there and then went on a holiday, so the car was parked there for a few days. It’s certainly there in the photo taken probably the day before, with stand-ins walking across, in order to give Macmillan an idea of what it would, look like on the day, so that he could adjust the settings of his camera.
Another adjustment he made was to bring along a stepladder in order to shoot the scene from above street level. The new (at least to us) photo is clearly taken from the stepladder, but it’s narrower than the Beatles photos, although the print may have been a cropped version of the photo, in order to make a poster.
Here’s what Bonhams are saying: 1969, original vintage photographic print of the zebra crossing on Abbey Road, without the Beatles but with the faint ‘Abbey Road’ sign visible at the top, supposedly a mock-up whilst working on the cover for The Beatles ‘Abbey Road’ album covers, with photographer’s stamp on the verso, unnumbered and unsigned, 12in x 16in (30.5cm x 40.5cm),
Property from The Iain Macmillan Collection.