Paul is dead?!?
jimk@iscuva.ISCS.COM (Jim Kendall)
jbh@hpcnoe.UUCP (Joel Hurmence)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Jay Smith)
email@example.com (Jean Gerencer)
comments and editing by
Charles McGrew (firstname.lastname@example.org)
additional comments by others are attibuted in the text
The way we (Jim Kendall and some friends) understood it back then
was, PM got into this car wreck early one Wednesday (Nov 2, 1966?)
morning at 5 am whilest looking at a pretty "meter maid", not seeing
the changing traffic lights. He wasn't killed outright, but his car
caught fire, a crowd of people stood around, and then he died from
head wounds (he lost his teeth and hair). The morning paper came out
with an article but was then censored, recalled. Enter William
Campbell and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
It all started in October of 1969....Paul McCartney
was dead, or so it was rumored. The story started when a capricious
student wrote his term paper on the subject. Well, the college paper
was duly impressed and promptly repinted it in their tabloid. (Fred
LaBour at Michigan U., quoted in the Sept. 23, 1969 Illinois
U. "Northern Star" article "Clues Hint at Possible Beatle Death")
[email@example.com]. From there, WKNR radio in Detriot picked up
the story and their program coordinator, Russ Gibb, broadcast it to
the rest of the unsuspecting world.
The story was based on "clues" from record sleeves, songs, etc.
that "proved" Paul had been killed in a car crash in November 1966.
Researchers discovered that a crash had occured around that time which
involved a young dark haired male who was disfigured beyond
recognition. Then the Beatles, in the winter of 1966, held a "Paul
look alike" contest but no winner was ever announced. BUT - there was
a winner....his name was William [one person said Richard] Campbell, a
Scot [Fai Lau (ugfailaw@sunybcs) claims he was Canadian], and he was
paid a considerable amount of money to play along with the facade - he
was to be the NEW Paul. He supposedly looked enough like PM to sit in
with the other Beatles for photographs, sometimes even fooling the
photographers. Strangely, nothing was ever heard of William Campbell
again. His picture is included on the poster that came with the White
album in the lower right-hand corner. Looks like Paul with glasses,
mustache, and combed back hair. William Campbell has this faint scar
on his upper lip, PM doesn't... [Lau also claims Paul never played
guitar before his 'death', only bass, but I don't believe this to be
true -- Paul was -originally- a guitar player, who became a bass
player when the band needed one.]
Since that day, the Beatles started putting clues on their album
sleeves and even in their music so that their poor fans would find
them and thus the shock of Paul's untimely death would be assuaged.
Or so the story goes.....
Some of the clues:
- Yesterday...and Today
Paul looks like he's in a coffin in the cover shot.
"Yesterday and Today" was released in mid 1966 (supposedly
just prior to Pauls demise) with the famous "Butcher Cover".
As we all know, these albums were recalled just after they
were released (right after Paul died) and 'pasted over' with
the now familiar 'Trunk Cover'. This was done not because the
buying public was outraged at the original "Butcher" cover (as
was 'officially' announced by Capitol) but because the cover
too closely depicted the carnage that occured in that deadly
'car crash' and the Beatles themselves demanded that Capitol
remove it from the market. Capitol, being the understanding
souls that they are, immediately recalled all of the albums
and promptly started destroying them. Then the Beatles, in
their anguish, quite suddenly came up with startling
realization as well as a brilliant idea. They realized that
without Paul they were dead as a group and from that came the
brilliant idea of the 'fake Paul' contest winner and the
'cover-up' clues in their music and on their album covers.
Then George had a sickening thought. In his minds eye he saw
all of those 'Butcher Albums' going up in the flames of the
Capitol records furnaces. He thought "What could be a better
clue than to hide Pauls death symbolicly by 'covering up' the
'Butcher' picture?" With that he rushed to the phone, called
Capitol records and ordered them to stop the burning and to
re-cover the remaining albums with the new 'Trunk' cover.
This is the TRUE story of how "Beatlegate" started and the real reason for the
'Butcher" album cover-up.
Butcher album Clues:
- The title "Yesterday and Today" symbolizes the controversy that was
to start "Yesterday" and still be un-resolved even "Today".
- All of the doll parts are resting on Paul except the one doll head
that George is holding up. [ Actually, both dolls' bodies are
resting on two beatles - one on John/Paul, the other on
Ringo/Paul.]. This is two clues in one -
- a) George was the 'head' of the plot (it was his idea).
- b) The doll head is right next to Pauls head symbolizing his de-
- The false teeth on Pauls right forearm indicate that his teeth were
knocked out in the crash and dental identification was impossible
thus leading to the 'young white male - disfigured beyond
recognition' article that researchers located.
- And, of course, the previously mentioned symbolic 'coffin' on
the 'Trunk' cover.
- Nowhere Man: "He's a real nowhere man.." "..doesn't
have a point of view, knows not where he's going to.." "..you
don't know what you're missing, nowhere man can you see me at
- Dr. Robert: "..you're a new and better man.." "..he
does everything he can, Dr. Robert.." (William is the new
man. Nothing Dr. Robert can do will bring Paul back)
- Yesterday: .."oh I believe in yesterday, suddenly, I'm not
half the man I used to be, there's a shadow hanging over me.
Yesterday came suddenly.."
- And Your Bird Can Sing: "..you can't see me, you can't see
me.." "..you can't hear me, you can't hear me.."
[Of course this album should have been recorded with the 'real' Paul,
so lyrical clues in this album are bogus.]
(movie) Hard Day's Night: aerial sequence of the "Can't Buy Me Love"
romp, director Richard Lester runs around instead of Paul.
Also, there was a major scene between Paul and a dancer cut
from the movie (presumably Paul was unavailable). [Of course,
HDN was filmed in 1964, so Paul must have died even eariler!:-]
(movie) There was a third movie in the works for the Beatles in late
1966 after HDN and Help, but it was canceled when Paul died
and Billy Campbell was unready to appear before the searching
eye of the camera. John spent the time appearing ing Richard
Lester's "How I won the War", while 'Paul' composed music for
the film "The Family Way" (performed by George Martin and a
- Rubber Soul
The Soul is in the shape of a heart, indicating a "false soul"
amongst them. The Beatles are peering downwards (in/at a grave?!).
- I've Just Seen A Face: "..had it been amother day I
might've looked the other way, and I'd have never been a
- Girl: "..that a man must break his back to earn his
day of leisure will she still believe it when he's dead.."
- I'm Looking through You: "..I'm looking through you, where did
you go? I thought I knew you, what did I know. You don't
look different but you have changed, I'm looking through you,
you're not the same.." "..your lips are moving I can not hear,
you don't sound different I've learned the game.." "..you were
above me but not today, the only difference is you're
- In My Life: "..all these places have their
moments ... some are dead and some are living, in my life I
love you more.."
On the cover, Paul's name is sideways, as if it didn't fit in
with the other Beatles any more.
- Taxman: "..if you drive a car Paul.." "..if you get
too cold Paul.." "..my advice to those who die, taxman!" (see
- Eleanor Rigby: "..father McKenzie (McCartney?) writing the
words of a sermon that no one will hear.." "..was buried.."
"..father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks
from the grave, no one was saved.."
- Yellow Submarine: "..in the land of submarines.." "..sky of
blue, sea of green in our yellow submarines.." (nice term for
a casket that's underneath a sea of green grass)
- She Said She Said: "..she said I know what it's like to be dead.."
- For No One: "..she says her love is dead.." "..she says that
long ago she knew someone but now he's gone.."
- Got To Get You Into My Life: "..I was alone I took a ride I
didn't know what I would find there.." "..and then suddenly I
see you.." (lovely Rita meter maid)
- Tommorow Never Knows: "..laid down all thoughts surrendered to
the void.." "..Paul played the game existence to the end.."
- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Sgt. Pepper cover depicts a funeral for "The Beatles" (written
in flowers over the grave). There is also a bass guitar made
up of flowers. Closer inspection of this "bass guitar" shows
that the flowers that make it up actually spell "PAUL?"
indicating his questioned existance. [ Everyone involved with
the cover swears that the guitar idea was a spur-of-the-moment
thing by the florist Apple hired to arrange the flowers, and
that its just a guitar.] There are three strings on the
guitar, to symbolize the three remaining 'real'
beatles. There is also a raised hand behind Paul's
head which is the Indian sign for death as well as the four
armed "Shiva" in the lower portion of the photo who is
pointing its left back hand at Paul. The musical instrument
Paul is holding is black. A doll sits off to the
side (Jane Asher?!) with red lines (blood) running down her
dress. A small car sits on her lap, a model of the car PM was
driving. On the cover in addition to the bandsmen beatles, on
the left there are 4 obviously waxwork Beatles, in
Beatlemania-era garb. This could be meant to show that since
Paul is dead, the "old Beatles" are no more, and the new
Beatles are different. Or, simply that the
drug-and-Maharishi'd Beatles are different from the old
Beatles. [ firstname.lastname@example.org - R.J. Pietkivitch.] Paul has
his back to the camera on the back of the album as well as
wearing a patch that reads "OPD" (officially pronounced dead
in Canada) on his left arm in the center spread. Hmm, looks
like William Campbell again! (or perhaps Mal Evans, some say
[email@example.com], but a picture spread in the Sgt. Pepper
CD is a series from the same session as the back cover photo,
and its plainly Paul - or 'Paul'). He always sports a mustache
or slight beard. On the back cover George is pointing at the
lyric "Wednesday morning at five o'clock", indicating the time
of Paul's death. Paul's head just touches the title of
"Within you Without you" George is pointing a "sixth" finger
at him, a sign of ill-omen. If you read across the back
cover, from left to right, you can find all sorts of
clues. Starting with "Somebody calls you, you answer quite
slowly" (from Lucy), continue reading across "Wednesday
Morning at five o'clock as the day begins", "life flows on
within you and without you", "you're on your own you're in the
street". One last note, the paper sleeve that held the vinyl
record looked like it had been standing in, soaking up blood!
At the bottom it's bright red but then fades into a light pink
at the top. Subsequent releases of this album did not have
the red-faded-into-pink color scheme on the inner sleeve.
- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band: "..so let me
introduce to you the one and only Billy Shears and Sgt.
Pepper's lonely heart's club band.." (Sgt. Pepper's Band is
actually an idea taken from history (somewhere) where a man
was able to take the place of another man without anyone
- Fixing A Hole: "..and it really doesn't matter if I'm wrong
I'm right where I belong. See the Beatles standing there,
they disagree and never will and wonder why they don't get in
my door" (Paul's "door" is his coffin lid.) "..silly Beatle
run around.." (William is adjusting to his new role as PM)
- She's Leaving Home: "..Wednesday morning at five o'clock as
the day begins.." (the time of the fatal accident)
- Lovely Rita: "..standing by a parking meter when I caught a
glimpse of Rita.." (he took his eyes off the road!)
- Good Morning, good Morning: "..nothing to do to save his
life.." "..and you're on your own you're in the street.."
"..people running around it's 5 o'clock.." "..watching the
skirts you start to flirt, now you're in gear.."
- A Day In The Life: "..I saw the photograph. He blew his mind
out in a car, he didn't notice that the lights had changed. A
crowd of people stood and stared they'd seen his face before,
nobody was really sure if he was from the house of Paul.."
[The album lyrics say 'House of Lords', but its sung in an
- Inner Groove - on side 2, on the British release, an
infinitely-repeating groove (i.e. the needle never went to the
inside of the record) contains gibberish that sounds very like
"never kiss me any other way. Played backwards, said "Will
Paul come back as Superman?" (or alternately, "We'll f*ck you
- Magical Mystery Tour
Paul is dressed as a [black] "Walrus" on the MMT album which,
according to the Lewis Carroll story, ate oysters and died;
[although in the actual poem, the Walrus does not die; so
perhaps this 'clue' is reaching, so perhaps the following
one is better -- thanks to Chuck Carroll
(firstname.lastname@example.org)]. The walrus is a sign of death in
certain cultures [In the booklet, John says he is the walrus,
but little Nicola says, "no you're not". (Paul, in a Rolling
Stone interview in 1987 said that it was simply a matter of
the walrus head not fitting John [email@example.com - Chad
Netzer]). On Page 5, a group shot shows the Walrus at the
piano, which in other shots is John. Inside the album on page
three of the booklet, Paul is shown sitting behind a desk with
placard [closer examination shows its a bumber sticker] in
front of him that reads "I WAS" [or "I You Was", or "I was
you", depending on how you read it]. Also looks like Campbell
again, you can see the scar on his lip here. Page 15 has a
cartoon of Paul playing with a car on his desk. On page 18
and on the last page of the booklet there's that open palm
again above PM's head. Paul is shown in several of the shots
without any shoes on [but wearing socks, which is why its not
so noticable.] and in one picture it actually looks like there
is blood on his shoes (Page 13 - he's not wearing them in the
picture - they are sitting off to the side). There are several
shots of him with a raised hand behind his head. Towards the
end of the booklet, Paul can be seen wearing a black carnation
while the other Beatles are wearing red ones. [Like most of
the pictures from this booklet, it comes from the movie - the
"Your Mother Should Know" production number. Paul later
explained this was due to a shortage of red carnations, and
Paul had to take a black one because that's all they had.]
John sings [says] "I buried Paul" on "Strawberry Fields
Forever". The phrase 'I buried Paul' occurs at the end of
Strawberry Fields Forever. It appears to have been slowed
down, but it is quite clear. I believe that
when asked about this line John at one time said the words
were "cranberry sauce". [ If it is, there's a distinct pause
between the first two sylables: "cran-berry sause".] Another
counter-claim is that John says "I'm very bored". On some
boots and other releases, John actually says whatever-it-is
The word "Beatles" when held to a mirror is actually a
phone number! The number is: 2317438. When my friends and I
called this number way back then, we'd get this strange,
cryptic message "You're getting closer.." and then the call
would cut off abruptly. Others claimed it was Billy "Shears"
Campbell's phone number.
- Fool On The Hill: "..day after day, alone on a hill,
the man with the foolish grin is perfectly still.."
"... well on the way, head in a cloud, the man of a thousand
voices talking perfectly loud, but nobody ever hears him or
the sound he appears to make, and he never seems to notice"
(since he's dead) [In the booklet on page 9, theres a cartoon
of Paul labeled 'The Fool on the Hill', where the last bit of
'hill' runs down the side Paul's head, so he is the fool.]
- I Am The Walrus: (no you're not! Said little Nicola.)
"..I am the eggman, they are the eggmen, I am the walrus.." (eggmen
represent "life", walrus represents death. Since PM is the walrus
the meaning implied is that I have life, they have life, I am dead)
"..bury me, bury me.." "..bury my body.." "..Paul you're darn
near death!.." (yes, these last ones are debateable!)
Most of the words spoken in the last bit of the song are from
"King Lear", Act IV, Scene 6:
Oswald: Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my
purse; if thou wilt thrive, bury my body, and
give the letters wich thou find'st about me to
Edmund, Earl of Gloucester; seek him out upon
the English party. Oh, untimely death! Death!
[ firstname.lastname@example.org - Brian Wesley]
Edgar: I know thee well. A servicable villain, as
duteous to the vices of they mistress as
badness would desire.
Gloucester: What, is he dead?
Edgar: Sit you down, Father; rest you.
Also, "goo goo goo joob" is from Finnegan's Wake. [same source]
- Hello Goodbye: "..you say goodbye, I say hello.." (exit PM,
- Strawberry Fields Forever: "..I buried Paul.." (this infamous
ending line by JL)
- All You Need Is Love: "..No one you can save that can't be
saved.." "..nothing you can see that isn't shown.." "..yes he's
dead.." "..we loved you yeah, yeah, yeah.."
- Yellow Submarine:
John shouts various naval orders on the song "Yellow Submarine"
which includes the line "Paul's a queer". This is an attempt
by John to turn Paul's fans against him so that his death wouldn't
be taken so hard. Paul appears with a raised hand behind his
head on the cover (the cartoon Paul, that is). The yellow
submarine is pictured beneath the land, very stationary.
The movie has a couple of clues, one happens during the song
"All You Need Is Love" when John sings "..yes he's dead.." the
word "know" on the screen changes into the word "now" at the same
- Only A Northern Song:
"..when you're listening late at night you may think the band is
not quite right.." "..you may think the band's a little dark and
out of key, you're correct, there's nobody there.."
['Northern' was the Beatles publishing company.]
- Hey Bulldog: "..you think you know me but you haven't got a clue.."
- Yellow Submarine: (see Revolver)
- All You Need Is Love: (see Magical Mystery Tour)
- White Album
When "Revolution #9" is played backwards, the "number 9...number 9
...number 9" at the beginning translates to "turn me on, dead man..
..turn me on, dead man" (BTW - try this out, it really does say
this). [Yes, it does seem to say that.] And I've heard that
the whole track can be interpreted as the story of Paul's auto
accident and his later death in a hospital.
At the end of the "I'm So Tired" track, a bunch of seemingly
meaningless syllables are uttered. When you do the 'ol
classic backwards playback, you hear "Paul is dead now, miss
him, miss him." [BTW, National Lampoon did a great audio spoof
on all this 'Paul is dead' stuff on an album called National
Lampoon Radio Dinner. You hard core Beatle fans will enjoy
it. [In it, Paul sings "Give Ireland Back to the Irish",
interrupted by gunfire and explosions at various points
through the album. After the last time, the announcer says,
"the preceeding was performed by the late Paul McCartney",
followed by 'Paul' saying "I'm dead".]
In the fold-out poster
from the album, there's a picture of a Paul-looking-fellow
wearing a mustache and glasses - this is supposed to be
William Campbell. There's a shot of someone floating in a
bathtub, only his face is visible (no hair showing). This
might be representing Paul after the crash, but to me, it
looks like John. Pictures of Paul show a scar on his upper
lip that hadn't been seen before (i.e. only appearing on
Billy) - alternatively, it was from a (non-fatal) motorcycle
or scooter accident Paul had in late 1966, and hadn't been
seen before due to Paul's Sgt. Pepper-era mustache.
- Glass Onion: "..I told you about Strawberry Fields.." "..well
here's another place you can go.." "..to see how the other
half live, looking through a glass onion.." "..I told you
about the walrus and me.." "..well here's another clue for you
all, the walrus WAS Paul.." "..I told you about the fool on
the hill.." "..listen to me, fixing a hole in the ocean.."
"..looking through a glass onion.." (a glass onion is a term
used for a coffin with a glass panel over the top so you can
- I'm So Tired: "..Paul's dead man, miss him miss him.." (what
you hear when you play the very end of the song and the
beginning of "Black Bird" backwards)
- Mother Nature's Son: "..find me in my field of grass, Mother
- Revolution #9:"..his voice was low and his eye was high and
his eyes were closed.." "..Paul died.." "..my fingers are
broken and so is my hair, I'm not in the mood for wearing
clothing.." "..maybe even dead.." "..you become naked.."
(these are heard playing the song forward amongst other
things, the droning "number 9". McCartney has 9 letters in
"..get me out, get me out!.." "..turn me on dead man, turn me
on dead man.." (these are heard playing the song backwards,
there is a nasty car crash which catches fire, that's when you
hear Paul screaming "get me out! get me out!". Curiously, the
forward droning words "number 9, number 9" actually are the
words "turn me on dead man" backwards) [ Other sources say
that Revolution 9 was the work of John and Yoko, and that the
whole song was Yoko's idea, an extension of her brand of art.
John claimed the the engineer from EMI would say at the
beginning of each take of a song, "This EMI Recording Studio
Number 9" (or perhaps "EMI Test Tape Number 9", and John liked
the sound of it and added it in. "Turn me on, dead man" was a
mere coincidence, according to him, but John had experimented
with backwards singing before, as in "Rain" - June 1966 -
available on the Parlorphone "Rarities" album.]
- While My Guitar Gently Weeps: George calls out to Paul at the
end of the song.
- Don't Pass me By: "...you were in a car crash... and you lost
your head" [lyric book says 'hair'.]
- Long, Long, Long: During the calls out to Paul (maybe), George
says "Paul is Dead" (backwards). [email@example.com-
- Abbey Road
This album cover was the clincher. The front shows a funeral
procession and depicts John as the preacher(in white), Ringo as the
mourner (in black), George as the gravedigger (in work
clothes) with Paul as the deceased. Paul is in bare feet, is
out of step with the others, has his eyes closed, and is the
only one shown smoking (a sure sign of death), holding a
cigarette in his right hand when he is a left hander. The VW
license says "28 IF" (Paul's age, had he lived [Actually, he'd
be 27 at the time of the cover, but this is covered by
pointing out that in many indian religions, one is considered
1 year old at the date of birth, and so he would in fact have
been "28 IF"] ). On the back, a crack runs through "The
Beatles" indicating a split in the group, and a glimpse of a
woman (Rita?!) can be seen walking by. [Of course, this could
symbolize the imminent breakup of the group.] There are three
holes of very similar shape beneath the word "Beatles",
signifying that there are really only three 'real' Beatles.
To the left of the word, there is a curious pattern of circles
cut in the stone - 4 are grouped together, but one is a
different color (Billy), and one circle is the same color as
three of the 4, but separate (Paul). A skull can supposedly be
seen in the bricks right after the word "Beatles".
- Come Together: "..he say I know you, you know me.."
"he got early warning.." "..he say one and one and one is
three. Got to be good looking cause he's so hard to see.."
(only 3 remaining Beatles). "here come old flattop" (no hair)
"He got Joo-Joo eyeballs" (replaced by the undertaker) "... he
one holy roller..." (in heaven) "... he got hair down below
his knees..." (Paul's hair growing after death)
- You Never Give Me Your Money: "..one, two, three, four, five,
six, seven, all good children go to heaven.."
- The song "You Know My Name, Look Up The Number" was released
on the flipside of "Let It Be" (45 rpm). This strange song
has a cuckoo clock that "cuckoos" 5 quick times just before
another phone number is read off. This number gave us the
"Beware of Abbey Road" message each time we called.
- Hey Jude
The picture above the Beatles on top of the doorway they are
standing in front of is a picture of where Paul is supposed to
- Lady Madonna: "..Wednesday morning papers didn't
come.." (they were recalled, remember?) Lady Madonna is an
ode to Jane Asher, trying to make ends meet after Paul died.
- Revolution: "..don't you know it's gonna be -all right, Paul
died, all right.." (a couple of those "all rights" sound just
like "Paul died", also a background vocal occasionally dubs in
- Let it Be: (curiously missing in PID clues, except perhaps for
the black border on the cover).
I've got a feeling: "... everybody pulled their socks up..."
(except the barefooted Paul (from Abbey Road), he was dead),
"...had a hard year..." (covering for Paul), "... let their
hair down..." (except Paul, of course, but his hair grew back
in heaven and in his coffin), "...put the fool down..."
(Paul's the fool, they put him down - in the ground).
[firstname.lastname@example.org - Danny Melvin].
A few post-beatles clues:
- On Lennon's "How do you sleep?", he sings "Those freaks was right when
they said you was dead". [email@example.com - Quagmire Jones]
- On a reissue of Tony Sheridan songs in the late 1960's, the album
cover has a candleabra of four candles, but the second one is unlit
(or snuffed out). This may be a Paul clue since the beatles are often
named, "John, Paul, George, and Ringo" [firstname.lastname@example.org]
None of the above is intended to be true or accurate since Paul is,
obviuosly alive and well in Scottland or Tucson or somewhere. I also
remember someone trying to verify that the vocal patterns of Paul's
voice were the same when he sang "Yesterday" and "Lady Madonna", but
then found that they were indeed different voices.