Paul McCartney Died in 1966, Was Secretly Replaced-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Paul McCartney died in 1966 and was replaced by a doppelganger.
Paul McCartney didn’t die in 1966.
The “Paul is Dead” urban legend gained steam in the 1960s, and it’s still very much alive today. A track on the Beatles’ White Album, “I’m So Tired,” was the first time that the urban legend gained widespread attention. When played backwards, inaudible words toward the end of the song clearly say, “Paul is dead.”
Listeners then uncovered even more hidden references about Paul McCartney’s death in other songs and album artwork, and a full-blown urban legend was born.
Years later, in 2004, Paul McCartney explained how the idea to plant rumors about his death came about in an interview with Beatles historian and author Bruce Spizer. Turns out, by 1966 Beatles manager Brian Epstein was unhappy with the new direction the band’s song writing had taken. Epstein hatched a plan to drive album sales in the event that fans felt the same way, McCartney told Spitzer:
“When I told (Brian Epstein) our future albums would be dominated by songs about interesting people and places, his heart sank. He didn’t think people would buy such albums and came up with this great idea to push sales in the event he was right and we were wrong. The idea was that we would plant clues in our songs and album covers that one of us had died in a car wreck. If after a few albums, our records weren’t selling well, we’d leak out word about the clues and let our fans and the press take over. People would buy the albums to see and hear the clues. We thought, ‘Wow, that’s an incredible idea!’ We realized it would be great fun to have all those clues sitting there undiscovered until people started going nuts looking for them all.”
Beatles album sales never slumped, but the “Paul is Dead” urban legend took on a life of its own. Brian Epstein originally selected Ringo Starr to “die” because he was the most popular Beatle in the U.S. market at the time. After Starr turned it down, however, Paul McCartney was chosen, presumably because he was the second most popular Beatle in the U.S.
Over the decades, the “Paul is Dead” urban legend has gained new life at times. A film titled “Paul McCartney Really is Dead: The Last Testament of George Harrison” gave the urban legend new life in 2010. The showed supposed footage of Harrison talking about how Paul McCartney had died in a car accident in 1966 and was secretly replaced by a lookalike. However, the filmmakers patched previous recordings together with a voice that was “identical to Harrison’s” to make the so-called confession seem real, Music Radarreports.
Then, in April 2015, the fake news website World News Daily Report resurrected the “Paul is Dead” urban legend once again when it (falsely) reported that Ringo Starr had admitted that Paul died and was secretly replaced.