More from year 1967
Feb 03, 1966
February 23 or 24, 1966
Mar 24, 1966
Jun 12, 1966
Dec 01, 1966
Jan 08, 1967
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On this night, Paul (joined by his girlfriend Jane Asher) and George Harrison (joined by his wife Patti) watched them headline a bill at the Saville Theatre (owned by The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein).
Jimi Hendrix opened his set with a version of The Beatles’ “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band“, which had been released on the eponym album just three days before.
The biggest single tribute for me was that Sgt. Pepper was released on the Thursday and, on the Sunday, we went to the Savile Theatre and Jimi Hendrix opened up with ‘Sgt Pepper’ and he’d only had since Thursday to learn it.Paul McCartney – From “Eyewitness: Jimi Hendrix” by Johnny Black, 2004
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 – From “Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now” by Barry Miles, 1997
A few days later, Paul McCartney was in Los Angeles and met John Phillips and Lou Adler, the organizers of the Monterey International Pop Festival. He recommended they book Jimi Hendrix for their festival. Jimi’s performance at Monterey in June 1967 launched his US career.
Aside from The Jimi Hendrix Experience, the bill also included the Stormsville Shakers, Procol Harum, The Chiffons and Denny Laine & the Electric String Band. According to Denny Laine, this concert led Paul McCartney to ask him, some years later, to join his new band, what would become Wings, in July 1971.
I knew Paul like I say, we used to go and see Dylan in his hotel room or we’d go hang out with Donovan or we’d go see Jimi Hendrix. We’d see people. As I say, I knew all The Beatles at the time, but he was the one in London. He was the one who lived in London. Although I was based out of London, I spent a lot of time in London. I hung around a lot in London just to be part of the scene. Paul and I would actually go out to places together. I used to do it with John, but not as much. Anyway, the fact that we knew each other obviously is when we got Wings together. I think the reason he called me is because he saw me doing my own thing with Jimi Hendrix and one night playing at one of his gigs, at the Saville Theatre actually. It was owned by Brian (Epstein) at the time. I had this thing called The Electric String Band and it went down really well that night. A few months after that, Paul called me because obviously, he wanted something different. He couldn’t copy The Beatles. I couldn’t go out and do The Moody Blues. So we had to do something different. He needed somebody as a friend who would be into doing something experimental and that’s what Wings turned out to be. It was really because he knew me and we got on well. So it was an easier job than if he picked a stranger who might’ve been in awe of him and been a bit scared around him. He picked me because of that reason, I think.Denny Laine – From Gary James’ Interview With Denny Laine Of The Moody Blues And Wings (classicbands.com)
How did your involvement in Wings come about?
Well, we knew The Beatles because The Moodies were one of the opening acts on their second tour. I knew George very well, he was a close neighbor, and I became friends with Paul who had seen me performing as an opening act for Jimi Hendrix at the Saville Theatre. And because he was impressed with seeing me trying to do something different onstage with my Electric String Band, and because we became friends, that inspired him to call me because he wanted to do something new and different…..and Wings was formed. We then went up to Scotland away from the public and press and played together and worked on material for the first Wings album called ‘Wild Life’ and eventually we became a touring band.Denny Laine – From Denny Laine reflects on Moody Blues, Wings years before Boston show – masslive.com, January 2019
It seems like Paul was looking for you to be more than a hired gun when he asked you to start Wings with him.
Yeah, definitely. I wasn’t doing Moody Blues stuff, I was going out there and doing my own stuff; I would play “Go Now” and a couple of things. I had a little band called the Electric String Band, that was violins and cellos and a (rock) band, so that was kind of like ELO in a way. So (Paul) saw me do that with Jimi Hendrix at a theater — John and Peter Asher saw that show too. (Paul) saw me doing something like that and said that’s what he wanted to do, something more experimental. That’s why we kind of went in a completely different direction to what he had been doing. We got lucky with it.Denny Laine – From Highway 81 Revisited, June 2019
You ended up opening up for Jimi Hendrix when you were in the Electric String Band, what was that experience like?
I actually saw Jimi Hendrix in London with Paul (McCartney). We were all pretty good friends with all of those bands, especially The Animals. It was Eric Burdon who suggested Justin Heyward for the Moody Blues. Anyway, I saw Jimi and I kinda knew him afterwards, because I knew his band members. I knew Noell (Reading) and I knew Mitch (Mitchell). I knew that crowd. It was all part of the London scene.
So we did the show, well we cancelled the first show because my bass player was sick and it was very intriguing stuff. So the second show that I did, Paul was in the audience along with John (Lennon) and Peter Asher and they were pretty impressed because it went down really well. Jimi was impressed because he paid me a compliment. That led to Paul calling me up a few months later after Ginger Baker. So he called me and asked if I wanted to get something together. I said, absolutely why not?From Denny Laine Interview | North Coast Music (northcoastmusicbeat.com)
Last updated on March 11, 2023
"With greatly expanded text, this is the most revealing and frank personal 30-year chronicle of the group ever written. Insider Barry Miles covers the Beatles story from childhood to the break-up of the group."
We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!
If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.