It was fifty years ago today- the Paul Is Dead -rumor about The Beatles Paul McCartney went into full swing- when a radio DJ named Russ Gibb in Detroit on WKNR-FM took a call from a caller named Tom- who claimed that Paul McCartney was dead. He told Gibb to play Revolution 9 backwards and when the ‘number nine’ phrase was heard backwards it is ‘turn me on, dead man.” There had been rumors since mid- September but this really got the ball rolling. It didn’t take long and there were dozens of ‘clues’ finding their way into print- on Beatles albums, in Beatles songs- in photos- as to how The Beatles had covered up the death of McCartney. The quick story is McCartney had been killed in a car accident in November 1966 and that The Beatles had replaced Paul with the winner of a Paul McCartney look-a-like contest in time for the recording of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album- the new Paul’s name was William Campbell.
The “Paul Is Dead” story went mainstream- Paul [the real Paul?} even appeared with his wife Linda and the kids on the cover of Life with the caption “Paul Is Still With Us” Did Paul really die in that car wreck or was this just a hoax? In the next couple weeks I am going examine the ‘clues’ to the Paul is Dead rumor- and try to come to a conclusion- Is Paul dead? Or was this just a hoax?