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Paul McCartney explains the surprising way he came up with the name 'Sgt. Pepper'

A simple misunderstanding set the stage for one of music's greatest works.
/ Source: TODAY

“Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band” is a landmark album and song that may have happened because of a simple miscommunication.

In the new Hulu documentary “McCartney 3, 2, 1,” Paul McCartney reveals how the name “Sgt. Pepper” actually came to be before it became one of the Beatles’ most well-known and influential recordings.

“I was on a plane with our roadie, and we were eating,” McCartney says in an exclusive clip from the documentary that aired Thursday on TODAY.

“And he said, ‘Can you pass the salt and pepper?’ And I thought he said, ‘Sergeant Pepper.’ I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘Salt and pepper.’ I said, ‘Oh, OK. I thought you said, "Sergeant Pepper."' So we had a laugh about that, but then the more I thought about it, ‘Sergeant Pepper, that’s kind of a cool character.’”

The Beatles During Sergeant Pepper S Lonely Hearts Club Band Release
The Beatles during "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" release in London on May 20, 1967.Keystone-France / Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Released in 1967, “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band” is routinely cited as one of the greatest albums of all time.

"McCartney 3, 2, 1" features McCartney and producer Rick Rubin talking about the singer’s legendary career.

“Paul McCartney sits down for a rare in-depth one on one with Rick Rubin to discuss his groundbreaking work with The Beatles, the emblematic 70s arena-rock of Wings, and his 50 years and counting as a solo artist, in this six-episode series that explores music and creativity in a unique and revelatory manner,” Hulu said in a description about the documentary series.


The series is directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Zachary Heinzerling, who also helmed Beyonce’s 2013 documentary, “Self-Titled.”

"McCartney 3, 2, 1" will be available to stream beginning Friday.