Paul McCartney recalls how he came up with the title "Sgt. Pepper"

Paul McCartney recalls how he came up with the title “Sgt. Pepper”

In a recent episode of his podcast, “A Life in Lyrics“, which sees him as the protagonist of long conversations with the Pulitzer-winning Irish poet, Paul Muldoon, who edited the book “The Lyrics – Words and memories from 1956 to today”, Paul McCartney recalled once again how he got the idea for the title of the Beatles' 1967 album “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band“.

Speaking about the record, the former Fab Four looked back on how the name was born after a misunderstanding due to a miscommunication with a group assistant. “I was with our roadie Mal Evans“, McCartney said: “We were returning together from a trip abroad. We were on the plane and we were eating something when he muttered to me to pass salt and pepper, 'salt and pepper'. I misunderstood and replied: 'Sergeant Pepper?'. He said: 'No, salt and pepper.'” As already narrated on other occasions and as he recalled in a series of questions and answers on the album, Macca arrived at the idea for the title like this: “I thought it was a great idea and Therefore I started to think of 'Sergeant Pepper' as a character. I thought that it would be a very interesting idea for us to hire alter egos for the album we were about to make.”

During the recent episode of his podcast, in addition to underlining that episodes like these were part of the “Beatles, and me and John, who noticed the coincidences”, Paul McCartney thought back to how the Liverpool quartet had the idea for the cover of “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band”, created by Jann Haworth and Peter Blake and featuring a series of celebrities and well-known people. “I want each of us to make a list of our favorite charactersbecause we're going to put pictures of them in the picture,” McCartney recalled asking his Beatles bandmates.

During the podcast, the 81-year-old musician added: “If you have passion for something, you need to delve deeper and go further“. It's still: “I think I have always had a vision of totality when it comes to music, theatre, shows. So I've always been really into this Beatles thing. The idea we had a uniform was an original idea“.