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February 15, 2017

Unseen Photographs of The Beatles Record "All You Need Is Love" for a Global TV Audience of 400M People Across the Globe

On 24 June 1967, the Beatles arrived at EMI’s Abbey Road studios to rehearse their new single, “All You Need Is Love”. The next day they were due to perform the track as part of Our World, the world’s first global live broadcast, where they were billed alongside the likes of Pablo Picasso and opera singer Maria Callas in a kind of international variety show. After scant rehearsal of a song that Lennon had only finished writing a few days before, the Beatles played what became one of their most enduring singles to an audience of more than 400m people.

Tagging along was photographer David Magnus. The 23-year-old had met the band four years previously, when they performed at Stowe public school (manager Brian Epstein had been so impressed by one pupil’s letter requesting an appearance by the band that he squeezed in an impromptu show on their spring tour, where they played to schoolboys, sat on benches, who clapped politely at the end of each song).

The Beatles had been impressed by Magnus, who back then had been an assistant to their favourite photographer, Dezo Hoffmann, and so invited him to document the rehearsals for their live broadcast. “As I came from the EMI canteen, one of the female studio staff stopped me, put a hand on my shoulder and said to me, ‘I must touch you as you’ve been in the same room as The Beatles’,” he later recalled. “It was as if I carried an aura from the Beatles.”

David’s photos capture the band about to perform the most viewed gig in history, but are singular for their intimacy. The images show the band relaxing backstage away from the recording studio, enjoying cigarette breaks and even chilling out with Mick Jagger from The Rolling Stones.

Ringo enjoys a quick a cigarette break during the historic recording session, 1967.

Paul and John at rehearsals. The broadcast was the world’s first live, international, satellite television production.

The Beatles on the set at Abbey Road studios. The production reached over 400 million people across the globe.

Mick Jagger hangs out John Lennon. The Beatles invited a number of friends to see the recording, one of whom was Mick.

The Beatles at the EMI studios in Abbey Road, June 25, 1967.

Paul McCartney during recording.

George Harrison and Paul McCartney getting ready for the performance.

Paul McCartney writing a poster to his Aunt Milly in Australia which was then used in the show, 1967.

George and John grabbing a cup of tea during a break from rehearsals, 1967.

The Beatles performing All You Need Is Love at the Abbey Road Studios.

(Images © David Magnus)


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