Song facts: Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

In November of 1966, when McCartney was on a flight back to England with Mal Evans, he came up with the concept for Sgt Pepper. The idea behind it was that as a band The Beatles were tired of touring and being Beatles; with Pepper they could create an alter-ego.  

"I thought it would be nice to lose our identities, to submerge ourselves in the persona of a fake group. We could make up all the culture around it and collect all our heroes in one place." - Paul McCartney

It is alleged that McCartney was inspired to come up with the name after Evans asked him what the S and P stood for on the salt and pepper shakers on their plane.  


The Beatles recorded the opening track for Pepper at Abbey Road Studios, on February 1st 1967. Nine takes were recorded in total, with the first and last takes being the only completed versions of the song.

McCartney took lead guitar with Harrison on rhythm guitar and backing vocal - Lennon provided backing vocal while Ringo played drums. The audience chatter at the beginning of the track was recorded by George Martin in the early '60s. 


  • Paul McCartney – lead vocal, bass guitar, lead guitar, rhythm guitar
  • John Lennon – backing vocal
  • George Harrison – backing vocal, rhythm guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums
  • George Martin – organ, producer
  • Neill Sanders – French horn
  • James W. Buck – French horn
  • Tony Randell – French horn
  • John Burden – French horn


Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club band was released on June 1st 1967. The opening track was subsequently issued as a single in 1978, featuring With a Little Help from My Friends as the B-side.

Take five of the song was released on The Beatles' Anthology 2 album in 1996.

 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, 1967. 

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, 1967. 

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