Mal Evans’ diary, 8th August 1969

On the morning of 8th August 1969, as a policeman held back traffic, all four members of the Beatles made their way across a zebra crossing outside EMI Studios in London. As they walked in line, one after the other, with a ten minute window in which to get the job done, photographer Iain Macmillan stood atop a stepladder and snapped the Fab Four, capturing a moment that would become etched in musical history: the resulting image, chosen from just six shots, would later grace the cover of Abbey Road, the band’s eleventh album. That evening, Mal Evans, the Beatles’ road manager and personal assistant, briefly recalled and drew the iconic shoot in his diary.

The Diary Entry



Up at 8:30am, arriving at 9:45am. Ringo first at 10:15 with the others arriving just after eleven. 

Policeman gets quite excited at a few people, and Ian missed the picture. 

George Ferrari and I go to Regents Park Zoo and meditate in the sun. To Krishna temple for lunch and studio for 3pm. Yoko, John and Ringo went to Paul + Linda’s for lunch. It was very nice.



Further Reading

In November of 2023, Kenneth Womack’s Living the Beatles Legend: The Untold Story of Mal Evans will finally be published, “lavishly illustrated with unseen photos and ephemera from Mal’s archive.” It will be followed, a year later, by a collection of his diaries and manuscripts.

In 2005, the Times reprinted some excerpts from Mal Evans’ diaries.

Deconstructing: Abbey Road Cover Photography Session.

11 responses to “ABBEY ROAD”

  1. Hendrik Huizing Avatar

    These moments are always touching you never know how significant they really are until you start to recollect. Something as simple as walking a pedestrian crossing would grab so much attention, sadly, we can no longer live those times.

  2. Cultural history. What can we learn of importance from the attention they got?

  3. Looking forward to reading these excerpts!

  4. Love the Beatles and their iconic walk on Abbey Road—forever in my mind

  5. Very interested! Keep up the good work 😁

  6. The Beatles themselves referred to Mal as ‘the 5th Beatles.’ He was an invaluable asset to the band, and he died far too young!

  7. Push biking to work daily in past, Abbey Rd zebra permanently jammed with mainly unobservant foreign fans, a pain to navigate. Wheres Johns shoe ? I’m from Blackpool, pre Beatles, it was always said that they should have signed with Peenies the local Ice cream entrepreneur but he complained their hair was too long ! I witnessed Savile Row on the roof, and their first gig at the ABC in my home town. All their problems as a group began seriously, drugs not withstanding, with Lennon’s domestic life and not being able to adapt to their phenomenal global success, who could ? The Beatles for my generation will forever be embedded in our DNA, sad that the super successful always seem to end their days in failure and tragedy ? Maugham, Oscar,Dean, Guthrie, Brando, Monty,Beethoven,Monroe,Hayworth,Caesar, et al, but nobody lives forever.

  8. Magical Days in History.
    I use to live in the same village as Paul McCartney.
    He was just a normal lovely lad along with his family.
    I can tell you many stories but I won’t but apart from being generous, warm, humble and so normal.
    Thank you for your help 30 years ago from Linda and yourself.
    I still have that memory.

    James R-E C.C.W

  9. Peter D Alexandratos Avatar
    Peter D Alexandratos

    I walked that same street, crossing to Abbey road studios and again to the other side 4 times. A short trek.

  10. Lawrence Monteiro Avatar
    Lawrence Monteiro

    The Beatles famous walk on the Zebra crossing to Abbey road is immortalised and become the ‘Walk of Life’

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