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Beatles fans come together for 50th anniversary of Abbey Road photo

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Beatles fans came together near London’s Abbey Road Studios on Thursday to mark the 50th anniversary of the band making one of the most iconic album covers of all time.

The picture of Britain’s legendary Fab Four walking over the pedestrian crossing outside the studios was shot for the sleeve of “Abbey Road”, their final studio album.

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The shot of John Lennon leading band mates Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison across Abbey Road is instantly recognised all over the world.

The idea stemmed from a sketch by McCartney of stickmen on the zebra crossing.

The picture was taken at around 11:35 am on August 8, 1969 by Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan.

The time of day was chosen to avoid fans, who knew that the band typically turned up at the studios in the mid-afternoon.

Macmillan stood on a stepladder in the street, while a policeman stopped the traffic.

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Macmillan took six frames, of which the fifth one was used — the only one with the band stepping in unison.

The photo shoot was over in about 10 minutes.

– Conspiracy theories –

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The album’s final recordings were done 12 days later on August 20.

“Abbey Road” was released on September 26 — six days after Lennon privately told his band mates he was quitting the group.

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Recorded after the troubled “Let It Be” album, which was eventually released on May 8, 1970, “Abbey Road” was made in a much happier atmosphere.

The album contained 17 tracks, including Harrison’s “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun”, Starr’s “Octopus’s Garden”, Lennon’s “Come Together”, and the closing medley of scraps of unfinished songs largely by McCartney.

The front cover, unusually, did not feature the name of the band or the album. However, the record, and its sleeve became cherished classics.

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The cover also fuelled the “Paul Is Dead” conspiracy theory.

Some people believed that McCartney having a cigarette in his right hand despite being left-handed proved he was an imposter, and saw hidden messages in him walking out of step with the others and being barefoot.

– Pilgrimage site –

Abbey Road Studios is in St. John’s Wood, a wealthy residential part of northwest London.

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Built in 1829, it was originally a nine-bedroomed house before being turned into the world’s first purpose-built recording studio, which opened in 1931.

AFP / CARL DE SOUZA McCartney’s London home is just around the corner

Initially a venue for classical recordings, it branched out to jazz, big bands and eventually rock and roll.

Some 190 of The Beatles’ 210 songs were recorded there, and McCartney’s London home is just around the corner.

It has drawn Beatles pilgrims from across the world ever since, with countless fans having walked over the zebra crossing, replicating the picture.

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The crossing is also continuously live-streamed on the studio’s website.

The studio, normally closed to the public, has given up trying to deter visitors from scrawling graffiti on the white garden wall and now encourages it, painting over the messages several times a year.

The crossing gained Grade II protected status in 2010, meaning that it is recognised as nationally important and of special interest.


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Trump made a ‘huge mistake’ talking to reporters about impeachment: Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann

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One of former special counsel Robert Mueller's top prosecutors explained on MSNBC how President Donald Trump made a "huge mistake" on Wednesday.

Andrew Weissmann, who is now an MSNBC legal analyst, was interviewed by Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press Daily."

The former federal prosecutor says Trump committed a blunder by denying a call with a Gordon Sondland staffer.

"Why is that?" Todd asked.

"Because he now can’t rebut it," Weissman replied.

"He has now said I don’t remember that phone call. So you’re going to have Sondland testifying to it. You’re going to have a staffer testifying to it," he explained. "If [Trump] doesn’t like their testimony, he’s going to have to say, 'Oh, now I remember that I didn’t say that.'"

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Republicans want Americans to believe Trump cared deeply — about something he never mentioned

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One of the main points made by Republicans during the House hearings on the impeachment claimed that President Donald Trump cared so deeply about corruption in Ukraine that he was holding back the funding. It wasn't bribery because it was all about legitimate foreign policy, according to Trump and the Republicans in Congress.

Their greatest problem is that Trump has never held back speaking out about something he cared for. As the Washington Post noted, the argument doesn't stand up.

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‘He can’t understand why what he did is wrong’: George Conway says Trump is incapable of being president

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Prominent Republican attorney George Conway ripped President Donald Trump on MSNBC on Wednesday.

Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, spent his day with MSNBC to provide live analysis on the first day of televised impeachment hearings.

"It’s also striking, George, that every defense falls apart almost before the end of a single news cycle," anchor Nicolle Wallace reported. "Everything that people have said in an effort to defend him has collapsed under the weight of the president’s conduct."

"What we just heard the president say is delusional," Conway replied. "And it’s debilitating."

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