As the third month of 1967 came to a close, the process of recording Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was beginning to wind down. It was mostly a matter of wrapping up the loose ends, dotting the “i”s and crossing the “t”s, or whatever other cliche you’d like to use to represent the final stages of a project.

There had actually been a recording session after the previous night’s photo shoot, beginning at 11 P.M., during which additional guitar, bass, drum, tambourine, organ, and vocal parts were added to “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Today (Friday) organ and glockenspiel parts were recorded for “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” and both songs were mixed.

Also on this day, playing the first date of a tour with The Walker Brothers, Cat Stevens, and Engelbert Humperdinck at The Astoria London, Jimi Hendrix took everyone by surprise by setting his guitar on fire while performing the song “Fire.” According to music writer Keith Altham,

It was a strange situation, because it took him a little while to get it alight. He was having to dodge behind the amplifiers on the stage with a box of matches and it wasn’t going up. Eventually, he did get it going and it sort of took off quite spectacularly.

So spectacularly, in fact, that (according to Wikipedia) Jimi was taken to the hospital and treated for minor burns. This did not discourage him from further guitar immolations; he just refined his technique, and would have it perfected by the time he was filmed at Monterey Pop.

But that is sooooo far in the future at this point… just a couple months, but action-packed ones. Let’s take a deep breath before proceeding.

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