On July 5th 2007 Foo Fighters played a secret show at the Dingwalls club in London, United Kingdom. Two days later they were booked to play at the Live Earth event at Wembley stadium and the Dingwalls show was booked to serve as a warm up. During the set the band played the Paul McCartney and Wings track 'Band On The Run' with Grohl noting beforehand that they had only learnt the song the day before. Two days later, shortly before beginning their Live Earth performance, Grohl spoke to a reporter from Rolling Stone and told them that the band had in fact recorded 'Band On The Run' at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in the city, noting that Paul McCartney himself had visited the studio whilst they did so.
On July 8th Foo Fighters guitar tech Joe Beebe updated the tour blog section of his website offering more details on the studio session including the date it took place, July 4th. Beebe commented that he was "a little sceptical" about the song choice but went on to claim that "the Foos owned it, it sounds so great". Beebe also confirmed the Rolling Stone report of a special guest appearance, noting "Sir Paul himself stopped in to say hi. In a true politician style... shaking hands and kissing babies... he was quite charming and funny... and left as quick as he arrived".
In 2008 McCartney himself commented on his visit to the studio during the session. “Foo Fighters did a cover of Band on the Run, and someone told me they were down at Abbey Road recording it, so I dropped in and surprised them" he told The Liverpool Daily Post. “Dave was putting the guitar track down, it was great. I just busted in the session, ruined it I suppose, and said ’Hi’ to everyone." he continued. “It kind of reminded me of a Wings session, which was good for me because they were doing Band on the Run, but Dave’s wife had their baby there, which reminded me of how me and Linda would be. Often, one of the babies would be at the recording session, or would be playing around on the floor. You don’t see that so much now" he said in conclusion.
Initially it was not clarified by the band nor Beebe why the band had recorded the cover but in September 2007 BBC Radio 1 revealed the purpose. The station was celebrating its 40th anniversary since first broadcasting and to commemorate the event they had asked various artists if they would record a cover track from those past 40 years to feature on a double CD, entitled 'Established 1967'. Each artist were given a year between 1967 and 2007 and were to select any song from that year to cover.
Foo Fighters agreed to participate and were given the year 1974, electing to record the Paul McCartney and Wings track. Whilst several other acts that featured on the record gave interviews to the BBC explaining their song choice Grohl was not available to do so and to date nobody from the band has explained the reason for their song choice. The Radio 1 album featuring the Foo Fighters track was released on October 1st 2007 and the track was also included on the 2011 Foo Fighters compilation album 'Medium Rare'.