Leading internet sources will tell you that Paul McCartney, composer and bassist of the Beatles, lived 18 June 1942-present. But if you believe the rumors, he actually died in 1966 and the present “Paul” is a lookalike. Some cite the “Frog Song” as evidence that he’s a different person to the one who wrote “Yesterday”, but as with most conspiracy theories, there’s more to it if you dig a little. According to some, there’s a wealth of evidence that Paul is dead. And so we present the Top 10 Signs that Paul McCartney Actually Died in 1966.
10. “The Walrus was Paul”
Here’s a bit of a disappointing one to start with – the clue comes from “Glass Onion” on the White Album, when John sings – “well here’s another clue for you all/The walrus was Paul”. Theorists got excited over the mention of Paul in the lyrics and rumors started flying that walrus was a Scandanavian word, meaning death. Unfortunately, a little digging reveals that the word is derived from the Old Norse “rosmhvalr”, which means…walrus. Sorry folks!
9. Billy Shears
This clue all ties in with the man that was said to have replaced Paul – William Shears Campbell, winner of the 1965 Paul lookalike competition. When the band are announcing the arrival of Billy Shears at the start of Sgt Pepper, they are actually introducing the new version of Paul. It’s also a bit of wordplay, as “Billy Shears” can be willfully misheard as “Billy’s here.”
Apparently, a picture of the real Billy (above) appears on the poster that was given away with the White Album, and he had plastic surgery to look more like the real Paul. Still, die-hard fans claim to notice differences between Paul and William, whom they christened “Faul”. Some even say that there is a 2-inch height difference and the color of his eyes has changed. As recently as 2010, things “Faul” said in interviews were still being picked apart for discrepancies.
8. Magical Mystery Tour Cover Art
An obscure one next, from the fittingly obscure Magical Mystery Tour EP. On the cover, the word “Beatles” is spelled out in stars, but if you put a mirror up to it, it comes up with a number – 2317438. What’s the significance of the number? It’s meant to be the telephone number of a London mortuary, but there’s no evidence that anyone ever called this number to find out.
The clues don’t end there though – there’s a cartoon of Paul, with a cracked head, labelled “The Fool on the Hill”. There’s a picture of all 4 Beatles where Paul is wearing a black carnation, and the others are wearing red. And then there’s a picture of Paul, sitting in front of a poster that says “I was”. Enough for you yet? Don’t worry, there’s more to come….
7. Revolution 9
This track from the White Album is largely inexplicable, with its strings of gibberish, strange noises and Yoko Ono droning “number 9” over and over again. But again it contains clues that point to Paul’s demise. Lyrics like “his voice was low and his eye was high and his eyes were closed” and “intended to die” are meant to refer to Paul, but the real giveaway is when you play it backwards. There’s the noise of a car crash, a scream and then the repeated phrase “turn me on dead man”. It seems there is some point to that track after all…
6. Lyrical Prophecy
A bit of a red herring next. Many conspiracy-theory sites list the lyric “I was alone I took a ride I didn’t know what I would find there” as another pointer, but the theory collapses under scrutiny. That line was taken from “Got to Get You Into My Life”, a track from Revolver (above). Revolver was released on 5 August 1966, a full 3 months and 4 days before Paul’s supposed accident. I think we can safely rule this one out, unless it was Paul singing about his own death. Now, that really would be spooky…