It’s fair to say that out of all the records The Beatles produced, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the favourite of Paul McCartney—largely because he said the very same thing himself. Macca was the driving force behind the concept of the album and the idea that the band needed to get away from themselves.
By creating a new group, the persona of which they could slip in and out of, it meant that the Fab Four were free to let their creative minds run wild. It makes Sgt. Pepper one of the most forward-thinking rock and roll records of all time, with its songs sometimes strange, sometimes rooted in absurdity but always utterly beguiling.
One example of this method sees the combination of all three of those traits as McCartney produced a song based on the increase of stalkers he was getting. The song, ‘Fixing A Hole’, focused on the escalation of not only the numbers of fans utterly obsessed with the Beatle (and the rest of the band) but the level of obsession. Things hadn’t calmed down since Beatlemania had taken over.
The song’s main analogy, of fixing a broken section of one’s psyche or soul to stop the rain from getting in, is a universal one despite the problems that created being something only pop stars will really know about. McCartney said in 1967 of the song: “It’s really about the fans who hang around outside your door day and night. ‘See the people standing there/ They worry me, and never win/ And wonder why they don’t get in my door.’ If they only knew the best way to get in is not to do that, because obviously anyone who is going to be straight and be like a real friend is going to get in… but they simply stand there and give off the impression, ‘Dont let us in’.”
It’s a thought that would never happen today with most popstars either living in gated areas or having on-site security. However, things were different in the sixties and there was a sense that fans and popstars could live side-by-side. “I actually do enjoy having them in,” said McCartney in the same interview, “I used to do it more, but I don’t as much now because I invited one in once and the next day she was in The Daily Mirror with her mother saying we were going to get married.”
The song was rooted in the idea that if only it were possible to remove the rose-tinted glasses we may all be able to connect with one another as humans. It was a message that was put to the test when McCartney was readying to leave his St. John’s Wood home for the studio to record the song. In 1984, Macca said of the situation, “Strange story, though. The night we went to record that, a guy turned up at my house who announced himself as Jesus. So I took him to the session. You know—couldn’t harm, I thought.”
Whether it was curiosity, a duty of care or the opportunity for a few giggles, Macca took his saintly new friend to the studio. In 1968 the explained the story, “There were a lot of casualties about then. We used to get a lot of people who were maybe insecure or going through emotional breakdowns or whatever. So I said, ‘I’ve got to go to a session but if you promise to be very quiet and just sit in a corner, you can come.’ So he did, he came to the session and he did sit very quietly and I never saw him after that.”
Considering the band’s less than harmonious relationship with the Christian church, it seems fitting that a vision of their Lord should appear during the recording of the band’s most subversive record. As Macca neatly summarised in 1984 of the experience: “Introduced Jesus to the guys. Quite reasonable about it. But that was it. Last we ever saw of Jesus.”
Source: Beatles Interviews