Paul McCartney: Six Feet Under?


I read the news today, oh boy, about a lucky man who made the grade...he
blew his mind out in a car. He didn\'t notice that the lights had changed.(the
Beatles, 1967) These lyrics proved to fans that Paul McCartney had indeed died
in a tragic auto accident in late 1966. Some people were skeptical about the
explanation, but upon investigating the album covers and the lyrics of the
Beatles\' songs, the story seems to make sense. Some of the lyrics have to be a
twisted in order to make sense in the prank, but after an explanation, the clues
are perfectly coherent.
For thirty-one years, the "Paul Death Hoax" has intrigued a horde of
Beatles\' fans and fanatics alike. While it\'s difficult to point to an absolute
point of origination, there is no evidence whatsoever that the Beatles
themselves had anything to do with the story, although many claim that the
Beatles intended it to be a joke the their fans. However, clues, which seem so
cleverly arranged, are random coincidences or inaccurate interpretations of
existing facts, and all Beatles have denied that they were in any way involved
with the deceit. This leads people to believe that maybe Paul did die in that
alleged accident.
In the late summer 1969, the Northern Illinois University campus
newspaper, Northern Star, obtained a list of clues from a student who wrote a
research paper on the hoax. (Saki) Russell Gibb, a disc jockey for the Detroit
radio station, WNKR, then got a copy of it from a friend of his, and on his
radio show, proceeded to read them and even make up his own on the spot. Within
a few days, Gibb and his coworkers were astonished to see that newspapers and
reporters took his on-air joke too seriously and spread the story more widely.
(Saki) More clues came about when Fred Labour, arts reviewer of the University
of Michigan\'s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily, was asked to review "Abbey
Road." He had listened to Gibb\'s radio show a few days before this, and was
inspired to write his own article, based on "clues" from Gibb and making up his
own. The newspaper published the article under the title, "McCartney Dead; New
Evidence Brought to Light." (Saki) Labour and the editor, J. Gray, assumed that
everyone knew it was a joke. The rest of the world took it seriously, and soon
Labour was swamped with phone calls from media who wanted more information about
his findings. However, these two men are not "responsible" for the hoax, they
were the ones who figured it out from the clues.
James Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool, England, on June 18, 1942,
in Ward Hospital. His mother, Mary Patricia, had given up hospital work just
over a year previously and became a health visitor. Jim McCartney, his father,
worked for Napiers, the engineering works in Liverpool, at the time of Paul\'s
birth.
Paul started primary school at Stockton Wood Road Primary when the
family moved to Speke, near Liverpool. He then went to the Liverpool Institute,
the best-known of Liverpool\'s grammar schools. (Davies, 24) At age thirteen, the
McCartneys moved to a little house in Ardwick, also near Liverpool. A year
later, Mary died of breast cancer, a tragedy that was extremely painful to the
family, especially Paul\'s little brother, Michael. The boys were then moved to
stay with one of Jim\'s sisters, Aunt Jinny, so Jim could start over with the
household work. The boys eventually moved back home, but not without help from
Jinny and Aunt Milly, another one of Jim\'s sisters.
It was most likely because of his mother\'s death that Paul decided to
start playing guitar. (Davies, 26) He was influenced by the skiffle phase and
Bill Haley\'s early rock numbers, but like his fellow Beatles, he was impressed
by Elvis Presley. It wasn\'t until the summer of 1956 that Paul finally saw the
first performance of his future co-lyricist, John Lennon. Paul was the one who
showed them the chords and words to the popular tune, "Twenty Flight
Rock."(Davies, 33) His first real performance with the Quarrymen was at a dance
at the Conservative Club in Broadway. A few years later, with the addition of
another guitarist named George Harrison, the group changed their name to Johnny
and the Moondogs, a name thought of at the spur of the moment by the host of a
television show at an audition. (Davies, 58) In 1959, they changed their name to
the Silver Beatles for an audition for the king of British rock and roll, Larry
Parnes. Through