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Jimi Hendrix cover The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’

Jimi Hendrix cover The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’

Jimi Hendrix cover The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’
May 17
09:43 2020

Jimi Hendrix was never shy to hide his admiration for artists he truly loved. There was no artist he valued more than The Beatles and, back in 1967, the iconic guitarist took things to the next level.

The night was June 4, 1967, Jimi Hendrix was stepping out on stage for his headline show at the Saville Theatre in London and, knowing that both Paul McCartney and George Harrison were in the audience, Hendrix decided to open the show with his rendition of Sgt. Pepper‘s title song.

Hendrix had been motoring around swinging London for a year or so when he was given his opportunity to shine in front of two of the Fab Four. He decided he had to pay tribute to the group with a simply sensational cover.

While opening your own show with a cover song was a ballsy move, it was the sheer fact that The Beatles had only released the song three days prior to that moment which caused the greatest shock. With the record being made available on the Thursday prior to the event, Hendrix had learned the song, perfected it and performed it live at his headline show by the Sunday.

“Jimi was a sweetie, a very nice guy. I remember him opening at the Saville on a Sunday night, 4th June 1967,” McCartney once recalled. “Brian Epstein used to rent it when it was usually dark on the Sunday. Jimi opened, the curtains flew back and he came walking forward, playing ‘Sgt. Pepper’, and it had only been released on the Thursday so that was like the ultimate compliment.”

Macca added: “It’s still obviously a shining memory for me, because I admired him so much anyway, he was so accomplished. To think that that album had meant so much to him as to actually do it by the Sunday night, three days after the release. He must have been so into it, because normally it might take a day for rehearsal and then you might wonder whether you’d put it in, but he just opened with it.

“It’s a pretty major compliment in anyone’s book. I put that down as one of the great honours of my career. I mean, I’m sure he wouldn’t have thought of it as an honour, I’m sure he thought it was the other way round, but to me, that was like a great boost.”

Back in 1967, McCartney was asked to review Hendrix’s new single ‘Purple Haze’. In the feature, McCartney didn’t hold back when effusing with praise for the mercurial guitarist: “Must be Jimi Hendrix,” he muses highlighting the impresario’s unique qualities. “So, Jimi freaks out and sounds all the better for it!” he continues. “It’s breaking out all over the place, you know.”

Referencing Hendrix’s riling of the establishment with his playing and garish stage costumes, “I thought it would be one of those things that people might keep down but it’s breaking through all over. You can’t stop it. Hooray. This is a good record too.”

McCartney clearly enamoured with the psychedelic spin Hendrix put on the sixties did however show his pop sensibilities, “I really don’t know whether it’s as commercial as ‘Hey Joe’ or ‘Stone Free’. I bet it is though. Probably will be. Fingers Hendrix. An absolute ace on the guitar. This is yet another incredible record from the great Twinkle Teeth Hendrix!”

It’s not only an indictment of The Beatles wide-ranging influence over music at that time but also of Hendrix’s supreme talent. As able to convey his own message through their song as he is his own, Hendrix proves that he is truly one of the best musicians of all time.

Here it is, Jimi Hendrix’s cover of The Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’:

Source: NME

Source: Jimi Hendrix cover The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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