Friday, February 22, 2008

Abbey Road Album Cover

The album Cover for The Beatles' "Abbey Road" LP is one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century. The Fab Four are walking across a street in a straight line and dressed their ‘normal ‘attire’ for the time.

Also in this famous shot of the Beatles walking across London’s Abbey Road is a man staring at them in the distance. That man was Paul Cole. Cole, a longtime resident of Barefoot Bay, Florida.

Cole explained in 2004 how he came to be there at that precise moment for the front cover of the group’s classic 1969 album.

On a London vacation with his wife, Cole declined to enter a museum on the north London thoroughfare.

“I told her, ‘I’ve seen enough museums. You go on in, take your time and look around and so on, and I’ll just stay out here and see what’s going on outside,’” he recalled.

Parked just outside was a black police van. “I like to just start talking with people,” Cole said. “I walked out, and that cop was sitting there in that police car. I just started carrying on a conversation with him. I was asking him about all kinds of things, about the city of London and the traffic control, things like that. Passing the time of day.”

In the picture, Cole is standing next to the police van.

It was 10 a.m., Aug. 8, 1969. Photographer Iain McMillan was on a stepladder in the middle of the street, photographing the four Beatles as they walked, single-file, across Abbey Road, John Lennon in his famous white suit, Paul McCartney without shoes. The entire shoot lasted 10 minutes.

“I just happened to look up, and I saw those guys walking across the street like a line of ducks,” Cole remembered. “A bunch of kooks, I called them, because they were rather radical-looking at that time. You didn’t walk around in London barefoot.”

About a year later, Cole first noticed the “Abbey Road” album on top of the family record player (his wife was learning to play George Harrison’s love song “Something” on the organ). He did a double-take when he eyeballed McMillan’s photo.

“I had a new sportcoat on, and I had just gotten new shell-rimmed glasses before I left,” he says. “I had to convince the kids that that was me for a while. I told them, ‘Get the magnifying glass out, kids, and you’ll see it’s me.’”

And so it goes, a famous LP with a not so famous gent, who just happened to be there.


This from the AP wire, that massive record collection has been sold on ebay:

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Paul Mawhinney has gotten rid of his old records. But it wasn't at a garage sale. The Pittsburgh-area man has sold his collection of nearly three million albums for just over three million bucks. The massive cache includes vinyl albums, singles and CDs. Mawhinney, who's legally blind, says he now can afford to retire. The buyer of the record collection is from Ireland. An eBay spokesman says the three mil price tag is 1 of the highest ever on the Internet auction site.