The Death Of McCartney

A deconstruction of the most infamous myth in music history.

When the Beatles released their legendary Abbey Road album in 1969, the shit hit the fan. The album cover allegedly portrayed Paul McCartney as a walking corpse. After listening to the album, millions of fans and journalists worldwide drew one shocking conclusion:

“Paul McCartney is dead.”

When did he die? How did he die? And — also quite relevant — who the hell was that dude pretending to be Paul? The rumours led to a manhunt of epic proportions. Fans, disk jockeys and journalists worldwide joined forces and organized a global raid on one dead man, who meanwhile persisted that he still had a pulse.

The story about Paul’s alleged death was shortly followed by additional reports that previous Beatles albums contained even more inconvenient truths about Paul. By scrutinising album covers, analysing lyrics and even playing entire albums in reverse, millions of fans fell from one unsettling surprise into another.

Four albums. Full of clues, hidden messages, symbolism and lines like: “Paul is dead, yeah really really dead”, “Paul is a dead man” and “I buried Paul” in the background of songs we all know. Clues that would not only prove THAT Paul was dead, but would also tell us HOW he had died and WHEN.

It didn’t take long for the myth busting crowd to reach a second startling conclusion:

“Paul McCartney died four albums ago.”

The New York Times, The Guardian, Rolling Stone Magazine, Time Magazine, Wired and LIFE all published articles and even devoted complete editions on this extremely intriguing story.

This longread serves as your guide on an epic musical journey that makes The DaVinci Code look like a Disney tale. By deconstructing the lyrics and cracking the codes that John Lennon reportedly hid in his songs, we will reconstruct the most infamous myth in music history.

How can it be that this supposedly insane myth is still very much alive today? Is it all a bit bonkers or should the many clues given by the remaining Beatles themselves in fact be considered confessions?

In the end you will agree that there is one common conclusion that even Stones- and Beatles fans will agree upon:

Paul McCartney is one of the most interesting people on this planet. And the only man for whom the basic fact that he is alive is insufficient prove that he is not dead.


Exile On Main Street by the Rolling Stones is the greatest music album of all time. Is that a fact? Hell yeah. For me it is an absolute truth, and if you would force me I could easily come up with sixty-two reasons to explain why that statement is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Still, according to millions of Beatles fans — and even Rolling Stone Magazine — Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the best album in music history. I could of course be the bigger man, agree with them and move on. But then we would all be wrong and I really don’t see the point of that.

What is the truth? Can something be true, even if it defies all laws of reason and logic? That seems to be the key question every single time this bizarre myth is brought to the table.

The short version of the myth that still has many believers all over the globe is as follows:

“Paul McCartney died in a car crash in November 1966. He was buried anonymously and replaced by someone who had entered a Paul lookalike contest a year before. The remaining Beatles plus Fake Paul went on to record five more albums, including the legendary Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Up to this point it is all treatable with proper medication. The unsettling thing however is that this bizarre myth finds it’s origin in the fact that this supposedly is the story you’d get if you were to combine all the clues the Beatles themselves hid in the lyrics and album covers of their last five albums.

Nonsense? Coincidence? Matter of interpretation? Not according to the myth. The myth states that ONE clue would be an incident, TWO clues would be remarkable and THREE clues would show a pattern. What you’re about to find out is that this myth is based on SIXTY-TWO clues from none other than the Beatles themselves.

Sixty-two clues that allegedly prove four things beyond a reasonable doubt: THAT Paul is dead, WHEN he died, HOW he died and even WHERE he is buried.

The thought whether this amazing myth could be true is unavoidable. At the same time ‘the truth’ is perhaps the least interesting aspect of this amazing story. Rest assure that I wrote this story merely to inform you, not to convince you.

Maybe someday somewhere a vault will open with contents that reveal the true story. Maybe not. Maybe we will find out more if we start waterboarding Yoko Ono. Maybe not, but for some reason that still sounds like a great plan if you ask me.

Maybe you’re under the illusion that you’re able to solve this mystery. Forget it. This is bigger than you. This story seems to have been put together by the most brilliant and creative minds of their era. It is a crime scene that has been polluted by millions of people and a mystery that even scientists were unable to solve.

Prepare yourself for a story that will show you that nothing is what you thought it was. Or, to quote John Lennon:

“Nothing is real.”

Enjoy the ride,
Jeroen Meulman


September 1969

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band was released on June 1st 1967. In order to fully understand all the events after its release, we should begin this story two years later, in September 1969.

The legendary Abbey Road album has just been released and the entire world has got their panties in a twist because of the morbid references it contains. The Beatles try their very best to manage the shit back into the horse, but are not able to convince the masses. Partly because of the findings of one Dr. Henry Truby.

It was Life Magazine who in their search for answers decided to consult this professor from Miami University. Dr. Ruby was a leading authority on so-called voiceprints. He had scientifically proven that — much like fingerprints and DNA — no two voices in the world are similar. Through the use of ultrasound techniques, dr. Ruby was able to measure the unique characteristics of a voice. And thus create unique profiles of each voice.

Dr. Truby created two voice prints and compared them to see if they would match. One print was Paul who sang Yesterday in 1965. The other print was Paul singing Hey Jude in 1968. According to the myth, the Paul who sang Yesterday was the real Paul. The Paul who sang Hey Jude allegedly was his replacement. Dr. Ruby’s conclusion:

“Paul’s voices on Yesterday and Hey Jude are very different.”

Now before we start digging into the clues the Beatles themselves gave us through their songs and album covers, I suggest we first finish this popular science class in a quick & dirty manner just to put some peer pressure on all the predetermined conspiracy bashers out here.

’Cause maybe by now you’re thinking: simply do a DNA test and get it over with. Which makes sense. Yet Paul always refused to take part in such a test. Except once, when he was forced.

While touring the club scene in Hamburg in 1962, Paul supposedly impregnated one of his German fans. A woman called Erika Hübers. Paul presumedly turned down the offer of fatherhood rather convincingly and in return provided Erika a substantial amount of money in order to raise their child.

At the age of eighteen, Erika’s daughter Bettina was told that Paul McCartney was her father. So she asked him to legally accept her as his daughter. Which Paul refused. So Bettina dragged his Beatle arse into a German court. The judge deemed there was sufficient evidence to order Paul to perform a DNA test. The result? Negative.

This outcome can be interpreted in many ways. First of all of course that Erika is lying through her teeth and Paul simply isn’t the father of her child. But that still raises the question why he had paid to provide for her upbringing.

According to the myth the test proves that the Paul who performed the DNA test in the early eighties is not the same Paul who had spend a wild night with Erika Hübers back in 1962. Just like the voiceprints pointed out earlier, the Paul before 1966 and the Paul after 1966 supposedly would be two different persons.

Do you see where we are slowly getting into now that even science is unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Paul after 1966 is exactly the same Paul as the Paul before 1966?

Again, one clue would be an incident, two clues would be remarkable and three clues would show a pattern. So let’s perform a third scientifical test. It’s time to measure some skulls.

In 2009 Wired Magazine did a third brave attempt to approach this magical mystery from a scientific angle. Gabriella Carlesi was a specialist in the area of anthropometry, which in plain English means ‘study of the relative proportions of the human skull.’ Francesco Gavazenni was a specialist in the field of information technology. Data doesn’t lie, therefore merging the two sciences should lead to a measurable and undisputed outcome.

The two scientists focused on unique facial features that cannot be influenced through plastic surgery. Like the distance between the pupils, the shape of the skull between the eyebrows and the shape of the frontal bone around the eye sockets.

They too compared the Paul before 1966 to the Paul after 1966.

Their conclusion:

“Multiple unique facial characteristics show significant differences between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ Paul. Differences that cannot be explained by natural aging.”

Remarkable detail: Wired published the results on September 15th 2009. Exactly on that day media shy Paul appeared as a guest on David Letterman, which at that time was the best viewed TV show in the world. The two cracked some jokes about Paul’s alleged death, but neither of them mentioned the outcome of the Wired investigation earlier that day.

Forty five years after the first scientific approach, the world still remained divided in believers and non-believers. And the non-believers tend to make a point out of the fact that without a dead body, there’s no case.

That’s exactly what TV and mystery novels always tell us. No dead body, no case……except if there are any witnesses who could testify that Paul is dead and had been replaced. In this case there are at least four people who would be able to release such a statement: John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and of course Paul himself.

And that’s where we go straight to the heart of the matter — or in this case — myth. It’s time for a magical mystery tour passed four albums. Four albums on which the Beatles seem to want to tell us something…



So according to musical rag Rolling Stone Magazine, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the greatest music album of all time. Let’s settle this argument by stating that it is unmistakably the most analysed album of all time.

Up to its release the Beatles had a steady pattern of releasing a new album at the end of each year. If we follow that pattern, then apparently something must have happened that caused this Sgt. Pepper’s album to be released about eight months late on June 1st 1967.

Fact is that eight months before its release, ‘the band who had more followers than Jesus Christ’ suddenly withdrew themselves from public life completely. The band also issued a press release: their last concert on August 29th in San Francisco should be considered their farewell concert in retrospect. The Beatles would never perform live again.

During the scavenger hunt that started two years later, this remarkable turn of events immediately drew the attention of the myth busting crowd. If the Beatles’ retirement from both the stage and the public eye was somehow related to Paul’s death, then the time of death would be somewhere late ‘66. Which would implicate that Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was the first Beatles album with Fake Paul, or Faul as they tend to call him.

People worldwide religiously started searching the album for a smoking gun. Tracks were played in reverse and the album cover was inspected with binoculars and mirrors. The outcome was again a shocking new reality:

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is not a regular album. It’s an obituary.

2.1 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)

“Paul is dead, yeah really really dead”

Let’s start with a rather harmless clue, just to get an impression of the kind of clues the men would give us according to the myth. From there on we’ll move straight on towards cracking the complex code of the last song on the album, A Day In The Life. A code that — according to the myth —would put all seemingly harmless clues in a whole new perspective.

The first remarkable clue that Paul is pushing up daisies can be found on the second last song on the album. Right before the end you will be able to spot a screaming John Lennon in the background. The mono version is much clearer that the stereo version, but if you listen closely you can hear John shout:

“Paul is dead, yeah really really dead”

Not the most subtle statement to make when someone has kicked the bucket, but hey, at least it is crystal clear. And it wouldn’t be the last time John would scream that by that time Paul had already assumed room temperature.

2.2 A Day In The Life

“He blew his mind out in a car”

In order to fully understand the myth, we need to fully understand the true message of the last song on the album: A Day In The Life.

According to the myth, this song should be considered Lennon’s press statement on McCartney’s death. Not only would this song confirm THAT Paul is dead, but it would also reveal in a convincing manner HOW he had died.

Millions of fans, disk jockeys and journalists consider A Day In The Life the keystone of an intriguing puzzle. Each line of text seems to have been carefully chosen by Lennon. Combined they would form a fascinating riddle that consist of five verses chock-full of metaphors, references and cross-references.

The song is build up as follows:

“I read the news today oh boy”
Verse 1 (John)
Verse 2 (John)
Verse 3 (John)
“I’d love to turn you on.”
 — -
Verse 4 (Paul)
 — -
“I read the news today oh boy”
Verse 5 (John)
“I’d love to turn you on.”

John is telling us a story from a contemplative angle. He looks at himself from a distance, explaining how he’s lost in a world that is completely disordered.

The only lead we have so far is John’s remark:

“Paul is dead, yeah really really dead”

So we’ll start deconstructing the lyrics of A Day In The Life, looking for hard evidence or solid leads that support the thesis that Paul is either dead, really dead or really, really dead.

The danger of analysing in retrospect is that the mind unconsciously will look for something that fits the interpretation that is already inside your head. This is what scientists call abduction or tunnel vision. Your brain simply does what you tell it to do, and will bend all laws of logic if it has to.

Therefore the challenge is to approach this matter like a detective or a judge, by continuously checking your argumentation to both the facts and other argumentations. Would it hold up in court? Can it also be not true? Is the opposite argumentation valid as well?

Let’s start with the first verse:

I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph”

‘Making the grade’ is a synonym for ‘successful’. This first verse can be summarised by stating there is “rather sad new about a successful man.”

If by now you’re already jumping from your seat while shouting: “See! The fucker has hopped the twig!!” you’re banned from the game and left with the chore to get some cold beers for the rest of us.

“Laughing about sad news” is a well-known metaphor for something that is unexpected, bizarre or unreal. “I saw the photograph” implies that the described turn of events is the new reality. If young Paul would have died, it would have been sad, unexpected and an inconvenient truth. But so far John still hasn’t mentioned Paul. Up to this point, the song could be about any successful man.

In several interviews, John declared that he got the inspiration for A Day In The Life by a news article from the Daily Mail. That short article explained the outcome of an autopsy report of one Tara Browne, a young London socialite and heir to the Guinness brewery fortune.

Tara was born with a silver spoon, had a good head of hair, many friends and more money than God. And as of December 18th 1966 Tara was dead. Really really dead.

The internet archive of the Daily Mail contains the article which confirms that Tara Browne was killed in a car crash on December 18th 1966:

John continues:

“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 Lords”

The main reason this verse plays a key role in the myth is because of the words:

“He blew his mind out in a car.”

To blow your mind out is a metaphor for many things, of which at least one isn’t drug related. Which is if someone dies from head injury. In the second line John sings that that same person didn’t notice that the traffic lights had changed. This led the investigators towards the possibility that the lead character of A Day In The Life had missed a red light, crashed his car and died from head injury.

“House Of Lords” implies that this specific person was a noble man. Tara Brown was a Lord and someone who died in a car crash.

So, case closed? Hell no! Because you know who also had a honourable shiny medal as of June 1965?

Sir’ Paul McCartney
- Member of the Order Of The British Empire –

And thus ‘House Of Lords’ could also be a metaphor for ‘four noble men’ a.k.a. the Beatles. In that case the last two lines would say:

“They’d seen his face before,
Nobody was really sure if he was from the Beatles.”

So is John referring to Paul or Tara? A quote from the authorised biography by Hunter Davies in 1968 sheds new light on this matter:

“I didn’t copy Tara’s accident. Tara didn’t blow his mind out. But it was in my mind when I was writing that verse.”
- John Lennon, “The Beatles” (1968) –

At first sight, John seems to be contradicting himself since he was the one who brought up Tara Browne in the first place, right? Wrong.

Technically, John never claimed that it was about Tara Browne. The only thing he said was that he was inspired by a news article that discussed the autopsy report of Tara Browne.

According to the myth, the two most relevant words in that line are not Tara Browne but ‘autopsy report’.

An autopsy report describes the circumstances that led to someone’s death. It’s rarely inspirational, yet apparently John grabbed pencil and paper after reading one. To do what exactly?

Could A Day In The Life be John’s autopsy report in which he describes the circumstances that led to Paul’s death? Again, a great theory but we still don’t have a shred of evidence that Paul is the lead character John is referring to.

According to (fake) Paul McCartney the line ‘he blew his mind out in a car’ refers to a politician who uses drugs in his car and gets so high that he needs a stepladder to scratch his own arse.

Playboy Magazine confronted John with Paul’s explanation. John replied by stating that Paul should shut the fuck up because his only contribution to the song had been the line:

“I’d love to turn you on.”

Then he continued by stating:

“I thought it was a damn good piece of work.”

So on the one hand he’s calling Paul a bullshit artist yet at the same time he’s complimenting him with his minimalistic — yet apparently brilliant — contribution “I’d love to turn you on”, which is repeated twice during the song.

The myth states that if John repeats a line or lyric, we need to be alert because it might very well be a clue. If John repeats a line or lyric AND refers to it during an interview, alarm bells should go off. If John states that this particular line is “a damn good piece of work” the gloves come off and we start digging until we find a dead body.

The good news is we’ll all be home before dark, because according to the myth John gives us the name of the dead lead character in the next verse…

Before we start digging, let’s summarise the information we’ve come up with so far by merely deconstructing the lyrics:

“There is rather sad news about a successful man.
He crashed his car and died from head injury.
He didn’t notice that the lights had changed.”

Now let’s move on to the third verse, which — from a linguistic point of view — is as brilliant as they come:

“I saw a film today oh boy
The English army had just won the war
A crowd of people turned away.
But I just had to look
(Just) Having read the book
I’d love to turn you on”

Some of you might say: “Hey wait a minute, John doesn’t sing the word ‘just’ in the second-last line!” You’re right, he doesn’t. But he did write it.

Behold the original handwritten transcript of A Day In The life. It was auctioned on June 19th 2010 for $ 1.200.000,-. Just below the middle — between brackets — you’ll be able to spot the word {just}.

From a literary perspective the word ‘just’ is relevant because it transforms the experience Lennon describes into a recent experience.

In this verse John refers to a film about the British Army that had just won the war. John is intrigued by the film, yet the audience doesn’t seemed to be interested:

“A crowd of people looked away.”

This particular line is a clear cross-reference to a line in the previous verse;

“A crowd of people stood and stared.”

What John is saying in a literary sense is that the death of one man in your personal vicinity is more relevant than the historical successes of an entire army.

What supports that train of thought is the fact that John is referring to “the English Army” of The British Empire, the biggest empire the world has ever known. The once so powerful British Empire is a common metaphor for something that was once successful, powerful and relevant……..and collapsed like a house of cards in a split second.

The beginning of World War I meant the end of the British Empire. World War I started with the death of one man, a murder. So because of the death of one man, the biggest Empire in human history now only exists in our history books. Or in a film that no one in interested in watching.

When John states ‘he has read the book’ , he literary states he has experienced the same. The affix ‘just’ implies that this experience was a recent experience.

According to the myth and the laws of grammar and punctuation, John states that because to the recent death of one person his entire world collapsed. Everything that once seemed important, suddenly became completely irrelevant. Thus:

“There is rather sad news about a successful man.
He crashed his car and died from head injury.
He didn’t notice that the lights had changed.
My world has collapsed, nothing seems relevant anymore.”

Now what could be more relevant in John’s world than the band ‘with more followers than Jesus Christ’? Whose death could make the entire Beatles empire collapse like a house of cards?


Sorry Ringo, but not very likely. Dead drummers receive the hero-status and get replaced. Just ask The Who and Led Zeppelin.


Bless him, but the Beatles were bigger than George plus guitarists are exchangeable as well. Just ask the Rolling Stones.

According to the myth, McCartney is the only man who fits the profile. The death of McCartney would definitely mean the end of the Beatles empire. Paul’s death would make all their successes irrelevant and much like the once so successful British Empire, the Beatles would only continue to exist in our history books or in a movie that no one is interested in watching.

The story that John is telling us is seems to become clearer and clearer with every verse. Yet we’re still lacking evidence that McCartney is in fact the dead lead character of the song. Up to this point any detective or judge would — and should — put this theory right out of its misery.

So let’s see if we can make their job harder. A lot harder. The myth states that we don’t need to look far in order to find the name of the man who threatened to take down an entire empire by missing a single red light. Because John gives us the name of that person in the last line of both this third and fifth verse. The line John described as

“Paul’s only contribution.”


“A damn good piece of work.”

The most infamous line in the entire Beatles catalogue. The line that holds the answer:

“I’d love to turn you on.”

“I’d love to turn you on” is a well-known metaphor for anyone who is not entirely unfamiliar with hallucinogenic drugs.

A man called Timothy Leary introduced the line “turn on, tune in, drop out”, which translates as “light the damn thing, inhale and don’t make any fucking plans.” Which in itself is a metaphor for ‘escaping reality’ or as Charles Dickens and I would put it: ‘attempting to fill an emotional black hole’. Which is something you might be tempted to do when someone close to you has just kicked the calendar.

That explanation sure would fit nicely into the myth, yet to call this single line “a damn good piece of work” seems slightly exaggerated. Until you see it, then it’s brilliant. Because with this single line, John indeed gives us the name of the dead lead character from A Day In The Life.

What makes “I’d love to turn you on” brilliant is the fact that it’s not a metaphor OR a cross-reference like every line we’ve seen so far. It’s both. It’s the only line in the entire song that is both a metaphor AND a cross-reference.

Think of it as a double code. We just can’t see the cross-reference yet, because the line refers to a different infamous song. From a different infamous album. The White Album. And that track is definitely about Paul McCartney since the title of that track is:

‘The Death Of McCartney’

Again, some of you might say: “wait a minute, there is no song called The Death Of McCartney on the damn White Album!”

Of course there isn’t, Lennon wasn’t born stupid. Yet if you deconstruct the title of one particular track, the words The Death Of McCartney will appear. What can I say? It’s the Beatles. Nothing is real, remember? Come on, I’ll show you.

There’s a track on the White Album called Revolution Number 9. According to the album credits, this track is written only by Lennon. It is the track you probably skip while playing the album, because for the untrained ear it appears to be anything less than a bunch of noise. Yet the myth states it is a relevant bunch of noise.

Lennon wrote the line:

“Turn me on!”

fourteen (!) times during the first forty seconds (!) of the song.

That means we now have a cross-reference:

“I’d love to turn you on”
(A Day In The Life)
“Turn me on!”
(Revolution Number 9)

One reference would be an incident, two references would be remarkable and three references would show a pattern. Fourteen times in forty seconds is John shouting in your ear if you are deaf or what?

We know that it was Paul who wrote the line “I’d love to turn you on” in A Day In The Life. We also know that John wrote “Turn me on” in Revolution Number 9. According to the myth, these two lines from two different songs should be interpreted as a conversation between Paul and John:

Paul: “I’d love to turn you on”
John: “Turn me on!”

But this is only half the story. You see, Turn me on” is only HALF the line John used in Revolution Number 9. The complete sentence which is spoken out loud fourteen times in forty seconds is:

“Turn me on dead man!”

So if John indeed is responding to Paul, then this would be his second clue that Paul has joined the choir invisible:

Paul: “I’d love to turn you on”
John: “Turn me on dead man!”

Oh, one more thing. If you want to hear “turn me on dead man” fourteen times in forty seconds, you need to play this song in reverse. Otherwise you’ll only hear the words “number nine” fourteen times is a row. Disk jockeys went apeshit on this clue. Hours of airtime worldwide have been filled due to this discovery.

A second clue that the two songs are connected is that both songs clearly mention a man who had been involved in a car crash:

“He blew his mind out in a car”
(A Day In The Life)
(sound of a klaxon and a car crash)
“He hit a pole!”
(Revolution Numer 9)

One reference would be an incident, two references would be remarkable and three references would show a pattern. A third clue that both songs describe the exact same event is the fact that both songs refer to a man who died from head injury:

“He blew his mind out in a car”
(A Day In The Life)
“So my wings are broken and so is my hair
I’m not in the mood for words.”
(Revolution Number 9)

Broken hair is also a metaphor for head injury.

The fact that both songs describe the exact same event is all fine and dandy, but up to this point it hasn’t resulted in the name of the lead character of both songs, who apparently is a dead man.

Yet the myth states it already has…

In order to hear the words ‘dead man’ we need to play the words “number 9” in reverse. So:

number 9 = dead man
dead man = number 9

Apparently if we know who “number 9” is we will also have the name of the “dead man”. Let’s check:

dead man = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (9)
dead man = M-C-C-A-R-T-N-E-Y (9)

Number 9. Nine characters. En we can double-check it as well. On other occasions the Beatles refer to Number 9 as Number 49.

P-A-U-L (4)
M-C-C-A-R-T-N-E-Y (9)

Number 49. Four characters. Nine characters. A second solid lead that number 9 / 49 is a dead man can be found in the Beatles film Yellow Submarine.

For some undisclosed reason that film shows the image of a tombstone that holds the text:


Or if you prefer:


The myth states that the third clue that this song refers to ‘dead man McCartney’ can be found in the title of the track:

Revolution Number 9

Let’s check the dictionary to see if that makes any sense:

A sudden change of the existing state

If we were to replace the words number 9 with McCartney, then Revolution Number 9 would imply:

Revolution Number 9
‘A sudden change of the existing state of McCartney’

The clearest example of a sudden change of the existing state is death. Because death immediately changes an existing state into a non-existing state. So:

Revolution Number 9
‘The death of McCartney’

If we copy / paste the info from Revolution Number 9 into our summary of A Day In The Life, it leads us to this:

“There is rather sad news about Paul McCartney.
He crashed his car and died from head injury.
He didn’t notice that the lights had changed.
My world has collapsed, nothing seems relevant anymore.”


Now you know why the first three verses of A Day In The Life are considered Lennon’s press conference, in which he not only informs us THAT Paul McCartney had died, but also HOW he had died.

Let’s double check the theory by quickly going through the final two verses of A Day In The Life.

The fourth verse is sung by Paul:

(…) Woke up, fell out of bed, 
(…) And looking up I noticed I was late.
(…) Found my way upstairs
(…) I went into a dream.

The song appears to describe one day of Paul’s life. A Day In The Life of Paul McCartney. Yet the myth states that this verse covers Paul’s entire life instead of just ‘a day’. Both waking up and falling out of bed are well-known metaphors for being born. ‘Noticed I was late’ would refer to the fact that his time on earth was due. ‘Late’ could also mean deceased, as in “I noticed I was dead”. Some believers additionally consider it a referral to the traffic light. Both statements actually make sense from a literary point of view. Furthermore Paul gets inside a motor vehicle and his destination is the stairway to heaven. Went into a dream would be an additional metaphor for the fact that Paul from now on is restricted to playing solo concerts at the Pearly Gates.

After this verse, a crying Lennon takes over. So according to the myth the fourth verse would not only fit the story so far, it would even reinforce it.

A recurring theme in the fifth verse is holes. According to Lennon this verse was again inspired by an article from the Daily Mail called The holes in our roads. Indeed, the same newspaper that covered Tara Browne’s autopsy report.

The article states that the council of Blackburn, Lancashire counted all the holes in their roads (4000). The holes cannot be filled due to a lack of funds.

Despite the fact that John refers to them as ‘rather small holes’ , he — again — identifies with the situation. He draws the comparison with 4000 holes (seats) in the Royal Albert Hall, that according to the myth can no longer be filled due to the one giant black hole that Paul McCartney left behind.

A Day In The Life. The magnum opus of the Beatles catalogue. A song inspired by someone who died from head injury and an article that described the outcome of an autopsy report. Which according to the myth makes it Lennon’s autopsy report that supports his previous message:

“Paul is dead. Really really dead.”

2.3 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

“So let me introduce to you
The one and only Billy Shears
and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band!”

In a minute we’ll start revealing more morbid clues on the famous album cover. Clues that would not only support the conclusion from A Day In The Life, but would also provide us the exact time of death.

But first let’s take a brief look at perhaps the most brilliant element of this story, the assertion that dead Paul had been replaced by a body double right before our very eyes.

Opinions vary when the identity of fake Paul - or Faul - is brought to the table. Most people will tell you that Faul is a man who had had entered a lookalike contest in 1965. This man - William Shears Campbell - supposedly had gone missing around November 1966, never to be seen again.

Digging into that William Shears Campbell-story leads to three undisputed facts:

Fact number one is that there indeed had been a lookalike contest in 1965, organised by a teen magazine. However, any information on whether there was a contestant by the name of William Shears Campbell cannot be retrieved.

Fact number two is that the Beatles — through their lyrics and album covers — often link Paul to the name Bill or Billy. Bill could very well be short for William, as in William Shears Campbell.

In the opening track Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band John sings:

“So let me introduce to you
The one and only Billy Shears
and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band!”

Followed by a choir singing: “BIIIILLLY SHEEEARS”.

Fact number three is that it is totally irrelevant what fake Paul’s name is. It could be Shirley Bassey for all I care. The main thing is that the myth proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Paul McCartney had left the building, since that would automatically prove that he indeed had been replaced before our very eyes.

So the search continued. From Liverpool to Sydney crowds were poring over their albums for clues that would support the thesis that Paul McCartney had been involved in a car crash and died from head injury.

Clues is exactly what they found. Plus they found a date. And a time. Then they looked at the album cover again from a distance and choked on their tea. Paul was indeed really really dead…..and buried.



Sgt. Pepper’s album cover plays an important role in the myth. Let’s start with some basic clues that are visible with the naked eye. Subsequently I’ll show you three hidden clues that allegedly would reveal he exact time of death.

Look closely at the scene that is being portrayed. We see an interesting crowd of people in the background and pictures of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ Beatles on the forefront. At first glance it appears to be some sort of family portrait.

But the ‘old’ Beatles look rather sad. With bended heads they look down at a pile of sand with lots of flowers on top. On their left we see the famous boxer Sonny Liston, who is dressed up as a priest……we’re clearly looking at a funeral.

Above the image of ‘new’ Paul a hand can be spotted. Which makes it look like Paul is being blessed. That hand is attached to the body of Stephen Crane. Crane is the author of The Open Boat, a story about four men on a boat. One of them dies at sea, but the remaining three decide to ignore the fact that their friend had gone to Davey Jones’ Locker. They carried on as if it never happened.

The crowd in the background consists of people who either died in a car crash (f.e. James Dean) or died an unexpected and mysterious death (f.e. Edgar Allan Poe, Marilyn Monroe). You can also spot Bob Dylan, who at the time had been falsely proclaimed dead several times.

On the right you can spot a red-haired doll. Paul’s fiancé Jane Asher had red hair. In her right hand she’s holding a miniature car, a white Aston Martin. Paul drove a white Aston Martin. Close to her left hand you can spot a pair of racing gloves, covered in blood. Jane’s t-shirt reads “Welcome the Rolling Stones.” The myth states that since the Beatles had ceased to be, the Stones undisputedly were the best band in the world. (Told you.)

Shortly after Sgt. Pepper’s had been released, Jane Asher appeared on BBC television, stating that after a five year relationship the marriage with Paul McCartney had been cancelled. Even more remarkable than her statement were the words she chose to put it:

“I haven’t broken it off, but it’s broken off. Finished.”

Since Paul clearly loved her — and because of the way she had been pictured on the album cover — the myth states that Paul’s funeral apparently had to be scheduled prior to the wedding.

Let’s continue, ‘cause this morbid treasure hunt is far from over. The grave is covered in red flowers which spell the name of the band. Usually the name of the person on top of a grave is the same as the name of the person inside a grave. This would implicate that the Beatles are in their grave.

That Paul was the one who kicked the bucket, can be derived from the female icon below the band name. It portraits Shiva, a symbol for both destruction and transformation. Her right hand points towards ‘old’ Paul (destruction) whereas her left hand points towards ‘new’ Paul (transformation). In the Jewish tradition shiva also symbolises seven weeks of mourning after a loved one has snuffed out.

On the right you can spot a bass guitar, made out of yellow hyacinths. Or to be more specific: a left-handed bass guitar. Paul played the bass guitar and was left-handed. The bass guitar shows three snares instead of the usual four, which according to the myth is a reference to the three remaining band members. Above the letter ‘B’ you can spot a male doll with a head injury.

The inside cover shows a photo of four Beatles staring right at you. The most discussed item on this photo is the badge on Paul’s left shoulder, which shows the abbreviation O.P.D.

O.P.D. is short for Officially Pronounced Dead. It is the last title you’ll receive on this earth, before you get shoved into a large freezer with a label on your big toe.

On the same photo, John, George and Ringo wear sashes on their RIGHT chest, which is common protocol for military uniforms.

The blood red photo on the back cover shows another picture of the four Beatles. John, Paul and Ringo are still looking straight at us, but Paul suddenly stands with his back towards the audience. As if he is no longer part of the group. Remarkable detail is that the sashes are now suddenly worn on the LEFT chest. Which is the military dress code at a funeral.

These inconvenient truths conclude the clues that can be spotted with the naked eye. Now it’s time for some dazzling techniques that according to the myth will reveal the exact time of death.

Take a close look at the bass drum that says Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. If the flowers are referring to a grave, then the bass drum clearly represents the tombstone.

According to the album credits, the drumskin was designed by a man called ‘Joe Ephgrave’, whose last name conveniently seems to be an interconnection of ‘epitaph’ and ‘grave’. People searched for this man, but no evidence that this man actually existed was found.

Now there’s a guy — and this guy should be appointed head of Scotland Yard — who discovered that if you place a horizontal mirror halfway through the words ‘Lonely Hearts’, a text appears:


ONE I X HE ↑DIE can also be written as


ONE ONE ONE X could be referring to the four Beatles. In that case the X would imply that that there are only three Beatles left. The arrow is pointing towards Paul. Paul HE DIE?

But there is an even better — or if you wish — additional explanation. If we ‘translate’ I ONE I X HE ↑DIE entirely to the Roman numbers that it partly contains, it will read:





11 9 HE ↑ DIE



A second lead, that allegedly will not only confirm this date, but also will give us the exact time of death can be found on the back cover of the album.

The back cover contains the album lyrics. The myth busting music detectives discovered that George is pointing towards one particular line of text:

“Wednesday morning at five o’clock, as the day begins.”

November 9th 1966 indeed was a Wednesday.

One referral would be an incident, two referrals would be remarkable and three would show a pattern. We have:

1. A date on a tombstone that is referring to a Wednesday;
2. A Wednesday that is referring to ‘5 A.M.”;


3. A ‘5 A.M.’ that is referring to a fatal accident;

That third referral can be found on the track Good Morning, Good Morning which starts off with the line:

“Nothing to do to save his life, call his wife in.”

Shortly followed by:

“People running around, it’s five o’clock”

Three cross-references. A pattern. That’s why according to the myth the exact time of death is:

November 9th 1966
at 5 A.M.”

If we add this information to Lennon’s statement from A Day In The Life, it adds up to this:

“There is rather sad news about Paul McCartney.
On Wednesday November 9th 1966 , at 5 A.M.
he crashed his car and died from head injury.
He didn’t notice that the lights had changed.
My world has collapsed, nothing seems relevant anymore.”

Now you know why believers of the myth consider the Sgt. Pepper’s album Paul’s obituary. Or the press conference that was never scheduled.

But this riddle is far from over. Now that the press conference is over, it’s time to bury the dead. Prepare yourself for a Magical Mystery Tour where nothing is what it appears to be…



Magical Mystery Tour was released six months after Sgt. Pepper’s. And make no mistake, in retrospect this is potentially one of the creepiest albums of all time.

Four songs on this album play an important part in the myth:

I Am The Walrus
Strawberry Fields Forever
The Fool On The Hill
All You Need Is Love

This album allegedly supports the thesis that Paul McCartney died from head injury due to a car crash on Wednesday November 9th 1966.

Furthermore it supposedly adds some new insights regarding the circumstances surrounding Paul’s untimely demise. Also, burying and replacing seem to be recurring themes on this album.

Welcome to the album where Lennon wants to make one point very clear:

“Nothing is real”

3.1 I Am The Walrus

“Stupid bloody Tuesday.
Man, you’ve been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long”
“I’m crying, I’m crying. I’m crying, I’m crying.”

The scavenger hunt for clues related to Pauls death would start no sooner than two years after the release of this album. At this point in time no one in his right mind even assumed that something might have happened to Paul. Nevertheless it already was a national sport to deconstruct Beatles lyrics for clues…related to drug abuse.

In an interview with Playboy magazine, John stated that he’d had enough of the fact that people continuously misinterpreted his lyrics. He claimed that he added lines like:

“Yellow mother custard, dripping from a dead dog’s eye.
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess.”

to the lyrics of I Am The Walrus out of utter frustration.

“Let the fuckers work that one out.”
John Lennon — Playboy (1980)

Be that as it may, the remaining lyrics of I Am The Walrus are truly relevant for the myth. If we deconstruct the lyrics of the first two verses, I Am The Walrus supposedly unveils a rather shocking secret.

Let’s start by dealing with that ‘walrus’. WTF John?! The album cover shows a picture of three Beatles in the background, wearing white animal suits. A fourth Beatles poses one the forefront, wearing a black walrus suit. That particular alignment again implicates that this particular Beatle is no longer part of the band.

Of course it would fit the myth nicely if the walrus would be Paul. However it’s Lennon who sings:

“I am the walrus
Goo goo gootsh”

In an interview John explains that the walrus is a reference to the poem The Walrus & The Carpenter. The poem is written by Lewis Caroll, who also wrote Alice In Wonderland.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the work of Lewis Carroll: the man was a bit — how shall I put it — ‘unbalanced’. Which is a nice way of saying that he was utterly insane. His novels belong to the most fucked up literature in human history. Brilliant, but absolute bonkers.

A lot has to do with the fact that Lewis loved his LSD, and saw things that go far beyond our wildest imaginations. Blond girls disappearing in rabbit holes, talking tea pots and white rabbits who understand the concept of time. Plus a talking walrus who fucks over a sweet and kind carpenter.

So buckle up ’cause were about to dust of parts of your brain that most likely haven’t haven’t been exposed to daylight in a loooong time.

In an interview, John admitted that Carroll’s poem was a bit hard to understand at first:

“To me, it was a beautiful poem. It never dawned on me that Lewis Carroll was commenting on the capitalist and social system. I never went into that bit about what he really meant, like people are doing with the Beatles’ work.
Later, I went back and looked at it and realised that the walrus was the bad guy in the story and the carpenter was the good guy.
I thought, Oh, shit, I picked the wrong guy. I should have said, “I am the carpenter.”
But that wouldn’t have been the same, would it?
[Singing] “I am the carpenter….”
John Lennon- Playboy (1980)

Oopsy daisy, wrong character. Uh-huh John.

Allow me to call bullshit when it comes to this explanation right here. Lewis Carroll might have been a mad hatter, and the link with socialism might indeed be a bit unclear, but even Stevie Wonder with an e-reader will be able to tell that the carpenter is the good guy. Just as there can be no misunderstanding about the fact that the walrus is an imposter. Someone who isn’t who he claims to be.

So apparently if John sings:

“I am the walrus”

he actually sings:

“I am an imposter / I am not who I claim to be”

And that’s correct. John indeed is an imposter. In a sense that he claims to be the walrus, but isn’t.

The first clue that John is NOT the walrus can be found on the back cover of the album. Right underneath the title track a line of text has been added that states: (“No You’re Not!”) said Little Nicola.

FYI: Little Nicola is a character from the Beatles film Magical Mystery Tour who contradicts everything that’s been said to her.

A second clue that John is NOT the walrus can be derived from the fact that he admits it on the track Glass Onion from the White Album, which would be released a year later:

“I told you about the walrus and me, man.
You know that we’re as close as can be, man.
Well here’s another clue for you all.
The walrus was Paul.”

Apart from the fact that John admits that he’s giving away clues, we now know that Paul is the walrus. Which makes Paul an imposter. Someone who isn’t who he claims to be and someone who stands out of the group. Which according to the myth would be a clear indication that Paul had been replaced.

So let’s take a close look at the first two verses of I Am The Walrus, looking for clues that Paul died from head injury after crashing his car on Wednesday morning November 9th ’66, as well as solid leads that he had been replaced by someone who pretends to be Paul, but clearly isn’t:

“I am here as you are here
as you are me and we are all together.
See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly.
I’m crying.”

In order to understand the lyrics, we need to keep in mind that there was one group of people that John despised even more than the Rolling Stones: policemen.


is slang for ‘policemen’. According to the myth and the laws of grammar and punctuation, this verse describes a chaotic situation on a police station. All four Beatles are gathered inside that police station. And John is crying.

So a literal translation of the first verse would be something like this:

“I am here, you are here, we are all together again in a police station.
Policemen are running all over the place.
I’m crying.”

Let’s move on to the second verse to find out why John is crying:

“Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come.
Corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday
Man you’ve been a naughty boy you let your face grow long
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus
Goo goo gootsh”

The most bizarre dissertations have been written about the line:

‘Sitting on a cornflake’

Whereas it’s safe to assume that John is literally sitting in a cafeteria in some police station (where policemen eat their cornflakes), waiting for some van to arrive.

To fully comprehend and deconstruct the line:

“corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday”

we need to do a brief flash forward to the White Album, which would be released a year from now.

That might sound a bit odd, but keep in mind that we are deconstructing the myth in a chronological order, from Sgt. Pepper’s to Abbey Road. Whereas at the time the millions of fans, disk jockeys and reporters followed the same path counterclockwise, from Abbey Road back to Sgt. Pepper’s. Hence, they had already passed the White Album, before ending up in #walrusgate.

The White Album contains a song called Don’t Pass Me By. It is sung by Ringo and he describes how he had an argument with someone. According to the lyrics that person died in a car crash before Ringo was able to apologise and make amends:

“I’m sorry that I doubted you
I was so unfair.
You were in a car crash
and you lost your hair”
“Does this mean you don’t love me anymore?”

“You lost your hair” is yet another metaphor for head injury. If Paul indeed died on Wednesday morning, this fight must have taken place shortly before Paul got into his car and drove off into eternity.

In I Am The Walrus, John sings about a

“stupid bloody Tuesday.”

where the lead character of I Am The Walrus had been walking around with a long face. We already know that the lead character / walrus is Paul. According to the myth Ringo and John both refer to the last time they saw Paul alive.

Another reference to a Tuesday evening / hectic Wednesday morning can be found in the song ‘Lady Madonna’.

Tuesday afternoon is never ending
Wednesday morning papers didn’t come

Followed — as in I Am The Walrus — by:

See how they run…

The words:

“Corporation tee-shirt”

implicate that John is still wearing his company clothes. The same clothes he wore at the recording studio the day before. As in: it all happened so fast he didn’t have time to change his clothes.

Another referral that lead character Paul died from head injury can be found in the closing sentences of this verse:

“I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus
Goo goo gootsh”

Eggman refers to another character from Lewis Caroll’s book Through The Looking Glass. In that story Alice buys an egg that changes into an egg-shaped little man called Humpty Dumpty. Humpty is a fragile little fella, who one day falls off a wall and breaks into a thousand pieces. The story contains one of the most famous rhymes in English literature:

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

Humpty was broken and no one was able to put him back together. Just like no one was able to put Paul’s broken face back together.

A second confirmation that Humpty Dumpty is the Eggman can be found in the last word of this verse:

“Goo goo gootsh”

That same Humpty Dumpty character appears in James Joyce’s classic book Finnegan’s Wake. In that story, “goo goo ggotsh” are the last words Humpty shouts before he smashes to the ground after which no one is able to put him back together again.

So according to the myth there can be no mistake what I Am The Walrus is actually about:

“I am here, you are here, we are all gathered in a police station.
Policemen are running all over the place.
I’m crying.
Sitting in the cafeteria, waiting for the van to come
Still wearing the same clothes as yesterday, stupid bloody Tuesday
Man, just a moment ago we were still arguing
Now I am broken, we are all broken
Some imposter will have to come in your stead
‘Cause no one is able to put you back together again.”


Aside from this rather morbid message, other verses also contain some relevant info as well. In the third and fourth verse John sings that he is able to see the irony in the fact that he — as a chain-smoker — outlives so many people around him. And that you should never place your destiny in the hands of one man.

At the end there are some spoken words in the background. Some gold digging illiterate myth busters are convinced that the words are:

“New man take the fortune.”

However, the good people who choose to read a book every now and then will be able to tell that the words are actually from Shakespeare’s King Lear. Act 4 to be more precise:

“Now good Sir, what are you?”
“A most poor man, made tame to fortune blows”
“Bury me, bury me, burn my body”
“Oh untimely death.”
“What, is he dead?”
“Sit ye down father rest you.”

“Bury me, Bury me.” Uh-huh. A wiser man than myself once said we indeed should bury the dead, because they stink up the place. So let’s watch how John arranges a funeral in some ‘English garden’ where you can ‘get a tan from standing in the English rain.’

3.2 Strawberry Fields Forever

“Let me take you down
‘cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields”

And just like that we suddenly find ourselves deep in the heart of Liverpool. Beaconsfield Road to be more exact. Also known as Strawberry Field.

Where nothing is real or what it appears to be according to John. So, what does it appear to be? Mainly an old fence and a hilly piece of land overlooking Liverpool.

“A former Salvation Army shelter” is what the current residents will probably tell you. “John Lennon used to play here as a child” they might add. Both claims are true according to the council’s archives and John himself.

What’s also true — but less known — is that Strawberry Field is in fact a former cemetery.

“Strawberry Fields cemetery also lies within the city.”

According to the myth, John knew Strawberry Fields like the back of his hand. So he might very well have been aware of the trivial fact that it was sacred ground.

As soon as you start to play Strawberry Fields Forever, you will be able to notice two things.

First of all theres the truly awesome rhythm of the drums, which seems to implicate some kind of movement or gait. Secondly you’ll hear lines like:

“Nothing is real”
“Living is easy with eyes closed”
“It’s getting hard to be someone, but it all works out.”
“That is you can’t, you know, tune in, but it’s all right. That is I think it’s not too bad.”

Listen closely to the drums. Now back to the lyrics:

Let me take you down
‘cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields”
“Strawberry Fields Forever

“Forever” implicates that it’s not just a short visit. The myth states there can be no misunderstanding that Strawberry Fields Forever is John talking to dead Paul right before he puts him underground. Forever.

What strengthens that thought is John’s message in the background near the end of the song:

“I buried Paul”

In the song Glass Onion from the White Album, John refers to Strawberry Field. He calls it a place where ‘nothing is real’. Metaphorically this implicates that Strawberry Field holds a secret. Unseen by the naked eye.

And it isn’t the only reference to a dead Paul in his coffin…

3.3 The Fool On The Hill

“Day after day
alone on a hill”

Pop Quiz! Who or what is “keeping perfectly still”, “never gives an answer”, “is never heard”, “doesn’t notice anything”, “never shows his feelings” and is not very popular?

Anyone who answered “a bleedin’ corpse!” gets it, according to the myth. The fool on the hill supposedly refers to dead Paul, buried on a barrow on Strawberry Field.

That Paul is indeed the lead character in this song can be derived from the line:

“The man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still.”

McCartney’s grin was legendary and has led to an appropriate nickname:

Ringo = the funny one
George = the silent one
John = the smart one
Paul = the cute one

The movie Magical Mystery Tour also refers to a cutie. Right before the end, a song is played that is not performed by the Beatles but by The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. The name of the track is

“Death Cab For Cutie”

The Fool On The Hill is the third song John refers to in the song Glass Onion on the White Album. John sings:

“I told you about the fool on the hill
I tell you man he’s living there still
Looking through a glass onion.”

A ‘glass onion’ is a metaphor for a coffin with a see-through lid. It is used to create the possibility to have a last look at a dead person, without having to open all doors and windows. In the line “Living there still”, the word ‘still’ could mean two things:

  1. He hasn’t moved in quite a while.
  2. He’s buried (‘still’ as in ‘keeping perfectly still’)

All clues combined apparently suggest that Paul has indeed been overlooking his beloved Liverpool from a barrow on Strawberry Field for the past 48 years now.

And therefore clearly has been replaced! That part of the myth may seem most unlikely, but apparently it isn’t as hard as it looks. ‘Cause according to the Beatles, anyone can be replaced. As long as you add a little love…

3.4 All You Need Is Love

“There’s nothing that you sing
that can’t be sung”

“LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!” Who hasn’t sung this out loud at least once, hands waving in the air and shit? Yeah, you might want to rethink that.

Because according to the myth, All You Need Is Love isn’t some sickly sweet tribute to love. The real message behind All You Need Is Love supposedly is that anyone can be replaced:

“There’s nothing that you do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung”
“Nothing you can do but
you can learn how to be you in time
It’s easy!”

Altogether now!



Believers of the myth state that the Magical Mystery Tour album confirms the real message from Sgt. Pepper’s: Paul had been involved in a car crash, died from head injury on November 9th 1966, is buried in a barrow on Strawberry Field and had been replaced by an imposter who pretends he’s Paul, but in fact isn’t.

The album cover supposedly contains clues that would support that thesis:

We’ve already discussed the album cover that pictures Paul in a black walrus suit. The booklet contains a photo of Paul sitting behind a desk that holds a sign which says: ‘I WAS’

A third photo shows the Beatles while they are performing. Paul is the only one who doesn’t wear shoes, which is a common metaphor to describe a dead person. The origin of that metaphor can be found in the fact that many cultures — including the British — tend to bury their dead without shoes.

At the same time, Paul’s shoes are included in the picture. They’re right next to Ringo’s drum kit. Covered in blood.

Ringo’s drum kit shows the words: Love The 3 Beatles. Yet another reference to ‘one and one and one is three’ like we saw earlier with the tombstone on the Sgt. Pepper’s cover.

On Sgt. Pepper’s Paul was pictured with a hand above his head, as if he was being blessed. Which undeniably is a metaphor for death. This is also a recurring theme on this album.



The legendary White Album was released two years after the day that Paul allegedly became pale white by proxy.

By this time the four men are back on their regular schedule of releasing one album a year. They’ve kept their word and never performed live again.
Despite the many alleged clues on the previous two albums, there still wasn’t any suspicion amongst fans, disk jockeys and reporters yet.

The myth states that the White Album is the album where both John and Ringo seem to give away keys, in order to better understand the many previous clues.

We discussed most of them already and we’ll not go over those again, so this album is somewhat of a quick stop. There are however two additional facts that should not remain unmentioned. The first one is that for the fourth consecutive time John will tell us that Paul is a dead man. Also noteworthy is that the founder and manager of the Beatles commits suicide.

Insomnia and guilty consciences seem to be recurring themes on this album…

4.1 I’m So Tired

“Paul is a dead man
miss him, miss him, miss him”

The track title doesn’t need to be deconstructed. The lyrics clearly state that John is tired. Dead tired:

“You’d say I’m putting you on
But it’s no joke,
it’s doing me harm
You know I can’t sleep,
I can’t stop my brain
You know it’s three weeks,
I’m going insane
I’d give you everything I’ve got for a little peace of mind.”

So: something that seems unreal is in fact dead serious and after three weeks of insomnia John is about to lose it. “You’d say” implies that the lead character is someone who is no longer around. At first hand, a reference to the dead Brian Epstein seems obvious.

A year before the White Album was released, there was another death in the family. Only this time with a proper corpse and public funeral.

Manager and Beatles-founder Brian Epstein a.k.a. the fifth Beatle had been institutionalised due to acute insomnia and a rather severe amphetamine addiction. After returning back home he decided to kick the oxygen habit and took enough sleeping pills to enter the Happy Hunting ground.

The successful man clearly had some issues, and according to an unconfirmed rumour he would have told a close friend that “he couldn’t stand it any longer.” Yet, even if that would be true, it still wouldn’t prove that it is in any way related to Paul’s alleged death.

The only thing we can conclude is that apparently two people close to Paul were suffering from acute insomnia within the same period. That’s all the information the myth busting crowd needed to frantically search for hidden clues on this particular track.

They noticed that John is murmuring something in the background near the end of the song. Someone had the presence of mind to play this song in reverse as well. Result:

“Paul is a dead man. Miss him. Miss him. Miss him.”

That would be the fourth consecutive time that John literally shares with us that Paul bought a pine condo. Once would have been a coincidence, twice would have been remarkable, three times would would have showed a pattern. Four times is a superlative degree you can pick for yourself.

But none of the clues so far would open the floodgates as the ones on the legendary Abbey Road album. The album that would start it all. Mostly because of the album cover and the fact that the Paul seems to be talking to his old palls…..from the grave.



With the release of Abbey Road, the genie was out of the bottle and the shit hit the fan. Rolling Stone Magazine, Time, LIFE as well as many respected newspapers dedicated many articles or even entire editions on Paul’s alleged death.

So what where those clues that caused the cat to crawl out of the bag? It was all because of the album cover and the lyrics of one particular song…

5.1 Come Together

“Come together”
Right now
Over me”

The combination Paul, coffin and grave so far has led us towards two songs. On Strawberry Fields Forever John allegedly sings to Paul while he puts him six feet under, whereas on The Fool On The Hill John states that Paul is lying perfectly still while overlooking Liverpool.

Twice. Which according to the law of the myth would be remarkable, but insufficient in order to call it a pattern. Move along people, nothing to see here…….until the record needle hit the intro of Come Together and half of Britain choked on their tea.

Come Together consists of four verses. According to the myth, each verse describes one Beatle, including Paul who is clearly checking out the grass from underneath.

The song is written in slang, a very informal type of language. The type of language used amongst friends. Close friends who like to mock each other in an affectionate way. That’s why the myth dictates that we again need to ‘translate’ the lines in order to understand their true meaning:

“Here come old flattop he come grooving up slowly
He got juju eyeball he one holy roller
He got hair down to his knee
Got to be a joker he just do what he please

Translation: “Here comes my close long-haired friend who does whatever he pleases.”

George was known as the silent Beatle, who had no interest in the rock star lifestyle and instead went about his own business.

“Here come” implies that George is walking towards somebody who apparently is already at the agreed meeting point.

He wear no shoeshine he got toe-jam football
He got monkey finger he shoot coca-cola
He say “I know you, you know me”
One thing I can tell you is you got to be free”

Translation: “Followed by that sneaker wearing coke abuser with drumstick fingers.”

Ringo was the only Beatle who worked with his feet and mostly wore sneakers. Not the type of man to waste shoeshine on. Monkey fingers are long and hard, much like Ringo’s drumsticks which are sort of an extension of his own fingers.

It was a well-know fact that Ringo had some serious troubles with the sweet stuff. He shoot coca-cola supposedly refers to the fact that he was about to kiss his nasal septums goodbye due to massive cocaine abuse.

“He bad production he got walrus gumboot
He got Ono sideboard he one spinal cracker
He got feet down below his knee
Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease”

“And there’s that meditating Yoko Ono fetishist, with a body shaped like an armchair.”

Ono clearly refers to Yoko Ono. A sideboard is slang for distraction. It was no secret that Paul considered Yoko a distraction from Johns work with the band. Walrus gumboots refers to I Am The Walrus, where John pretended to be the walrus but wasn’t. The body of someone who meditates — like John — is shaped like an armchair, due to the fact that such a person has crossed legs with his feet below his knees.

At this point in the song there’s a short musical interlude that James Brown and I call a bridge. Three Beatles down, only one more to go. Or is it in fact: one Beatle down, three to go? Because of its composition, it — again — appears as if this fourth Beatles is no longer part of the group:


It’s that fourth missing verse that left millions of fans crying behind the couch in a fetal position:

“He roller-coaster he got early warning
He got muddy water he one mojo filter
He say “one and one and one is three”
Got to be good-looking ‘cause he’s so hard to see
Come together right now over me”

A rollercoaster is a metaphor for everything that is fast, just like an early warning is a metaphor for a disproportional sanction for a mild wrongdoing. As in: you miss one bleeding red light and immediately end up going home in a box. A roller-coaster who got an early warning is basically someone who lived fast and died young.

Muddy Waters refers to a place that is both wet and gritty. It finds its origin in the blues, where it is used to describe a grave. Mojo is also a blues related expression, meaning curse. “Got my mojo rising” is a common phrase used to describe that you’re luck has run out. A mojo filter is a synonym for an angel. ‘Cause according to the blues only an angel can lift a curse.

“One and one and one is three.” A third reference that there are only three Beatles left. A pattern. Because the fourth Beatle is taking a dirt nap.

That morbid fact can be concluded from the second-last line, where John sings that you need a good pair of eyes to see him. Which is a metaphor for the fact that you can’t actually see him. Because he’s underground.

“Come together
right now
over me”

“Over me.” As in: “above me.” As in “on top of my grave.” If Paul indeed had taken his last bow, his grave would be the only place where the four Beatles are able to come together.

Listen closely to the rattling sound, which according to the myth symbolises rattling bones. Come Together allegedly is Paul who describes his former colleagues as they come and visit….his grave.


“3 Beatle$”

A second dead giveaway that Paul had been traded to the angels was the legendary album cover. Four men on a zebra crossing on Abbey Road. Chances are you once took a somewhat similar photo with your mates. Which is cool, as long as you remember that according to John nothing is real.

Take a close look at the scene. The myth states that these aren’t just four men randomly crossing Abbey Road, this is a parade. Or to be more specific: a funeral procession.

Leading the processing is John wearing a white suit, symbolising the clergy. Followed by the undertaker in his black suit (Ringo). The third one is the walking corpse (Paul) and the procession is being completed by the blue collared gravedigger (George).

The reason why Paul is considered immortally challenged has to do with the fact that his eyes are closed and he’s not wearing shoes . As stated earlier, these are well-known metaphors for a dead person. Furthermore Paul is pictured with…..head injury.

There’s yet another hint that Paul no is longer part of the group, as he is the only one walking out of step (right leg in front).

Also suspicious was the cigarette he is holding in his right hand, given the fact that Paul was left handed.

This scene — combined with images of policemen and hospital staff in the background — was the go-ahead for the global scavenger hunt to check whether Paul had been involved in an accident.

The back cover of the album shows the band name, written in tiles on a wall. The letter S is cracked, which according to some would imply that the group no longer was complete. Also, someone discovered that if you connect the dots in front of the band name it will show the number 3. Ergo:

3 Beatle$

Abbey Road was released on September 26th 1969. Pretty much immediately after its release the rumours led to a manhunt of epic proportions. Fans, disk jockeys and journalists worldwide joined forces and organised a global raid on one dead man, who meanwhile appeared on numerous radio- and TV shows persisting that he was in fact still alive.

The four men even broke their own word by doing one last impromptu concert from the roof of Apple headquarters at 3 Savile Row, in the middle of London’s business district. On January 30th 1970, they were able to perform for 42 minutes before the Metropolitan Police Service forced them to stop.

Six months after the release of Abbey Road Paul McCartney pulled the plug. On April 10th 1970 he announced that he was quitting the Beatles. Three-and-a-half years after Paul’s alleged death, Paul pronounced the Beatles dead.

Really really dead? No. The four men would release one final album: Let It Be. Notice the album cover which — again — portraits Paul as someone who no longer appears to be part of the group. John, George & Ringo are pictured with white backgrounds whereas Paul is the only one portrayed on a blood red background.

The recurring theme on this album seems to be relief. The four men are laughing and joking from beginning to end. One of the last songs the Beatles would ever record is Get Back. After the final chords we can hear John expressing the hope that they will finally make it through the bleeding auditions.



“After a long day that ended in a fight, Paul McCartney left the Abbey Road recording studio in the early morning of Wednesday November 9th 1966. Around 5 A.M. he didn’t notice that the lights had changed. He crashed his car and died from head injury. Shortly after he was buried anonymously in a barrow on Strawberry Fields, overlooking Liverpool.

The remaining Beatles completely withdrew themselves from public life and announced that their last concert in San Francisco on August 29th 1966 should be considered their farewell concert in retrospect.

During the eight months it took to complete the Sgt. Pepper’s album, Paul was replaced by a man who had entered a lookalike contest in 1965. One William Shears Campbell, who seems to have disappeared from the earth after November 1966. From that point on the Beatles would focus on studio work and complete five more albums. Albums that contain numerous clues that shape this story and reveal an inconvenient truth and dark secret: Paul McCartney is dead. “

Behold the most infamous myth in music history.

We’ve covered the most solid leads the Beatles supposedly gave us through their lyrics and album covers. We started out with THREE scientific tests that were unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Paul McCartney after 1966 is the same Paul McCartney as before 1966. In fact, the many differences regarding voice, skull and DNA led towards the conclusion that we seem to be dealing with two different persons.

We continued by deconstructing SIXTY-TWO (!) clues which according to the myth back up the conclusion from the scientists. We‘ve translated metaphors, verified cross-references and analysed obvious and hidden symbolism on the album covers.

Within those sixty-two clues we’ve discovered EIGHT patterns that a.o. pointed towards a fight, a car crash, fatal head injury, a sad gathering at a police station, a funeral, an imposter and an exact time of death.

THREE scientific attempts, SIXTY-TWO clues and EIGHT patterns, all pointing towards one man: a dead Paul McCartney.

So, does that make the myth about the death of McCartney the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Abso-bloody-lutely!

Just as it is an absolute truth that Exile On Main Street is the greatest music album of all time. You might think it is an absolute truth, and easily come up with sixty-two reasons to back that statement up. Still at the end of the day there are many people who will beg to differ, including Paul McCartney.

And perhaps you’ll agree that the question whether the myth is true or not is not that relevant. Because underneath that layer hides an awesome story. A story that contains all the elements a story needs in order to be a great story. A story that perhaps should never be spoiled with the truth.

Let it be…


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Copyright © April 4th, 2014 Jeroen Meulman

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