It was 54 years ago today (June 25th, 1967) that the Beatles performed “All You Need Is Love,” which was broadcast live via global satellite to an estimated 400 million viewers. The Beatles were representing the U.K. in the Our World TV special, which was the first major televised hookup linking five continents.
The Beatles were riding high on the success of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which had been released earlier that month. For the broadcast, the four Beatles were surrounded by such high-profile guests as Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithful, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Keith Moon, George Harrison's wife Pattie Boyd, Paul McCartney's girlfriend Jane Asher, his brother Mike “McGear” McCartney, Graham Nash, and numerous other assorted friends and family.
The Beatles, who sat on high stools in Abbey Road Studio Number One, were decked out in their finest Swinging London apparel, with John Lennon, who composed the song, sitting center stage without an instrument. Although the Beatles were playing live, over the preceding ten days they had recorded a basic track to play along to, which included Lennon on harpsichord, Paul McCartney on double bass, George Harrison's lead guitar solo, and Ringo Starr's drums.