The Paul Is Dead Rumor

There has been a  rumor that’s persisted for over 50 years that Paul McCartney actually died in a car crash on November 9, 1966, in a fiery car crash while heading home from the EMI recording studios and was replaced with a look-alike imposter.

Conspiracy theorists claim that John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr worried about how his death might impact the Beatles’ commercial success, so they covered up his death by replacing him with a lookalike named William Campbell (or Billy Shears), who looked the part.

Well, not just look the part but just so happen to play incredible bass, be a brilliant songwriter, a top-notch singer and the same memories as the real Paul. They really must have hit the goldmine with Mr. Campbell or Shears.

The rumor was started by Russ Gibb a Detroit disc jockey on WKNR-FM. A listener named Tom, who announced that McCartney was dead, and for clues, to play the Beatles song “Revolution #9” backward. In reverse, the words that are repeated over and over, “number nine, number nine,” sort of sound like “turn me on, dead man.”

At the end of the song I’m So Tired Lennon is heard mumbling as “Monsieur, monsieur, how about another one?“, insinuating that he was requesting another attempt at the backing vocals.  This final mumbling was the only one that made it onto the finished mix.

In 1969 when the “Paul is dead” rumor went around the world people insisted  when the mumbling at the end of this song was played backward, John was saying “Paul is dead, miss him, miss him, miss him!

The rumor grew legs and wings and spread all over the world. Some of the clues…

Abbey Road cover – John was the minister, Ringo the undertaker, Paul the corpse, and George the gravedigger.

Image result for abbey road

A Volkswagon has the license plate 28IF…. That was supposed to mean Paul would have been 28 if he would have been alive…BUT the major flaw in this is…he was 27.

Image result for 28if

Sgt Pepper…in the fold out Paul is wearing a patch that read OPD (Officially Pronounced Dead)… but no…it was given to Paul by the Ontario Police Department.

Image result for paul mccartney opd

There are hundreds of “clues”… this is a link to a site that lists some clues…just one site of many…

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

30 thoughts on “The Paul Is Dead Rumor”

  1. Of course Paul wasn’t dead -but it was fun searching through the albums and songs etc looking at the examples people ‘found’ or invented.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was fun… It’s just so funny how…really… some people really believe this with their heart.
      Do you think they did any of this on purpose? I would have thought Lennon would have said it if they did….It would have been brilliant

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think if it had been a Beatles set up- that they would have come clean on it by now- and had a giggle about it. John was never closed mouth about anything -after The Beatles he never even hinted that it was an inside job.. i know a few people who get all bent out of shape about this- do not see the humor in it at all…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes… I’ve known people who really believe and will not take no for an answer. Most of them are not Beatle fans… I remember looking for clues on Magical Mystery Tour…loving it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Back in the day when I was beginning my teaching career at the end of the year I did a presentation of Paul Is Dead–it fascinated a lot of them–even convinced some.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Now that would have been a great class…it is very interesting and it still has legs. At one time when I was younger…I really thought they planted something. I always wanted to call that Magical Mystery Tour number that showed up in a mirror.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you wrote a post on this after our conversation. I can see how the conspiracy theorists would get a real kick out of this. As you alluded to, there are loads of potential evidence for one who might be so inclined to entertain the idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should have wrote it with a sense of humor. I have a couple of non Beatle fans friends who really think this happened. They will send me links for books and movies about the subject…

      It is a lot of fun looking for clues.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Like the friend I was telling you about who I also wouldn’t regard a Beatles fan, she was also convinced it was true. Yes, having friends like ours keeps life entertaining despite how nonsensical their beliefs may be. Interestingly, it appears that people like your good self who really know their Beatles history and are genuine Beatles fans, discard the Paul is Dead conspiracy outright. If I was going to entertain the idea it would have to come from people who were actual Beatles fans who know their stuff!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I will admit…it is fun and sometimes I have wondered if they did some of it on purpose…it would have been brilliant but it would have come out by now….and Lennon being as honest and open as he was…he would have come out with it.
        It is one of the most bizarre stories about a rock group ever…thanks for inspiring it!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, it would have been divulged by at least one of those involved or even by some of the thousands who would have been close to the group and privy to the inner workings. Great post Bad. Have an excellent day!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. A line from an REM song comes to mind: “a simple prop to occupy my mind/time”. Think of how much time could be wasted trying to gather evidence to support the theory.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great story! Apparently people tended to have too much time on their hands in the 60s,LOL. Like you suggested, how fortunate they’d be to have found Shears looking like Paul so much and being a soundalike as well! And for those looking at the patch on Sgt. Pepper, although the angles make it obscure, search enough pictures and you should see it reads “OPP” (Ontario Provincial Police”) … Officially Pronounced Pungent, perhaps? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It could be that….lol….
      I should have wrote it with more of a sense of humor but I know two people who really believe this happened! It’s so frustrating talking to them… but I will admit it was fun searching for clues.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember reading the many “clues” years after the rumors were started and wondering about them. I think they posted the “clues” in a book about conspiracies.

    It wasn’t until years later that I realized that the rumor had started here in Michigan at WKNR. It was a HUGE station in it’s heyday! Keener 13 was one of those great stations with great personalities and a weekly music chart that we used at WHND when I was there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was 10 in 77 I was going over the albums I knew looking for more clues…it was fun.

      That is cool that you know where it started. I just can’t believe so many people really…I mean really think it happened…still.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always remember when Paul was on SNL and Chris Farley interviewed him on The Chris Farley Show. When Paul says, ” I wasn’t really dead” I always crack up. At least he had a sense of humor about it.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. There is a book out on the Paul is Dead hoax– came out in the 90’s I think called The Walrus Was Paul- The Great Beatles Death Clues. Don’t know if you are familiar with it or not.

    Liked by 1 person

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