”Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” could have been a totally different album altogether, were it not for a simple misunderstanding.
McCartney said in an interview posted to his website on May 25 that the idea behind the record, which celebrated its 50th anniversary Thursday, all emanated from him mishearing Evans asking him to “pass the salt and pepper.”
“I thought he said Sergeant Pepper,” said McCartney. “I went, ‘Oh! Wait a minute, that’s a great idea!’”
After having “a laugh about it,” the 74-year-old musician said he immediately “started thinking about Sergeant Pepper as a character.”
“I thought it would be a very interesting idea for us to assume alter egos for this album we were about to make,” he added.
The rest, as they say, is music history.
Read the full interview on McCartney’s website here.