Paul McCartney: Elvis Presley Inspired The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’

Paul McCartney and Elvis Presley are two of the most famous rock stars ever. However, Paul’s career wouldn’t be the same without Elvis. Here’s a look at how the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll inspired The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Elvis Presley |Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Elvis Presley’s first movie wasn’t supposed to be a musical

Early in his career, Elvis starred in a musical called Love Me Tender. Love Me Tender was a drama that touched on the American Civil War. While it wasn’t originally supposed to be a musical, Elvis for Dummies reports four songs were added to make the film work as a vehicle for Elvis. Most of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s subsequent films would be musicals as well.

The world responded positively to Love Me Tender. According to the book Elvis Presley: Silver Screen Icon, the film was a financial success. In addition, the title song remains popular, appearing in films like Wild at Heart and Ready or Not. In the former, the song was performed by none other than Nicolas Cage, who married Lisa Marie Presley. Both a song from Love Me Tender and Elvis’ car would go on to inspire The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band.

“Love Me Tender”

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How the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll inspired The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’

Paul revealed how Elvis’ car inspired The Beatles’ famous concept album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. “We came back, and we started to think, ‘What can we do? We don’t want to tour again,'” he noted. “We heard that Elvis Presley had sent his gold-plated Cadillac out on tour. He didn’t go with it – he just sent it out. And people would flock to see Elvis’ Cadillac, and then it would go to the next town and those people would flock.”

“So we thought, ‘That is brilliant! Only Elvis could have thought of that,” Paul added. “We said, ‘Well, what we should do is, we should make a killer record, and that can do the touring for us.’ So that’s what Sgt. Pepper was all about.” That wasn’t Elvis’ only connection to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In 1956, Elvis released a song called “We’re Gonna Move.”

“Fixing a Hole”

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“We’re Gonna Move” appeared in Love Me Tender. The song includes the line “Well there’s a hole in the roof where the rain pours in.” “Fixing a Hole,” one of the tracks from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, has the somewhat similar lyric “I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in. According to the book The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four, “Fixing a Hole” was inspired by the aforementioned lyric from “We’re Gonna Move.” If it weren’t for Elvis, the song and its parent album might not be the same.