Jimi Hendrix performed "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" live days after its release

As the legend goes, The Beatles released "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" on a Thursday and by that Sunday night Jimi Hendrix was on stage performing it with Paul McCartney in the audience. Paul confirms the story in his 1998 book Many Years from Now:

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.


June 4, 1967, Saville Theater

But wait, there is some debate about whether it was three days or eight, according to the Meet The Beatles For Real blog:

Did Jimi first hear "Sgt. Pepper" on a Friday and then perform it on a Sunday?
It makes for a great story.   Sgt. Pepper was released on June 1 and on the 4th Jimi Hendrix had memorized the entire song and worked it out well enough to perform it in front of an audience.   Sgt. Pepper was supposed to be released in the UK on June 1st.    However—-for reasons that I am not 100% sure about, the release date was pushed up to May 26, 1967 and some fans even were able to purchase it on May 25.      Hendrix had been in London since October of 1966.   So he would have been able to get a copy of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club band anytime after May 26.   While learning the song in 8 days is still impressive, it isn't  the "3 days" that everyone always claims unless someone knows that June 1 was the date Jimi first heard the song.

Whichever it is, it's still impressive as hell and amazing that footage of the show exists!