On June 25, 1967, performers representing 19 countries from around the world appeared on Our World, the first international television production broadcast by satellite. An estimated 400 million viewers watched the two-and-a-half hour program, which featured talent including Pablo Picasso and Maria Callas and was closed out by a performance of “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles.
The photographer David Magnus, a friend of and regular collaborator with the band, was on hand to take pictures of the historic gig. Now, his photos will be on display (and sale) for the first time ever in the United States beginning June 1 at New York City’s Morrison Hotel Gallery, and in this story Town & Country has an exclusive peek.
“It’s not every day you find never before seen pictures of the most photographed band in history,” says curator and gallery owner Peter Blachley.
“Over the years, we’ve worked with a lot of Beatles photographers but were so excited to find out that there was David, this person who had really been there and who had amazing access. When I looked at the photographs, I immediately knew they were historic and would be great for a show with us.”
To hear Magnus tell it, what makes the pictures so special is that they show a side of the band that the public rarely saw. “This was the biggest group in the world, but when they went to the canteen, it was just four guys having a cup of tea,” he says. “Underneath it all, these were ordinary guys who were in a band.”
And why, when so many photos of the Beatles have become legendary, has this set—being exhibited as Fifty Years Later: The Beatles – All You Need Is Love—managed to remain under-the-radar?
“I think when people are looking at pictures for commercial use, they sometimes don’t pick the best pictures. I shot these in a way more like reportage, and not one of these pictures—except the one with the balloon—was posed,” Magnus says. “I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.”