Funny thing about the whole “Paul Is Dead” idea: It’s not a ghost story. It’s not an unsolved mystery. Yet it still continues to languish in Beatle land.
It had its roots in a college newspaper story. It blew up from there getting worldwide news coverage.
There are books. There are websites, such as this one and this one.
There are different elements as to how it started. The most direct answer, though, is from Fred LaBour, then a college newspaper staffer and now one of the singers with Riders in the Sky.
“’Abbey Road’ had just come out,” he told us in an interview, “and I was assigned the task of reviewing it for the paper I worked for, The Michigan Daily. Monday morning I took all my Beatles albums, lined them up across my desk, and reviewed ‘Abbey Road’ as the culmination of a ridiculous ‘plot’ which involved Paul’s death, replacement in the Beatles by a guy named William Campbell, and a lot of ‘clues’ in Beatles songs, production, and album artwork. This struck me as funny, a satirical take on reviewers who read way too much into a piece of popular art.”
Paul McCartney himself (or as the believers would say, his replacement) tried to prove he was alive with interviews and photographs. You could almost compare it to the sillier Obama birther thing and the president’s attempt to dispel that. (Look at how Rick Perry brought that up again within the last few days after it was said to be a dormant issue.)
But “Paul Is Dead” has never gone away. In fact, there are still new “clues” being brought up by those who subscribe to this “idea”. Author Andru Reeve, author of “Turn Me On, Dead Man: The Beatles and the “Paul Is Dead” Hoax,” a comprehensive look at the history of it all, says the most recent is that Paul McCartney’s photograph on “Good Evening New York City” is being compared to the one on “Magical Mystery Tour.”
“Some notice how incredibly similar it is to the pose of the Walrus on the cover of ‘Magical Myster Tour.’ And we all know that “the walrus was Paul”…right?,” Reeve told us in an email.
“Plus,” he says, “it could be argued that both photographs represent the Christian iconography of the crucifixion. Paul especially looks Christ-like the way his arms are spread and his head tilted back with eyes closed.”
But no matter what, “Paul ISN’T dead!!!,” he says.
Tell that to some of those people who still discuss it as if he might be.
READ OUR TWO-PART EXAMINATION OF ‘PAUL IS DEAD’:
- ‘Paul Is Dead’ Beatles tale still has spooky ring 40 years later (Part 1)
- ‘Paul Is Dead’ Beatles tale still has spooky ring 40 years later (Part 2)
- See a detailed examination of the clues in the video at left.
THE REVIEW OF A DVD THAT USES IT AS THE BASIS OF ITS STORY:
- Review: ‘Paul McCartney Really Is Dead’ DVD is beyond bad — it’s tasteless and stupid
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