Today Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in the U.S. in both mono and stereo. Whereas previous Beatles albums had been hacked to bits by Capitol Records — with Revolver, for instance, having three songs deleted — Sgt. Pepper was almost complete, lacking only the dog whistle and runout groove after “A Day in the Life.”

As people on both sides of the Atlantic were absorbing the new album, The Beatles were in the studio filling reel after reel of tape with untitled instrumental jams that Mark Lewisohn calls  “unplanned, highly tedious and — frankly — amateurish.” Maybe they were on drugs, maybe they were just blowing off steam — they’d earned the right to fuck around a little, anyway. They did manage to finish “It’s All Too Much,” which was immediately locked away in the sealed vault reserved for unwanted George songs. It would be seen again only when material was needed to fill out the Yellow Submarine album.

As the weekend got underway, I’ll bet that Paul and George were psyched because they had tickets to see the Jimi Hendrix Experience on Sunday. They had a surprise in store for them. More on that later.

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