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Old Nov 10, 2006, 02:17 AM   #1
I am the Paulrus
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Default McCartney dead greatest hoax in music history?

McCartney dead — greatest hoax in music history?

November 8, 2006

By Steve Metsch, Staff writer
Daily Southtown

http://www.dailysouthtown.com/lifest...IF1-08.article

Can it really be 40 years since Paul McCartney died?

It happened at about 5 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, 1966. McCartney stormed out of the Abbey Road studio in London, upset with his fellow Beatles over a song.

As he drove away, he took his eyes off the road and lost control of his car.

The accident was so violent, onlookers could barely recognize "the cute Beatle." Flames had burned off his hair, and his face was badly disfigured.

Hey, the Beatles told us all about it in the song, "A Day in the Life": "He blew his mind out in a car. He didn't notice that the light had changed. A crowd of people stood and stared ..."

A hastily prepared funeral was held. Witnesses were bribed to keep silent. A newspaper story on the accident mysteriously was shelved. And the band never missed a beat en route to even greater glory.

A man named William Campbell, who had won a Paul McCartney look-alike contest, was brought to London. Campbell, with some plastic surgery, coaching on Paul's singing style and lessons on playing the bass guitar left-handed, "became" Paul.

And the greatest hoax in music history had been successfully pulled off.

What, you didn't hear that story? You think Sir Paul McCartney is the real deal?

Relax, fans, McCartney didn't die 40 years ago. But looking back, it's hard to believe the countless fans who bought the story -- and those that still do.

You can see the clues
News of the "death" didn't start circulating until three years after it occurred. As the tale goes, a college kid in Michigan published a story in his student newspaper that outlined the "clues" depicted on the Beatles' album covers. Detroit disc jockey Russ Gibb recounted the alleged clues in 1969, and the story caught fire.

It got so bad that LIFE magazine sent a photographer to track down McCartney on his farm in Scotland. The subsequent article and photos were meant to dispel the rumors.

Still, the believers can cite many clues:


On the "Abbey Road" cover, the four Beatles are depicted as crossing the famous street in London. John Lennon, dressed in a gleaming white suit, is the "preacher"; Ringo Starr, in a business suit, is the undertaker or a mourner; the barefoot McCartney is the corpse; and George Harrison, in blue jeans, is the grave digger.








A car on one side of the road has the license plate number of "28 IF," which would have been McCartney's age at his death, according to cultures that maintain life begins at conception." There is a police vehicle on the other side.


Flip the album over, and you'll see a crack in the word Beatles and a shadow that resembles a skull.






On the cover of the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album, the band appears to be standing in front of a grave with flowers suitable for funeral, there's a bloody driving glove among the images, and a hand over McCartney's head, supposedly a symbol of death.




Flip the album over, and you'll see Paul is the only band member with his back to the camera. Why? Because Campbell's face didn't yet resemble McCartney's.




On the cover of "Yellow Submarine," a cartoon version of the band is standing on a hill above a submarine that represents a casket. Again, there's another "hand of death" over McCartney's head.





Finally, on "Let It Be" there are portraits of all four Beatles, but McCartney's is the only one on a red backdrop.




Bill Paige, manager of communications at Oakton Community College in DesPlaines, has worked in the music business and has met Sir Paul. He says the "Paul is Dead" story is a "fun little joke."

"I don't know that the Beatles or their people were clever enough to set the entire story up, but they sure were clever enough to play with it. They may have done some things to keep it going," Paige said.

Looking for signs in the lyrics
Then there are the dozens of song lyrics that -- truth be told -- are kind of creepy if taken out of context. Conspiracy fans can cite songs from most of the Beatles' catalog.

Consider the opening song on "Sgt. Pepper." It ends with the band singing "Billy Shears" in reference to the lead singer of the fictional Pepper band. Listen again. Are the Beatles really singing "Billy's here" to introduce Campbell?

After all, the next song, sung by Ringo, is "With a Little Help from My Friends," which has the lyric "lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song and I'll try not to sing out of key."

Is Ringo expressing concern about Campbell's attempt to replace McCartney?

Ron Starr (no relation to Ringo), who plays McCartney in the Chicago-based tribute band Band on the Run, says the Beatles' decision to stop touring in 1966 fueled rumors.

"They were kind of reclusive at the time," Starr said. "They went from being a live band to a studio band. I think when they learned about this, they had fun with it."

Starr is sure he's portraying the real Paul.

"There was a rumor that they found a guy and gave him plastic surgery so he'd look like Paul," he said. "I don't think, in the 1960s, they had plastic surgery like that. Plus, they'd have had to find a guy who looks just like, sounds like and plays the guitar left-handed, just like Paul," he said.

Here's a clue for you all
"On some levels, talking about this is insulting to Paul, relative to the songs he wrote after the 'accident' happened," said Dean Budnick, a senior editor for the music magazine "Relix."

"It's hard to believe they let another schmoe into the band," Budnick said. "Then again, maybe it accounts for the Wings catalog. But to me, that's ultimately where it falls apart. How can anyone believe that they found someone who could replace Paul?"

The key point that debunks the theories, Budnick believes, is that the Beatles went to even greater critical acclaim after the accident with "Sgt. Pepper," which many believe to be the band's masterpiece.

"If there never had been any other creative output from Paul, then, maybe, you can make the case. If the Beatles had ended, absolutely. But they didn't," Budnick said.

The story had "gravitas" because of public's hunger for anything and everything related to the Beatles, he said.

"They were so big and everyone wanted to know everything about them, particularly at a time when they weren't making a lot of public appearances. They weren't touring anymore and unless you were in England, you didn't see them."

Conspiracy theories
Call up Google, type in "Paul is Dead" and you'll find countless Web sites -- some that, well, do make some convincing arguments, and others that debunk the story.

There's one exhaustive site that compares photos of Paul before and after November 1966. And, yes, he does look different at certain angles.

There's another that has photos showing him suddenly much taller than the other Beatles.

And there's one that claims a voice expert has proof that it's a different voice singing the songs after late 1966.

Several sites identify words and phrases from songs to make their case.

For example, they cite "Took her home, I nearly made it," from "Lovely Rita." They ignore the fact that Paul's clearly not singing about making it home.

In another instance, theorists say Lennon is singing "I buried Paul" at the end of "Strawberry Fields." Lennon has said he was actually saying "cranberry sauce."

Plus, there's no evidence that a William Campbell ever won a McCartney look-alike contest.

And, as Rich Altman noted, wouldn't Paul's father and brother figured out he was dead? Oh, that's right, they were paid off, too.
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Last edited by I am the Paulrus : Nov 10, 2006 at 02:26 AM.
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Old Nov 10, 2006, 10:38 AM   #2
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I love the Paul is Dead hoax...so interesting.
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 06:02 AM   #3
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I usually visit Harbridge's site. It is very intelligent.
The Beatles, especially John Lennon, have created a lot of clues, of course. However, there are some clues which still make me think about this hoax. I don't believe that Paul is dead, but there are some facts which aren't clear. They say that there are a lot of coincidences, but some of those clues really scary me. I would only like to know why those clues were created...

I'll show you now the clues which still make me think about the hoax, because there are a lot of clues that are just coincidences...
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 06:10 AM   #4
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Interesting "clues":

1) Who has watched the "Magical Mystery Tour" film will remember this scene: The Bonzo Band (I don't remember exactly the name of that band" was invited to take part in the film in the scene which a stripper dances in front of John and George. The singer are singing a song called "Death Cab For Cutie", and I have "The Beatles Anthology" book. I think that it was intentional.

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Old Jan 12, 2008, 06:14 AM   #5
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2) In the "Magical Mystery Tour" film, there's a scene where Paul is talking to a woman next to him, and, suddenly, that woman asks: "How old are you?". And Paul answers: "I, MYSELF, AM 30, BUT I LOOK YOUNGER." This scene scares me a lot, because I don't know why Paul answered that he was 30. He was 25-years-old. I don't know if he did it intentionally or if he forgot when he was born!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old Jan 12, 2008, 07:00 AM   #6
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That '30' comment sounds just like typical Paul humor. Note the addition "I look younger" - naturally since he was only 25!
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 07:41 AM   #7
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another good article :
http://www.mccartney-fanclub.com/?po...l-is-dead-Hoax

Article published in The Museum of Hoax : http://www.museumofhoaxes.com
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 08:02 AM   #8
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haha... I got pretty worried when I saw the title from the index page...



Personally, I don't think the Beatles added any 'clues' to songs or artwork. After all, wasn't the hoax only reported in 1969, at which point I'm sure they couldn't be bothered to insert any 'clues' into their last two albums. It's still a fun little mystery to play around with, though.
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 08:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zonymous007 View Post
haha... I got pretty worried when I saw the title from the index page...


I saw this as well and had to do a double take. Phewww. With all the news about Maccas heart procedure, these things can make a person a little skiddish.

I love the Hoax clues, especially as a kid. Once I found out about the backwards messages, I spent weeks looking for clues... and ruining my stylus.

Harb does have an excellent site for those who would like more info.

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Old Jan 12, 2008, 09:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zonymous007 View Post
haha... I got pretty worried when I saw the title from the index page...



Same here!!! Especially because of the news of his recent heart issues I was so scared!

For me the weakest link in the whole Paul is dead thing is the simple fact that in 1966 John and George were sick of being Beatles. Paul was the one who kept them all together after they stopped touring. If Paul had died in 1966 they wouldn't have bothered to go to all of that trouble to get a replacement and continue going.

Although its fun to think about how creepy the whole scenario is.
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 12:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zonymous007 View Post
haha... I got pretty worried when I saw the title from the index page...



Personally, I don't think the Beatles added any 'clues' to songs or artwork. After all, wasn't the hoax only reported in 1969, at which point I'm sure they couldn't be bothered to insert any 'clues' into their last two albums. It's still a fun little mystery to play around with, though.
I hadn't thought about it. If I didn't know the subject of this topic, I would be scared and think the same.
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 12:49 PM   #12
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I think that, if it really happened, the other Beatles wouldn't replace him. However, I have another question: if the hoax started in 1969, why we can see 2 Pauls in the "All Together Now" video? It is really strange. I think that some people or John started that joke before 1969. I have to repeat that I don't believe that Paul is dead, but there are things that have to be shown.
I agree with Higbal. Paul could be only joking. However, what do you think about the "All Together Now" video? Could it be a John's joke, like "The walrus was Paul",in "Glass Onion"?
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 02:46 AM   #13
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Although I know that the Paul we see before us today is the same Paul who was always in The Beatles, I think the entire thing is pretty creepy.

But I love it. I always find that people that don't know a lot about The Beatles that ask me questions about them are aways fascinated by the PID thing.
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 08:19 AM   #14
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Paul McCartney ain't dead - just a hoax.

Makes me think of his 1965 lyric, "missed things and kept out of sight" from "I've Just Seen a Face." I guess you won't see him and he has just kept out of sight during that crazy hoax!

Harbidge is a leading authority on this hoax. He's a very interesting person and no doubt he can certainly get into providing some good information about this.
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Old Jan 14, 2008, 09:11 AM   #15
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Whoops, I thought I had replied in this section. Obviously not. :P

I like how the author has listed website contents but no actual reference links.

Conspiracy theories
Call up Google, type in "Paul is Dead" and you'll find countless Web sites -- some that, well, do make some convincing arguments, and others that debunk the story.

There's one exhaustive site that compares photos of Paul before and after November 1966. And, yes, he does look different at certain angles.

That'll be '60IF' ( http://digilander.libero.it/jamespaul/ ) The physical changes section is interesting but the rest just goes into whimsical fiction.

There's another that has photos showing him suddenly much taller than the other Beatles.

I think I'm the only one who has a selection of comparison photos of Paul 'suddenly getting taller' on their site.

And there's one that claims a voice expert has proof that it's a different voice singing the songs after late 1966.

That is mentioned in an article in my 'Newspaper article' section. Don't know if other sites are actually using it to try and prove anything.

Several sites identify words and phrases from songs to make their case.

Pretty much all of them do. It's a PiD staple.
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