Did Jimi Hendrix really memorize The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ two days after it was released?

Alex Johnston writes ...

Yes. It was actually three days after the album’s release that Hendrix played it at a concert in the Saville Theatre.

Memorising it, incidentally, is a feat well within the powers of even a middling rock musician. ‘Sgt Pepper’ the song isn’t exactly complicated, and Hendrix—a hugely gifted rock musician—had been playing by ear all his life.

What’s impressive is not that he memorised it so quickly, but that he worked out his own arrangement and rehearsed it so quickly, quick enough for McCartney and Brian Epstein to hear him play it within 72 hours of its release. That was one of Hendrix’s more generous tributes to another musician.

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