Iain Stewart Macmillan

20 Oct 1938
8 May 2006
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Iain Stewart Macmillan (20 October 1938 – 8 May 2006) was the Scottish photographer famous for taking the cover photograph for The Beatles’ album Abbey Road in 1969. After growing up in Scotland, he moved to London to become a professional photographer. He used a photo of Yoko Ono in a book he published in 1966 and was invited by Yoko to photograph her exhibit at Indica Gallery. She introduced him to John Lennon. John invited him to be the photographer for the cover of Abbey Road. He worked with the Lennons for several years even staying for a while at their home in New York.

Macmillan was born in Dundee, Scotland. He attended the High School of Dundee and graduated in 1954. He worked as a trainee manager at a jute mill.

Macmillan worked for John and Yoko until 1971, doing such work as:

  • The cloud on the album cover for Live Peace in Toronto.
  • Photos on the album Some Time in New York City.
  • The wedding cake in the Wedding Album.
  • Yoko’s book Flies.
  • The cover photo on Yoko’s book Grapefruit.
  • The merging heads label of John and Yoko’s vinyl single “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”.
  • The merging heads label of John and Yoko’s album Some Time In New York City.
  • Kenny Rogers And The First Edition – cover photograph of Something’s Burning, 1970.

In the 1970s, Macmillan taught photography part-time at college in Stoke-on-Trent. In 1980 He took the cover photo for the album Hinge and Bracket at Abbey Road which was a parody of the Beatles photo. In the 1980s, his work was on exhibit in the US, Britain and Europe. The BBC used some of his photos in the series The Rock ‘n’ Roll Years. After the death of his mother, Macmillan moved back to Carnoustie, Scotland. On 22 July 1993, he photographed Paul McCartney at Abbey Road on the zebra crossing, this time with only an Old English Sheepdog. The shot was used on the cover of Paul is Live album.

On 8 May 2006, at the age of 67, Macmillan died of lung cancer.

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