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Paul Is Dead

The Paul Is Dead hoax was a series of events in the 1960s that led fans of the popular rock band The Beatles to believe that bassist Paul McCartney was actually dead and replaced with a look-alike.

The hoax really began to build steam by 1969, when Russell Gibb[?], a radio DJ from Detroit, Michigan, announced that McCartney was dead. Other DJs, television news reporters, newspapers and magazines picked up on the story and began to look for clues.

Members of the media and Beatles fans began to search album artwork and song lyrics for clues about the cover-up and McCartney's supposed death. Hoax believers eventually decided that McCartney had died in a car accident that happend at 5 a.m. on a Wednesday morning (the time and day, mentioned in the song "She's Leaving Home"), and that "he hadn't noticed that the lights had changed" ("A Day In The Life") because he was busy watching the pretty girl on the sidewalk ("Lovely Rita"). According to hoax believers, McCartney had been replaced with William Campbell[?], the winner of a McCartney look-alike contest.

Other "clues" included:

  • The line "I believe in yesterday, suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be, there's a shadow hanging over me. Yesterday came suddenly..." from the song "Yesterday". To hoax believers, this was an admission from McCartney's replacement that he wasn't the same person.
  • On the US release, Yesterday and Today, McCartney is sitting inside a trunk. Hoax believers thought that the trunk was supposed to represent McCartney's coffin.
  • The Rubber Soul album cover is supposed to look like the other Beatles (and the McCartney look-alike) are looking down into the grave of the real McCartney.
  • The Sgt. Peppers cover appears to be a group of mourners standing in front of a freshly dug grave.
  • The yellow flowers on the cover of Sgt. Peppers appear to spell out "PAUL?"
  • On the back cover of Sgt Peppers, McCartney is facing backwards, which is supposedly because he was dead and replaced with an imposter in the photograph. (In reality, McCartney could not make the photo session and road manager Mal Evans stood in for him).
  • According to hoax-believers, the cover of Abbey Road is a representation of Paul's burial. Lennon is the main mourner (all in white), Ringo a carrier of the coffin (formally dressed), Paul the corpse (bare feet & cigarette (death?)), and George the casually dressed audience. Furthermore the license-plate of the white car says 28IF, suggesting he would have been 28 if Paul hadn't died. (At the time of the album's release September 26, 1969, Paul was in fact 27.)

In the years after this hoax first began, John Lennon made a couple of jokes about it in various songs, including "Glass Onion" ("Here's another clue for you all/the walrus was Paul"). McCartney himself also made fun of the hoax with the title of his 1993 live album, Paul Is Live.

Other Beatles hoaxes

External Links

  • Paul Is Dead (http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/3674/pid)



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