According to allegations that Paul McCartney of the Beatles dying in a horrific car accident after angrily leaving a late night recording session, one might think that this was only a publicity stunt, but there are some intriguing events that coincided with the supposed demise of the beloved rock star. Whenever we examine mysteries we always look for corroborating evidence such as timelines, personal routines, interactions with others, and sudden changes in personal habits that don't add up. All these elements converged when for an instant in time the world was in an uproar over an alleged hidden tragedy that was only alluded to in clues on album covers and ominous messages hidden in the recording of Beatle songs
Stardom as its price
As the story goes, due to the increased pressures of touring non-stop to promote their albums and if not that then exhausting hours in the recoding studios at Capital EMI Studios, tensions often resulted in arguments and artistic differences of opinion between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. George Harrison was often frustrated that he was not given more opportunity to include his songs on each LP release. Even Ringo Starr sometimes found himself at the receiving end of Paul's temper as the demands for more and more precise accompaniment sent the Fab Four at odds with each other. The Beatles began in 1960 in Liverpool, England, a blue collar industrial town that each Beatle had vowed to rise above, though they did feel sentimental about their roots.
Honing their skills
From playing underground night clubs in Liverpool they eventually signed for a number of regular gigs in Hamburg, Germany, as their manager Brian Epstein was responsible for booking a rigorous schedule for "The Boys" as their producer, George Martin, often affectionately referred to them. Often called the "Fifth Beatle" Martin layered string arrangements to many of their songs to add depth and appeal to their ever more increasingly complex work. He even added a harpsichord arrangement of his own to the song "In My Life" from the LP "Rubber Soul". It was in Hamburg playing several sets a day that the Beatles gelled as a solid, precisely timed quartet. Their constant live performances sculpted them into solid live performers and this would serve them well in years to come.
A scheme or what?
Was the suspected death of Paul McCartney simply a ploy to intrigue their fans once the Beatles popularity had fizzled in order to ignite more record sales, or did a true horrific tragedy befall Paul McCartney requiring emergency secret measures in order for their band to survive and Capitol Records to continue profiting off their cash cow? Their seem to be circumstances that indicate something serious was off kilter in the life of McCartney and that the actions of his band mates were also affected. It seems that motor vehicle records do indicate that a serious traffic accident in the wee hours had been responded to by British police as well as a suspected fatality yet there was no identity of the deceased motorist included in the paper work. Could such an event been faked? Official record keeping is extremely difficult to alter or omit.
An odd sea change?
Joan Asher was engaged to be married to Paul McCartney. She was the sister of Peter Asher of the recording duo "Peter and Gordon" also Capitol Records recording artists at the time. They managed a few chart topping hits in their short career. According to Joan she had stopped by to see Paul as they were making arrangements for the upcoming wedding but mysteriously she was ushered out of the studio by the other Beatles with some vague explanation. Her phone calls to Paul went unanswered on that day and eventually she was led to believe she had been dumped by Paul, but her curiosity led her to give an interview to a couple of fan magazines. Just a coincidence?
Candidates were available
Apparently, there was already a number of Paul McCartney doubles who were either performing for private parties or to be used as stand ins for Paul during the making of the Beatle Movies "A Hard Day's Night" and their movie "Help." Keep in mind the Beatles were literally in physical danger from their rabid female fans who could have mobbed them in pure adoration. So, according to the story one William Campbell, was recruited as a double for McCartney. Not only was he a musician but he was also left handed. If one cares to inspect a number of Beatle photos of Paul there are some subtle differences from the earlier days and then in film footage taken later in 1966. Also, a voice graph is just as good an identification source as a finger print. In a number of songs where Paul McCartney was credited as the lead vocalist a voice graph proves that a different performer was singing than the Beatle bassist. That seems to be solid evidence that something indeed was afoot. One might recall that it was that year that the Beatles decided to abruptly end touring and to concentrate on the recording studio, but it was a sudden decision they claimed due to road exhaustion.
The hints were there
There are probably volumes of research on all the ingenious clues left that made reference to Paul's death. Some clues referred to cultures such as the empty shoes left on a porch in one Beatle album cover photo which in Dutch is symbolic of the death of a family member. Paul McCartney, the only Beatle wearing a black rose on the lapel of his white suit on the album cover for "Magical Mystery Tour". The foreboding mood and lyrics on George Harrison's composition "Blue Jay Way" referencing the return from the fog of someone who never will. In the song "Fixing a Hole" from Sergeant Peppers LP in the lyrics, "I'm taking the time for a number of things that weren't important yesterday." The song "A Day in the Life" where John Lennon sings, "he blew his mind out in a car. He hadn't noticed that the lights had changed. A crowd of people stood and stared. They'd seen his face before, but nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords."
A mysterious reply
What really set the whole affair on fire was when an investigative reporter took the backwards phone number on a mirror in one of the images of the Magical Mystery Tour album cover and inverted it to be legible. He then called the phone number and a voice on the other end of the line replied, "You've got the first clue, Mate." and hung up. When that was made public the entire mystery took off like a rocket from Cape Canaveral and the show was on! On the cover of the LP Sergeant Peppers is a montage of pictures and memorabilia depicting historically controversial figures along with wax facsimiles of the early Beatles remorsefully looking downward all paying homage to a model car, the Astin Martin that Paul McCartney was driving when he was fatally injured in the car wreck.
More death clues
In the LP Magical Mystery Tour, the legendary "Strawberry Fields Forever" is noted with an ominously recorded voice as the song fades out saying, "I buried Paul." In the Beatle's White Album the clues become even more menacing and dark as in the song "Glass Onion" where in the lyrics John sings, "I told you about Strawberry Fields man where nothing is real man. Where here's another clue for you all. The Walrus was Paul." The song is accented with eerie violin chords, high pitched and whining like something super natural as the song draws to a close. In the infamous song "Revolution Number Nine" the strange collage of different voices, sound effects, and messages makes for a very foreboding mixture of moods altered states of consciousness. "Number nine number nine number nine number nine," is recited repeatedly in a mechanical disconnected voice. It was discovered when played backwards on a record turntable, "Turn Me on Dead man. Turn me on Dead Man," can be heard.
The Anomalous White Album
In Revolution Number Nine, the voice of Paul McCartney apparently played backward is set to the background noise of a fire as if he is trapped as flames rage. Toward the end of this eerie hodge podge of audio effects and recordings is something out of a drama as an elderly voice says, " Oh an untimely death!" Then a reply by a son, the harbinger of bad news in a consoling tone, "Sit you down father rest you." In the song "Cry Baby Cry" John Lennon makes reference to, " A séance in the dark." Once again at the end of this particularly macabre tune is the voice of McCartney singing in paranormal fashion, "Can you take me back where I came from, can you take me back, can you take me back where I came from? Brother, can you take me back? Can you take me back?" A reference to the afterlife or what? There are many more subtle and not so subtle clues alluding to the death of Paul McCartney sprinkled through Beatle Albums dated after the beginning of 1966 that one would be hard pressed to explain away as patently frivolous.
Who really made an appearance?
Once McCartney began appearing on a number of teenage pop shows jokingly saying that he was either dead or not dead, one must also note he was not asked to perform a song nor did he offer to play. Further evidence that William Campbell was not yet ready to step into the complete role of the deceased Paul McCartney? One can only imagine.
It could have backfired
Once the rumors of McCartney's untimely death had supposedly been debunked, what was the reaction of the Beatle fans. Perhaps they would feel cheated or that they'd been played? Would they begin burning Beatle LP's in bonfires as they had when John Lennon had made the statement that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, and he was merely making an ironic comparison about idol worship. No, indeed after fans had tediously examined all Beatle albums for clues, intently listening to the ominous effects, playing records backwards, even studying universal symbolisms of death in other foreign cultures, a new admiration for the creativity and inventiveness of the Beatles emerged. Their popularity sky rocketed and even those who had resisted Beatle mania previously became a new fan base. Was it truly a hoax that the Beatles had capitalized upon or shrewd maneuvering that had gone undetected?