Thursday, January 14, 2010

Paul McCartney on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"

"I was just thinking of nice words, like Sergeant Pepper and Lonely Hearts Club, and they came together for no reason. But after you have written that down you start to think, 'There's this Sergeant Pepper who has taught the band to play and got them going so that at least they found one number. They're a bit of a brass band in a way, but also a rock band in a way, but also a rock band because they've got the San Francisco thing.' And I had the idea that instead of Hells Angels, they put up pictures of Hitler and the latest Nazi signs and leather and that. We went into it just like that: just us doing a good show.

"There's no need to make things up. We started on interviewers who would say, 'What do you believe?' And we'd say, 'We do not believe in gold lamé suits: that's trying to glory it up and doesn't even do it well.' That detaches you from the real thing. That's why Daisy Hawkins wasn't any good -- it sounds like Daisy made-up. Billy Shears is another that sounds like a schoolmate but isn't. Possibly one day we'll meet all these people.

"Ringo's Billy Shears. Definitely. That was just in the production of 'Sgt. Pepper.' It just happened to turn out that we dreamed up Billy Shears. It was a rhyme for 'years' . . . 'band you've known for all these years . . . and here he is, the one and only Billy Shears.' We thought, that's a great little name, it's an Eleanor Rigby type name, a nice atmospheric name, and it was leading into Ringo's track. So as far as we were concerned, it was purely and simply a device to get the next song in."

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