Almanac Music – Famous Photo of Fab Four is Fifty!

Photo: Josephenus P. Riley, Wiki Commons


(To the introductory tune of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s…”)
It was fifty years ago today
a shot of Abbey Road went on display.
The epitome of grace and style,
it’s an image that just makes you smile!


(Or, perhaps, to the tune of “A Day in the Life”)
I read the news today, oh boy,
that Abbey Road will turn fifty today.
And though I was but just a lad,
today I’m still so glad
that it’s a glimpse I’ve had.


Released in late 1969, ‘Abbey Road’ went big immediately and lingered well into 1970. Those years were a pivotal time in my life, years which, to a large extent, shaped me to become the person I am – the end of secondary school and the start of university, a change from the rigidity of boarding school to the freedom of the Flinders Uni campus, a time when I met several of the people who were to become the great friends of my life, growth spurts and longer hair, sartorial disasters, all the usual insecurities and angst of that stage of life, commencing the never-ending challenge of trying to understand the female mind, challenges to a long-held world-view, the Vietnam moratorium marches, and on it goes.


And what a soundtrack – ‘Abbey Road’, ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’, ‘Deja vu’, ‘Cosmo’s Factory’, ‘Tapestry’, ‘Sweet Baby James’ to name but a few.


1969 was also the moon landing. Last weekend we went to see the documentary ‘Apollo 11’ – amazing in so many ways and, for me in particular, incredible given the modesty of the technology available for such an enormous challenge. Fifty years later, we’re still in awe.


1969 was also the year of Woodstock – in fact, the anniversary is next week. Just as well it sort of worked out then because, fifty years on, there’s no going back to Yasgur’s farm – it got canned last week.


So here’s a day when I remember Jack (RIP), Joe, Tubby, Broo, Trout, Fish, Sandy, Steiny, Glenda, Julie, Dale and Lorelle, Andy and Robert Winston Bartlett. Go well.


And what about you? How did it work for you?


And, as Molly used to say, “Do yourself a favour and pull out ‘Abbey Road’ today and remember the good times.”



Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you really enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE






About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A loyal Queenslander, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. Enjoys travel, coffee and cake, reading, and has been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. One of Footy Almanac's online editors who enjoys the occasional editing opportunity to assist aspiring writers.


  1. Lovely reminiscing, Ian.

    Abbey Road regularly gets played at my house. Happy to report that my three 20-something sons love it also.
    (I have a great pic of my three sons and I walking across Abbey Rd in 2013).

    “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make…”

  2. Thanks Ian. Listening to Side 2 of Abbey Road is a mighty fine way to spend twenty minutes.

  3. Smokie, let’s have that photo of you and your lads. I’ve been to Abbey Road a couple of times and it’s just one of those place that is a life experience for those of us of a certain vintage. And I love the little paraphernalia shop at the entrance to the St Johns Wood tube station. I bought my son a shirt there. What I like about the photo above is that you can see the recording studio in the background. Apparently the white fence out front has to be repainted regularly to remove all the fan graffiti that appears constantly!

    Mickey, I’ve had a busy day and have only just started listening to the album on my Sonos system now. Aaaahhhh! Time and place bring back wonderful memories. Like many, it took me a little while to ‘get’ Side 2 but now rate it as good as anything they did. George certainly came out of this album very well with ‘Something’ and “Here comes the sun’.

    And at the risk of ruining it all, I can’t help but agreeing that ‘Her Majesty’s as pretty nice girl’ as I slurp on a delectable glass (but nor a belly full) of riesling.

    But 50 years! How the hell did we get here so soon?

  4. PeterCrossing says

    Thanks Ian
    Great album
    Iconic photo
    Great year of music

    Some trivia, if I may be so bold.
    If the photo had been taken 11 days earlier (July 28) and the fab four had kept walking around the corner then the caption could have read:
    The Beatles take a break from recording the Abbey Road album and head to Lords to watch the Test match.
    England (190 and 340) vs New Zealand (169 and 131)
    In the final Innings on Monday 28 July 1969 Derek Underwood took 7/32 from 31 overs and Glen Turner carried his bat in making 43*.

    or if they had done it a day later (9 Aug) they may have seen
    BA Richards c JT Murray b AN Connolly 18 (Connolly 4/57 from 18 overs)
    in the County match Middlesex vs Hampshire

    Like the Beatles lyrics, ESPN cricket archive is a source of wondrous things

  5. E.regnans says

    Love it, Ian.
    Everything about that Abbey Road album seems spectacular.

    Like many others, we also have a magnificent family re-creation photo taken on that zebra crossing.
    Our daughters would have been around 7 and 8 years old. We all examined the Abbey Road cover kerbside and tried to imagine ourselves striking the corresponding pose. I was at front so I needed to have my hands in my pockets -that sort of thing. We all needed to be in mid-stride.
    “Dad. We have to look straight ahead! Don’t look at the camera!”

    After we had waited for our turn and taken our turn, we looked at the photo.
    “Mum! You’re the only one looking at the camera!”
    The buds had nailed it.
    The photo hangs on our kitchen wall – and Trinity is still ridiculed from time to time about not following team plans.

  6. Liam Hauser says

    A couple of other albums from 1969 worth noting: Crosby Stills and Nash’s self-titled debut, and The Who’s classic Tommy. And although Bridge Over Troubled Water was arguably the pick of many hugely popular albums from 1970, let’s not forget The Move’s great album Shazam, which deserved much higher recognition. Around the same time, the sensational Electric Light Orchestra (containing a few members from The Move) was about to get going.

  7. Hi Ian

    Place like Abbey Road, the 100 Club, Waterloo Bridge (Waterloo Sunset) are my places of pilgrimage when in the UK. I love this record cover and while it may not be The Beatles best album it’s in the top 5.

    Some other great albums from 1969 are Nashville Skyline, The Fabulous Charlie Rich, Johnny Cash at San Quentin, CCR’s Bayou Country, MC5’s Kick out the Jams, Sly & the Family Stone, Dusty in Memphis and of course, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Gilded Palace of Sin. Many more as well. It wasn’t a bad year for music.


Leave a Comment