Sir Paul McCartney will take to the stage at Glastonbury tonight – 55 years to the day of the Beatles biggest ever show.
Paul McCartney is due to perform on Glastonbury’s famed pyramid stage – which has a record crowd of 300,000 – at 9:30pm on Saturday June 25.
The rock legend – who turned 80 last Saturday – will become the festival’s oldest-ever solo headliner.
The much-anticipated gig comes exactly 55 years after the Beatles reached their biggest-ever audience on the world’s first global TV broadcast.
It was 55 years ago today: (Left to right) George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon stand behind Paul McCartney at the famed Abbey Road Studios in 1967
Paul McCartney, 80, (pictured playing in 2014) will headline Glastonbury’s famous pyramid stage at 9:30pm on Saturday June 25
The Beatles’ performance of All You Need Is Love was watched by hundreds of millions of people in 24 countries across five continents
The Beatles were at the height of their fame in when the performance was aired, having released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band just a few weeks earlier. It was also the height of flower power and the 1967 summer of love
John Lennon and Paul McCartney speak to the press ahead of the show. Lennon wrote the song specially for the performance
The Beatles performed All You Need is Love to around 400 million people across 24 countries on June 25 1967 – live from the famed Abbey Road Studios.
There was also a star-studded audience in the studio – including Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, The Who drummer Keith Moon and singer Marianne Faithful among others.
John, Paul, George and Ringo were at the peak of their powers during the performance, having just released Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band a few weeks earlier – still considered one of the greatest albums of all time.
Sitting on high chairs and surrounded by a vibrant display of balloons, flowers and placards, The Beatles performed the song live for the first time, along with a thirteen-piece orchestra and a few pre-recorded backing tracks.
Craig Brown, author of Beatles biography One Two Three Four, describes watching the performance as ‘like finding the Summer of Love in a grain of sand.’
The group was Britain’s entry in the Our World TV show – the first worldwide satellite broadcast, which included live performances from around the globe.
The band left it late to decide which song they were going to perform for the worldwide show, with John Lennon saying ‘Oh God, is it that close? I suppose we better write something.’
Although Paul’s new song Hello, Goodbye was suggested for the show, the band decided the hippie message of All You Need Is Love was what they wanted to send out around the world
Ringo remembered the joy of the performance years later, saying ‘It was for love and bloody peace. It was a fabulous time.’
The show watched by 400 million people came a year after the Beatles stopped performing live gigs
McCartney and Lennon co-wrote around 200 songs together. The band’s record of 20 number one singles and 15 number one albums has never been beaten
The Beatles released All You Need Is Love as a single in July 1967 and it shot to number one in countries all over the world
Although Paul suggested his newly-written song Hello, Goodbye, the band decided John’s All You Need Is Love was the message they wanted to send to a global audience.
Drummer Ringo Starr said in the Beatles Anthology documentary in 1994: ‘We were big enough to command an audience of that size, and it was for love.
‘It was for love and bloody peace. It was a fabulous time. I even get excited now when I realise that’s what it was for – peace and love, people putting flowers in guns.’
The Beatles performed All You Need Is Love to their biggest ever audience and remixed the recording the next day before releasing it as a single in July 1967 – it was a number one hit all over the world during the famed summer of love.
Fans at Glastonbury will be hoping to see Sir Paul perform All You Need Is Love 55 years after the broadcast as part of his hit-filled setlist of Beatles and solo songs.
Paul McCartney already took to the stage in a surprise pre-Glasto gig in Frome, Somerset on Friday night (June 24) to an audience of 800 at the Cheese and Grain venue.
He will perform on the Pyramid stage following sets by Wolf Alice and Robert Plant on Friday, before Diana Ross, Lorde and Kendrick Lamar cap off the iconic festival on Sunday.
Sir Paul McCartney, 80, played a surprise gig at the Cheese and Grain in Frome, Somerset, ahead of his show on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury on Saturday night (June 25)
Around 800 people managed to get their hands on tickets for the warm-up gig – the crowd at Glastonbury is expected to be in the hundreds of thousands
Sir Paul was in good spirits as he left the Frome show, which caused traffic jams as fans tried to squeeze in to see him