Did the Fab Four become a not-quite-so-Fab Three in 1966? For half a century a small but convinced minority of Beatles’ obsessives has maintained that Paul McCartney is no longer with us — in body, at any rate — having departed for the celestial Hall of Fame in a car crash.
Macca dead before the White Album? The ramifications are head-spinning. Then who married Linda? Who sung Penny Lane? Who is now Sir Paul McCartney still rocking out in front of delighted audiences across the globe?
Well, wake up, Sheeple! That guy giving you the thumbs up sign is not the real Sir James Paul McCartney (MBE). That’s Fake Paul or Faul to those who refuse to be fooled.
On the night of January 7, 1967, ‘a rumour swept London that Paul McCartney had been killed in a car crash on the M1’. It became so widespread that the February 1967 issue of The Beatles Book fanzine felt obliged to reassure worried fans.
The article appeared to confirm that Macca was alive and kicking, with three more years of Beatle in-fighting to look forward to. That part was true but the rest was inaccurate and misleading.
This — as Sixties folk liked to say — is what really went down.
McCartney’s Mini Cooper was involved in an accident on the M1 motorway outside London, as a result of which it was written off. However, the car was being driven by a Moroccan student named Mohammed Hadjij, and McCartney was not present.
Hadjij was an assistant to London art gallery owner Robert Fraser. The pair turned up at McCartney’s house on the evening of 7 January, and were later joined by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and antiques dealer Christopher Gibbs.
The party decided to head to Jagger’s home in Hertfordshire … McCartney travelled with Jagger in the latter’s Mini Cooper, while Hadjij drove in McCartney’s Mini.
The two cars became separated during the journey. Hadjij crashed McCartney’s Mini and was hospitalised with injuries. The heavily customised car was highly recognisable, so rumours began circulating that McCartney had been killed in the incident. Source
So far from being ‘safely locked up in the garage’ Paul’s ‘highly recognisable’ black Mini Cooper had been out on the town with its owner and some Rolling Stones. By the end of the night it was a mangled wreck and a mysterious young Moroccan was licking his wounds in Accident & Emergency. Meanwhile the pop stars slipped quietly into the frosty night.
Pretty low rent rock n roll hell-raising then, but the image of Paul McCartney tearing around London with the rough boys was not one The Beatles’ management wanted publicised. Hence the False Rumours press release.
The problem was that enough witnesses had seen Paul’s Mini that night to fuel well-founded rumours of a cover up. These soon morphed into a new, much more elaborate conspiracy theory in which Paul was again sent to an early grave in a grisly car crash but in a different McCartney owned vehicle, (his Austin Healey) and an earlier date: November 9, 1966
A technical problem with the second version was that Paul McCartney was out of the country on 9 November, 1966, enjoying a holiday with his (then) girlfriend, Jane Asher.
And there weren’t many icy roads in Kenya on which Paul could crash the Austin Healey he didn’t take with him.
Full fake news report Beatles Bass Player Bites the Dust here.
On 12 October, 1969 a bizarre on-air phone call to Detroit radio station gave new life (!) to the controversy. A caller, identified only as ‘Tom’, had some startling new information. He revealed that The Beatles had been sending secret messages through their recorded songs.
‘Play ‘Revolution 9’ backwards,’ he said mysteriously. ‘And you’ll hear what I mean!’
The DJ duly spun the disk (backwards). After somehow deciphering discordant wailing, he pronounced judgement. ‘Wow! John is saying “dead man!” He’s trying to tell us that Paul McCartney is dead!’
A week later a Michigan University student published an article: “McCartney Dead; New Evidence Brought to Light”. The article built a pretty spooky — if not quite legally watertight — case for suspicious minds.
Most famously it drew attention to ‘Paul’ crossing Abbey Road on the album cover barefoot. And walking barefoot — as every conspiracy theorist agreed — was a scientifically proven symbol of death.
And why does Paul have a cigarette in his RIGHT hand? Everyone knows Paul McCartney is LEFT handed! How do you explain that, eh?
Then there’s the number plate on the white Volkswagen Beetle:”LMW 28IF”. Another message! Paul would have been twenty-seven had he lived to record Abbey Road.
But a glance at Paul’s birth certificate confirms that he was twenty-seven on the day he walked across Abbey Road. Or didn’t walk across….
Some sceptics have suggested that this ‘evidence’ is a little fanciful. Believers counter with what they consider a crucial forensic fact: pre-death Paul was shorter than his imposter, Faul (see photo below).
Of course, spoilsports quibble about camera angles and cuban heels but the officially Internet Authenticated facts speak for themselves.
So who is this imposter, this Faul? Who has been so skilfully impersonating Paul McCartney over the past five decades? Step forward one William — or Mike according to some Faul experts — Campbell.
Apparently there are secret MI5 files that prove that Brian Epstein secretly recruited Mr Campbell (William or Mike) to step into Paul’s shoes (or out of them on the Abbey Road cover) after the fatal accident.
Eh? William/Mike who? Oh yes, Mr Campbell was the winner of the 1965 Paul McCartney lookalike competition. Evidently he also sang like McCartney, too — and wrote songs in the same style.
Who would have thunk it?
Read ‘Beatles Bass Player Bites the Dust’, an amazing eyewitness account of the November 9 accident. .