Abbey Road: Beatles fans gather to recreate cover shot

By Ella Wills
BBC News

media captionBeatles fans flooded Abbey Road to mark the anniversary

Thousands of fans made a pilgrimage to London's Abbey Road 50 years after the Beatles walked over its zebra crossing for the cover of the last album the band recorded.

The band was pictured striding across the road the album was named after on 8 August 1969.

Jaime Garri, 61, flew more than 14 hours from Santiago, Chile, to mark the 50th anniversary.

"You have to say thank you to them for giving us such lovely music," he said.

The image of John Lennon, Sir Ringo Starr, Sir Paul McCartney and George Harrison outside the EMI Studios in St John's Wood is one of music's most iconic moments.

image copyrightIain Macmillan, courtesy Apple Corps/via REUTERS
image captionThe Beatles in their iconic Abbey Road cover shot

Since the release of the Liverpool group's 11th studio album, the zebra crossing has become a tourist hotspot for devout fans who stop traffic to pose for pictures on the same spot.

And on Thursday, crowds came together in droves to recreate the moment once more.

'Love and positivity'

Fans at the event were in high spirits and many dressed up as their heroes in tribute to the band.

Momo Raickovic, who dressed as Harrison, told BBC News that the scene outside the studio was "magical", with groups bursting into renditions of their favourite Beatles songs.

image captionMomo Raickovic chose to dress as his "hero" George Harrison

Having travelled from Toronto, Canada, to visit the site for the first time the 27-year-old said the experience was beyond his "wildest dreams".

"To me their music means love, positivity and happiness. Their songs spread the positive message and that was evident in people here," he added.

image captionJaime Garri flew from Chile to pay tribute to the Liverpool group

Mr Garri, who has visited the crossing eight times, said he continued to return because the album cover was "perfect" and captured a time shortly before the band's split in 1970.

Speaking over the honking sound of frustrated motorists held up by fans, Mr Garri added that he admired the band for "their music and their way of life".

They were "the kind of people that give you joy and pleasant moments in life", he said.

image captionDaniela Geber jetted in to London for the day from Vienna, Austria

Daniela Geber, 52, from Vienna, Austria, jetted in to the capital at 08:30 BST for a day trip to the crossing.

On her first visit to London, she said: "I told myself I would stand on Abbey Road on the 50th anniversary. People came from all over the world, old and young. I feel like I am not alone.

"You know it's good music when it spans generations. This music will never die."

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionA Paul McCartney impersonator proposes to his girlfriend surrounded by a group of Beatles lookalikes

Fans of the group were also joined by a Beatles lookalike band, who arrived in a replica of Lennon's Rolls Royce car.

Transport for London said two bus routes were briefly diverted as queues to cross the road blocked access.

Abbey Road Studios invited people to have their photo taken against a cardboard backdrop of the original Beatles image in their car park amid the crowds.

Photographer Iain Macmillan took six shots of the group during a 10-minute break from the nearby studio.

The modest shot of the musicians on the pedestrian crossing on the B507 road went on to adorn the cover of the last album the foursome recorded - although Let It Be was the last album the group released.

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