When you are one of the most famous musicians in the world and your name is known by anyone who has ever listened to pop music, you can’t be too surprised to hear strange rumors about yourself.
Towards the end of the 1960s, a rumor started to spread: Paul McCartney (Paul McCartney conspiracy) was dead, and an impostor named William Campbell took his place.
The Paul McCartney conspiracy was disclosed to the public by a DJ in Detroit; Russ Gib. He advised listeners to look for clues in the group’s music, even listening to the music backwards. Such a “hint” can be found on verse number nine of the song Revolution 9 on the White Album, which, as it seems, become turn me on, dead man when listened in reverse.
Rumor spread faster than the growing hair of Yoko Ono. Millions of fans, and those who did not have time to lose spent hours in search of new clues that showed Paul was dead. People were looking for a conspiracy in anything, no matter how small, which had contact with the group. Each clue confirmed what many thought: Paul McCartney was dead and there is a huge conspiracy to hide it!
On the album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts’ Club Band, Paul wears a band with the initials ODP recognized as being, typically, an acronym for Officially Pronounced Dead.
Skeptical theorists have concluded that, in the music of the Beatles, there are many indications of the death of Paul, and they were placed by the group as a metaphysic adjustment.
Rumors that Paul had died created a general state of hysteria. Fanatics were seeking clues and evidence and went everywhere to find them. Several theorists said it was just an adjustment made by the label to maintain the sales of the group.
Many assert that the CIA wanted to put an end to the strong influence of the Beatles. The CIA may have considered the group and its huge influence a threat to society, which already assisted to the scandal born by John Lennon’s comment, saying that the Beatles would be “more popular than Jesus Christ”. In 1960, they were undoubtedly gods of music and society and the agency considered the group a threat to public order. Attempting to suppress the group by the murder of Paul was not a total success, because the other three members of the group recruited William Campbell, winner of a ringer contest.
In The Michigan Daily, Fred LaBour said the Abbey Road album cover is proof of the death of Paul. He said that the Beatles appear as a group which leaves the cemetery after a funeral.
Among the many verses that could be associated with the death of Paul, there was one that stood out. In the song Glass Onion, John Lennon sang “The Walrus was Paul”. It was argued that in Greek walrus means dead body.
On the Abbey Road album cover is a license plate 28IF, interpreted by many as being the age of Paul if he had lived …, but if he had lived, Paul would be 27, not 28. Many of the disks that were listened to in reverse seemed so weird and vague; almost any sound could match a phrase. No impostor would be able to reproduce the exceptional musical talent of McCartney, and some people point to Paul McCartney’s solo career as proof that he’s the real deal.