Paul McCartney Took Jesus To A Beatles Recording Session

On the afternoon of February 9, 1967, someone buzzed the intercom at Paul McCartney's Regency-style townhouse in London that he'd moved into the year before, per Beatles Bible and "Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now." "Yeah? What d'you want?" the Beatle, then at the height of his fame, asked, according to a 2018 interview with Howard Stern. A bearded man was at the gate. "I'm Jesus Christ," he replied in all seriousness. "You better come in," McCartney answered. He didn't think it was actually Jesus, but on the off chance that it was, he didn't want to "be the one to turn him away," he later recalled.

"Jesus" came in and he and McCartney had a cup of tea and chatted for a while. The Beatle then invited the stranger to accompany him to a recording session. The band was in the middle of laying down tracks for their masterpiece "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." And "Jesus" was there when they recorded "Fixing a Hole," per Rolling Stone.

The rest of the Beatles meet Jesus

That evening's recording session was unusual, and not just because a man who claimed to be Jesus Christ was in tow. Their producer George Martin couldn't get studio time at the EMI Studio on Abbey Road, where they typically worked, and so the Beatles had to make do with Regent Sounds studio at Tottenham Court Road, according to "Sound Pictures: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, The Later Years, 1966–2016." Martin described the studio as a "low-ceilinged boxy little room."

When the band arrived for the session, McCartney had his new friend with him and introduced "Jesus" to George Harrison, John Lennon, and Ringo Starr. "Look, he says he's Jesus," McCartney told the other Beatles (via the Howard Stern interview). "Now, I don't know if he is, or isn't but I'm not gonna take any chances here." The rest of the band seemed amenable as long as he sat quietly in the corner. "Shhh don't say a word, just be Jesus," McCartney told his new friend.

John Lennon's remarks about Jesus

Whether or not the presence of the self-proclaimed Jesus had anything to do with it, the session went well. The first track featured Paul McCartney on bass — which he made "sing" that night — Ringo Starr on drums and in a very unusual move, their producer George Martin on harpsichord, according to "Sound Pictures." As the night went on, each of the members of the band was in perfect sync. Geoff Emerick, their usual sound engineer, later recalled that when he heard the recordings, he loved the "vibe" of the session and that "all four of the Beatles played together on the backing track, just like in the old days."

Perhaps McCartney and the rest of the band included "Jesus" in their session to make up for John Lennon's comments in a March 1966 interview with the London Evening Standard, in which he said "We're more popular than Jesus now," via Britannica. While the comment didn't make a stir when the article came out, later that summer when it was reprinted in an American magazine, Lennon received a lot of blowback for the remark. Whatever the reason for McCartney's kindness to the stranger, he never saw "Jesus" again, per "Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now."