The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’: Paul McCartney Gave Different Stories About Who Wrote This Song
The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band is one of the most documented albums in the history of classic rock. Despite this, some aspects of the album remain mysterious. For example, John Lennon said he wrote one of the most experimental songs from Sgt. Pepper on his own. Paul McCartney agreed with this assessment at one point, only to say he co-wrote the song decades later.
John Lennon said he wrote this song from The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’ alone
Many Beatles fans are interested in learning which Beatles wrote which Beatles song. Many of The Beatles’ songs are credited to Lennon-McCartney. Despite this, some of the songs credited to Lennon-McCartney were actually written by either John or Paul on their own.
During a 1972 interview with Hit Parader, John discussed the authorship of many Beatles songs. When he was asked about “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!,” he said he wrote it by himself. He also revealed he took some of the words of the song from an old circus poster. Paul initially responded to this article by saying John’s memories of writing “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” alone were correct.
Paul McCartney said something different about the song in 2013
During a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, Paul said he co-wrote “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” with John. “And I have great memories of writing it with John,” Paul said. “I read, occasionally, people say, ‘Oh, John wrote that one.’ I say, ‘Wait a minute, what was that afternoon I spent with him, then, looking at this poster?'”
Paul said “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” was inspired by a poster John owned. “He happened to have a poster in his living room at home,” Paul said. “I was out at his house, and we just got this idea, because the poster said ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite’ – and then we put in, you know, ‘there will be a show tonight,’ and then it was like, ‘of course,’ then it had ‘Henry the Horse dances the waltz.’ You know, whatever.” Copies of the poster are available online and the horse mentioned on it is named Zanthus rather than Henry.
Paul described taking inspiration from another line in the poster. “‘The Hendersons, Pablo Fanques, somersets … ‘” Paul recalled. “We said, ‘What was ‘somersets?’ It must have been an old-fashioned way of saying somersaults.’ The song just wrote itself.”
Why Paul McCartney likes to play that classic ‘Sgt. Pepper’ track now
Paul said he liked to play “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” live “to kind of reclaim it as partially” his song even though it’s difficult to play. He noted The Beatles never played the song live. Regardless of who wrote “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!,” it remains one of The Beatles’ classic album tracks.