Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most famous musicians of all time, courtesy of his time as the bass guitarist and singer of the extremely popular band, The Beatles. Paul is often listed as one of the most successful composers and musicians, as over 2,200 musicians have covered his song, “Yesterday” which he wrote for the Beatles. Paul McCartney was so successful that he was even knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on March 11, 1997, for his services to music!
However, one of the most intriguing things about Paul’s fame is the conspiracy theory that surrounds him! Some Beatles fans believe that Paul died in a car accident in November 1966 (or January 1967, there is some disagreement on the exact time, but those are the two most commonly accepted days) after getting into an argument with his fellow Beatles and storming out of the building. Fans who believe this theory claim that the Beatles couldn’t allow word to spread about his death because of fears of how it would affect their sales. Some fans also believe British Intelligence covered it up so that Paul’s devoted fans would not kill themselves.
Theorists believe that the Beatles hired a man named William Campbell, who had once won a Beatles look-alike competition, to take over as the new Paul McCartney. The beginning of the rumors began September 17, 1969, when an editor named Tim Harper, from the Drake University Times-Delphic, published an article entitled, “Is Beatle Paul McCartney Dead?
Rumors swirled around Paul’s alleged-death when a Detroit disc jockey, Russ Gibb of WKNR-FM, got a rather unusual late-night call on October 12, 1969. The caller told Russ all about the evidence surrounding the theory, and Russ decided to investigate it himself. What he found, left him extremely intrigued and believing in the theory, himself.
Following the caller’s directions, he played “The White Album” backward and discovered that the end of the song was, what he believed to be, John Lennon moaning, “Paul is a dead man, miss him, miss him, miss him.” Over the next hour, he investigated the other claims of hints hidden throughout the music, including Lennon mumbling “I buried Paul” at the end of “Strawberry Fields Forever.” This was only the beginning of the rumor, and it would only grow from there!
The theory really began to take hold on October 21, 1969, when a disc jockey on New York City’s radio station, WABC, discussed the theory on-air for one hour - before being removed from the air. By that time, WABC’s signal had reached 38 states and even other countries. The Beatles released a statement denying the allegations, but by then it was too late.
Some of the more popular evidence includes the original cover of their album, “Yesterday and Today,” which showed the Beatles posed with raw meat that they believe signifies the horrific accident that supposedly killed Paul McCartney. If you hold a mirror up to the Sgt. Pepper album, the words on the drums can be read as: “1 ONE 1 X HE DIE 1 ONE 1.” The most commonly referred-to piece of evidence is the Abbey Road photograph which theorists believe is meant to represent a funeral procession!
While the theories abound, and you can find countless so-called evidence of Paul’s death, this conspiracy has been put to rest countless times by Paul McCartney, himself. He even went so far as to title one of his albums, “Paul is Live,” in order to refute the theory. It’s safe to say that this theory has been successfully debunked, and we’re glad that Paul has been such a good sport about it! What do you think? Was Paul replaced by William Campbell?