McCartney and Harrison watch Jimi Hendrix in London

8.00pm, Sunday 4 June 1967 (46 years ago)

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr had first seen The Jimi Hendrix Experience performing on 11 January 1967 at the Bag O’Nails club in London. On this day McCartney, George Harrison, Jane Asher and Pattie Boyd watched them headline a bill at the city’s Saville Theatre.

The bill also included Denny Laine & His Electric String Band, The Chiffons and Procol Harum. Hendrix opened his set with a version of the title track from The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, which had been released just three days before.

It would be one of his first gigs in London. Jimi was a sweetie, a very nice guy. I remember him opening at the Saville on a Sunday night, 4 June 1967. 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. 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.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

Here’s a performance of the song by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, recorded on 22 December 1967:

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