An astonishing series of photographs taken during the Beatles’ recording sessions for All You Need Is Love will go on display at Chelsea’s Proud Gallery on March 16. The shots were taken at Abbey Road’s EMI Studio 1 over the weekend of June 24-25 1967 and are part of the exhibition The Beatles Unseen: Photographs by David Magnus.
Magnus first photographed the Beatles in 1963 when he was just 19 years old and the then relatively unknown Liverpool band were playing a concert at Stowe School. The relationship between the band and the photographer developed from there, giving Magnus unprecedented access to the Fab Four as they went on to world domination.
The set of pictures going on sale (from £1,000) at Proud Gallery were taken during the first live, global satellite television production, which was broadcast to more than 400m people for the BBC’s Our World. “The Beatles wanted the studio to have a party atmosphere,” says Magnus, “so a great deal of time was spent decorating it. They were all dressed in colourful clothes and were surrounded by flowers and balloons.
“At one point, as I came from the EMI canteen, one of the female studio staff stopped me, put a hand on my shoulder and said, ‘I must touch you as you’ve been in the same room as the Beatles.’ It was as if I carried an aura from them. This, to me, sums up Beatlemania,” he adds.
“This is an incredible collection, perfectly capturing a key period in popular cultural history and a pivotal moment in the Beatles’ career,” says Proud’s senior gallery manager Amy Thornett. “Magnus’s signed, limited edition photographs, many previously unseen, include moments showing the band in breaks between recording, and shots of them making jokes. The casual intimacy between Magnus and his subjects is subtle but quite profound.”