Details, Secrets, & Theories
of the Beatle's
(Ok....so now you can analyze EVERY word... ; )
Intro: Play Song: A Day In The Life (or Glass Onion)
Intro collage with opening credits
Fade to: Office scene I
I’m Doctor Lev, the author of the fictional novel Billy Shears: The Secret History of the Beatles, which is the story of a man named William Campbell who some say secretly replaced Paul McCartney of the Beatles after a tragic accident that claimed his life in the fall of 1966.
Then, several years later, in the latter months of 1969, numerous forms of evidence of his supposed death and replacement were finally uncovered within the Beatles music and artwork itself.
Not being able to explain the series of strange coincidences and apparent messages on their albums, fans and the general public around the world became seriously concerned with the whereabouts and health of Paul.
For several weeks in the months of October and November 1969, the resulting general hysteria became fertile ground for rumors and theories of Paul’s death, which swirled around the world.
Hence, this sociological phenomenon became known as the “Paul-Is-Dead” mystery.
The main direction of our program today is to explore some of the most irrefutable evidence, explain what it means and what the Beatles were trying to say, and offer some explanations as to how and why this mystery began, became so compelling, and has lasted ever since.
Now, most people and fans around the world acknowledge that the Beatles were some of the greatest songwriters, singers, performers, and personalities of all time.
But what most of these same people don’t realize or acknowledge, and for that matter those who have never been exposed to or discovered the Beatles, is that they were also some of the greatest ‘artists’ of all time.
Besides writing and producing their own music, they also packaged and promoted it by creating elaborate and avant garde album covers, inner sleeves, and booklets, along with holding press conferences and performing publicity stunts.
Finally, their greatest strokes of artistic genius came to light in 1969 with the initiation, broadcasting, and deliberation of this great mystery.
Insert: Visual Clip I
…on October 12th, 1969, a radio station in Detroit, WKNR, received a mysterious call from one of their listeners.
Russ Gibb, who was the Disc Jockey at the time, was instructed to play certain Beatles songs backwards and listen more closely to others in order to hear secret messages seemingly pointing to Paul McCartney being dead.
Skeptical of his claims but willing to humor his listeners, Russ obliged and began to play a song called Revolution #9 backwards.
To his astonishment, the constantly repeating phrase “Number nine” when played backwards was eerily chanting “Turn me on dead man”.
The caller continued to inform Russ of several other amazing clues.
In turn, other callers that heard them on the air started calling in with even more clues.
This incident on this date was the first time that any professional media outlet was enlightened to the “Paul-Is-Dead” mystery.
In following, numerous other radio stations, newspapers, magazines, and other media sources began covering this mystery, and within two weeks word spread across the country and around the world that these clues did exist and that they appeared to be telling a story about Paul McCartney being dead.
What was even more mysterious, was the fact that Paul happened to be on vacation and unreachable at this very same time.
So, in effect, he wasn’t available to refute theses claims and left everyone wondering where he was and if he really was alive or dead!
Finally, in the beginning of November, about three weeks after the rumors began, LIFE magazine was able to track down Paul McCartney, at his farmhouse in Scotland, interviewed and took several pictures of him, and put him on the front cover of the November issue to prove to the world that Paul was still alive and to refute the rumors of his death.
This article seemed to help as the rumors began to fade by the end of 1969.
Fade to: Office scene II
But, as it turns out, that not all the questions have ever been answered.
To this day, there still seems to be an enormous amount of evidence that has never been refuted.
To try to more honestly answer many of these outstanding questions and to fill in more of the details of the story that the Beatles were so desperately trying to tell us in secret, we need to go back to the time in which the Beatles say Paul really did die.
For that, we need to go back to the first record the Beatles produced and released AFTER Paul’s supposed death…Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Insert: Visual Clip II
Sgt. Pepper intro, fade to front cover
The front cover artwork of the ‘Sergeant Pepper’ album is very interesting and chock-full of visual clues.
In general, it appears to be a very solemn occasion.
In fact, it seems to resemble a funeral.
Look closely at the flower arrangement spelling out ‘Beatles’ upon a square plot of soil, as if signifying the grave in which either Paul’s body or the Beatles as a group is being laid to rest.
Then, we have friends and guests gathered and surrounding the grave as if they are giving their last respects.
Upon further inspection, details reveal a number of very interesting facts.
Firstly, we notice that numerous faces in the funeral gathering also have sudden and tragic stories of death associated with their famous life stories.
In fact, sixteen of the people placed upon the cover are related directly to mystery, accidents, and untimely death.
Out of those sixteen people, eight of them experienced an untimely and sudden death.
These include Lenny Bruce, a comic who died of a drug overdose the summer before Sgt. Pepper was released.
Sir Robert Peel, an English statesman who died after a riding accident in 1850.
Marilyn Monroe, who tragically died of a supposed drug overdose in 1962.
T.E. Lawrence, who was also known as "Lawrence of Arabia" who died of head injuries suffered when he was thrown from his motorcycle.
Dylan Thomas, a poet who collapsed and died at age 39.
Tyrone Power, an actor who collapsed during a dueling scene of a movie and died on the way to the hospital.
Sonny Liston, a champion boxer dropped dead at age 38.
And finally, Stuart Sutcliffe, one of the original members of the Beatles, can be found near the top left corner of the picture.
He suffered an injury to the head during his tenure as the bass player for the Silver Beatles and tragically died a year later from a brain aneurysm.
Why would there be so many characters of tragedy and death unless the Beatles meant to paint their own picture of tragedy and death?
Moving on to other faces in the procession we find Aleister Crowley, who was a writer and hedonist and died in 1947, which was twenty years before these recordings and could relate to the intro lyrics "It was twenty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play".
Could Aleister Crowley be the original Sergeant Pepper?!
Lewis Carroll, the author of fictional classics such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is also on the cover, and was one of John Lennon's greatest artistic influences, as we'll discuss several times throughout this program.
But, one of the most intriguing stories and faces that appear on the front cover is that of Stephen Crane, who is visible behind the hand raised above Paul's head, which is a clue in itself as we'll hear later.
Insert: Visual Clip III
Stephen Crane was a turn of the century writer that was present aboard a ship involved in the Cuban war in the late 1890's.
In hostile waters, the ship was struck by a torpedo or mine and sank.
He, and three other men, ventured toward the closest shoreline in a lifeboat.
Unfortunately, it was stormy and the waters were intensely rough.
Before they could reach shore, the lifeboat capsized and the men were left to swim for their lives.
As it turns out, one of the men drowned before reaching shore.
Crane wrote a book based on this experience called "The Open Boat".
So, here we have four men in a boat where one of the men tragically died.
This appears to be a straight forward symbolic representation of the four Beatles where one of the Beatles tragically died which left only three.
Fade to: Office scene III
Now let’s turn toward some of the inanimate arrangements and objects displayed.
Insert: Visual Clip IV
Sgt. Pepper front cover image again
Down below the flowers that spell Beatles, you’ll notice yellow flowers that appear to be in the shape of a bass guitar.
In fact, there are strings upon this bass guitar.
However, there are only three strings appearing and not four.
Here’s one of many Beatle references to ‘three’ instead of ‘four’.
Just like the story of Stephen Crane and the three men out of four who survived.
As we move along and investigate more clues throughout the Beatles music and art, we see a constantly repeating mantra of ‘three’ instead of ‘four’, since only three of the Beatles remain, not four.
Other conspicuous clues include a doll wearing a sweater welcoming The Rolling Stones.
It turns out that the Rolling Stones would also suffered a similar tragedy a few years later when Brian Jones tragically drowned.
Some theories suggest that in order for a band to reach “super-stardom” they must sacrifice a member of their band.
In the case of the Beatles it was Paul McCartney.
In the case of the Rolling Stones it was Brian Jones.
Further, upon the lap of this doll there’s a toy car that looks just like the Aston Martin sports car that Paul drove at the time, and a white driving glove that has either red stains or blood on it.
In the foreground, around and on what appears to be a grave, there are several symbolic ornaments.
One is a statue of the Hindu God Kali, who is the symbol of re-birth and re-generation.
Another is a rugby trophy, which was a favorite sport of Paul's.
A garden Gnome is toward the left side.
Gnomes are known to be keepers of sacred grounds.
There's even a small ceramic figure below the doll with yellow flowers jutting upwards that seems to look like a car driving off a cliff with yellow flames following behind.
However, one of the most interesting clues is hidden in the bass drum at the center of the front cover.
Now, if one places a mirror at a right angle to the cover, cutting the words ‘Lonely Hearts’ in half and reflecting the top half of the words over the bottom half, you’ll see the phrase “ONE HE DIE”.
This is a direct reference to one of the members of the group being dead.
In fact, some of the other symbols present in the mirrored image can be construed to reveal the message 1 ONE IX HE DIE which can be deciphered as 11/9 HE DIE or November 9th HE DIE.
Ok, that's pretty incredible on its own, but what's really telling is that the Beatles give the design credit for the bass drum skin to a "Joe Ephgrave".
However, upon scrupulous research by myself and many others over the years, there is no evidence that a Joe Ephgrave ever existed in the Beatle world.
And, if you break up the name EPHGRAVE into two separate words, the result could be EPITAPH + GRAVE. So, therefore the name or word "Ephgrave" can be considered as a "portmanteau" which is a word made up of a combination of two words, and one of many forms of word play that Mr. Lewis Carroll used throughout his works.
Fade to: Office scene V
Now, within the bi-fold of the cover you’ll notice…
Insert: Visual Clip V
Sgt. Pepper bi-fold image
… that Paul is the only Beatle pictured in a sitting position with his legs crossed.
Many people have decided that this represents a person who is in the womb, or should we say ‘back in the womb’.
Further, there’s a patch on Paul’s left shoulder, which would appear to display the letters O-P-D.
In England, O-P-D is an abbreviation for ‘Officially-Pronounced-Dead’, similar to the American D-O-A, which stands for ‘Dead-On-Arrival’.
The interesting fact here is that the patch does not display O-P-D, but does display O-P-P, which is for the Ontario Provincial Police.
However, due to the chosen angle of the photograph, the patch does appear to display the letters O-P-D.
Some professional graphic artists have insisted that there may have even been some visual manipulation of the image prior to its publication.
Fade to: Office scene VI
On any road, on the back cover…
Insert: Visual Clip VI
Sgt. Pepper back cover image
…Paul is the only member to have his back turned toward the camera.
Could this be because it really wasn’t Paul posing for the shot?
Maybe Billy wasn’t quite ready for that picture?
Fade to: Office scene VII
Finally, the Beatles decided to display the lyrics of the songs on the back cover.
This just happened to be the first time any record had ever had the lyrics printed right on the cover.
This might have been because the lyrics to the songs themselves were rift with messages and clues describing the fate of Paul, and the Beatles wanted to make sure that people could read them and find "all" the clues.
Insert: Visual Clip VII
Sgt. Pepper back cover image (again)
The first song, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, introduces a new member of the “act”…as stated, (INPUT AUDIO/CLIP)“so let me introduce to you, the one and only Billy Shears…”.
The name, Billy Shears, is actually a clue to the imposter’s identity.
Split it up and it reads, “Billy’s here”, for Billy Campbell, the NEW Paul McCartney.
This song leads right into With A Little Help From My Friends, wherein Ringo sings, maybe to poke fun at Billy, (INPUT AUDIO/CLIP)“What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me. Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you song, and I’ll try not to sing out of key”.
Since Billy couldn’t get Paul’s voice exactly right, he seemed a bit out-of-tune and out-of-key.
Yet Billy could get by with the help of the other three Beatles as they assured him, (INPUT AUDIO/CLIP)“I get by with a little help from my friends, I get high with a little help from my friends, ummmm, gonna try with a little help from my friends”.
The song I’m fixing a hole refers to an injury or hole in one’s head, (INPUT AUDIO/CLIP) “I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from wondering”.
George makes his feelings on Paul’s death known in the song Within You And Without You when he sings, (INPUT AUDIO/CLIP) “life flows on within you and without you”.
On side two, John’s cute song Good Morning begins with (INPUT AUDIO/CLIP) “Nothing to do to save his life call his wife in”.
The last song on the record is A Day in the Life.
This is where we hear, for the first time, by John, about Paul’s car accident. (INPUT AUDIO/CLIP) “He blew his mind out in a car. He didn’t notice that the lights had changed”.
John even refers to the witnesses of the crash. (INPUT AUDIO/CLIP) “They’ve seen his face before. Nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords”.
Then John sings, twice in the song, (INPUT AUDIO/CLIP) “I’d love to turn you on…..”.
Fade to: Office scene VIII
As if John was so blunt, at this point, to state ‘straight-up’ that this was much, much more than just music now.
The Beatles were now effectively in the business of cover-ups, secret messages, puzzles, clues, mysteries, and the subliminal.
And, that they were going to tell us all the truth and “turn us on” through their music and their artistry.
(Doctor Lev stands with Sgt. Pepper album, walks over to a turn-table, places it on the platter, then places the tone arm and needle along the label)
Now, at the very end of the album, and actually placed right along the edge of the label, there’s one last groove of audio recording.
Most people have never heard of this because only certain European pressings actually have this groove.
Further, you would have had to use a manual turntable at the time to have been able to play a groove along the label since automatic turntables would raise and return the tone arm and needle before it could reach the label, saving it from damage.
Nonetheless, this groove contains about 5 seconds of noises and strange verbiage that when played forward sounds something like (INPUT AUDIO/CLIP) “He’s found heaven, Lucy Abbey all the way” which of course repeats over and over again as the record continues to spin. Let's here it again.
Played backwards, it kind of sounds like (INPUT AUDIO/CLIP) “something-something-something…now he’s dead!” Let's here it again.
Fade to: Office scene IX
Magical Mystery Tour was the next album of recorded material to be released.
Symbolism within the artwork and messages within the lyrics were not any less substantial than the previous release of Sgt. Pepper.
Insert: Visual Clip IX
Magical Mystery Tour cover image
The title song itself states that, “the Magical Mystery Tour is dying to take you away”,
which is almost as if they are referring to the ambulance that arrived at the scene of Paul’s accident.
In any case, the colorful front cover depicts the Beatles dressed in animal costumes.
It’s kind of hard to tell who is in each costume since you can’t see their faces.
But, in later recordings John sings “Here’s another clue for you all, the walrus was Paul”.
Fade to: Office scene X
Anyway, the main character and symbol introduced here is ‘the walrus’.
Many cultures refer to the walrus as a symbol of mysticism and spiritualism.
But more importantly, English author, Lewis Carroll, incorporated a walrus as a definitive character and symbol within his works, which we’ll discuss more shortly.
Now, the Beatles have, for some reason, adopted this symbol.
The other animal costumes on the front cover include a chicken, which represents fear, reluctance, and one who has had their head cut off, like in the phrase "a chicken without a head".
There's a rabbit, which was also a main character within Lewis Carroll's works, and which represents, among other things, a spiritual awakening or resurrection.
And, the hippopotomus is an Egyptian symbol and protector of childbirth, which obviously falls within the cycle of life and death.
Within the bi-fold cover of this album is a 24-page booklet, which includes a multitude of clues.
Insert: Visual Clip X
Magical Mystery Tour inner booklet (pages)
For instance, on page 3, Paul is sitting at a desk with a sign in front of him stating “I WAS”…which is, of course, in the ‘past’ tense.
On page 9, the Beatles are performing the song I Am The Walrus.
But, if you look closely at Paul’s feet, you’ll notice that he’s not wearing his shoes.
In fact, his shoes are a few feet away and in front of the drums.
Look even closer, and you’ll discover that there appears to be a red hue smeared around and on these shoes.
I mean, I’m not trying to read into this, but from an objective point of view, it would appear to me to be either representing, or actually is, blood.
These have become known as “Paul’s blood stained shoes”.
Further within this picture, you'll notice that the bass drum has yellow writing on it that appears to read, "Love the 3 Beatles". Again, it's three instead of four.
Moving on to the last page of the booklet, you’ll see all four Beatles in white tuxedos and walking away from a marble set of stairs.
Each Beatle has a red rose attached to their lapel except for Paul, his is black.
Why would Paul be singled out in this way, and why would his rose be black?
In fact, Paul is also holding a bouquet of black long stem roses.
Why would Paul be holding all these black flowers?
Well, we know that black flowers are a symbol of death, so it would fall right in line that this is a clear-cut clue that Paul is the one that has been chosen as, or has become, the “Dead-Beatle”.
Fade to: Office scene XI
The songs on the album are again very intriguing and revealing.
Strawberry Fields Forever was actually recorded before the songs for the Sgt. Pepper album but was not released until Magical Mystery Tour.
The most eerie detail of this particular song comes at the tail end of the strange mini-reprise and during the fade out.
When listening very closely, you can clearly hear a voice saying, (INPUT AUDION/CLIP) “I buried Paul”. Let's listen again. “I buried Paul”.
In interviews later on, John claimed he was saying “cranberry sauce”.
Other people have decided he was saying, “I’m very bored”.
But, it really does sound like “I buried Paul”.
The Anthology CD’s have outtakes of this song that give some credence to those who have said that John may have been saying “cranberry sauce”.
It does sound like John, on certain out-takes, IS saying (INPUT AUDION/CLIP) “cranberry sauce”.
But let’s now highlight the fact that John Lennon was a master artist, cluester, and wordsmith.
He loved to discover a word or phrase that when pronounced slightly differently would mean something completely different, or even would sound like another word or phrase.
He also loved to find words that when pronounced or played backwards became an entirely different word or phrase.
Lewis Carroll's writings also encompassed several aspects of wordplay and puzzle solving.
John was enamored and intrigued with his works for many years as he was growing up and was one of the main impetuses and inspirations behind John’s experimentation and indulgence within this type of artistry.
With all that said, it’s not even a valid argument to believe that John would NOT have purposefully manipulated the phrase “cranberry sauce” to conveniently say, “I buried Paul”.
In reality, not only is it incredibly clever to be such an accomplished wordsmith, but it also lends to the ability to deny any part in the whole concept of the Paul-Is-Dead mystery.
And further, it leaves the reader or listener confused and mystified, which is exactly the type of emotions that the Beatles were trying to evoke.
Moving on, the song I am The Walrus once again obviously refers to the walrus theme, and again Lewis Carroll comes to mind.
Firstly, the walrus in Lewis Carroll’s story Through the Looking Glass was a mysterious and conniving figure that “misled” a bunch of unwitting oysters to follow him into the ocean and to their demise as he eventually ate them all.
An irrefutable piece of audio evidence that clearly makes the connection between John and Lewis Carroll's walrus can be found in the 1990's Lennon anthology CD's wherein an acid track of 'Just Like Starting Over' contains the lines "The time has come, the walrus said" which is a line straight out of the poem 'The Walrus and the Carpenter" which was within 'Through the Looking Glass'.
In the actual song, and in the Magical Mystery Tour movie, John states that he is the walrus, and seems to be leading the eggmen (and everybody listening and/or watching) along through this mystery and puzzle, just like Lewis Carroll and his walrus did.
Then John throws in the phrase “goo goo goo joob”, which is similar to the words uttered by Humpty Dumpty just before he cracked his head open when he fell off the castle wall.
An interesting find is near the end of the song, phrases from King Lear can clearly be heard, such as “Bury my body” and “Untimely death”.
However, during the extended ending, the phrase “Everybody’s got one” is chanted over and over again (INPUT AUDIO/CLIP) “Everybody’s got one, everybody’s got one, everybody’s got one…”
Amazingly enough, when one plays this phrase backwards, which is best heard with the mono version of this album, you can clearly hear “Ha ha Paul is dead” (INPUT AUDIO/CLIP) “Ha ha Paul is dead, ha ha Paul is dead, ha ha Paul is dead….”
Fade to: Office scene XII
Then from very colorful, eye-catching album covers to a stark-white album cover, the Beatles “White Album” was released.
It just so happens that this representation of the color white is also seen as a symbol of death and has become an acknowledged international color of death over most parts of the world along with black.
Nonetheless, the audio clues within the songs of this release are numerous and undeniable.
Let’s first start with Glass Onion.
In some parts of the world a glass onion is thought of as a looking glass or crystal ball that can be used to obtain answers to mysteries or for a brief look into the past or future.
With that in mind, the rest of the lyrics become clearer as John sings, “I’ll tell you about the walrus and me. You know that we’re as close as can be. Well here’s another clue for you all. The walrus was Paul”.
So, if it wasn’t clear to view Paul as the walrus from the Magical Mystery Tour album, John connects these clues for us here.
In the song, Blackbird, Paul sings, “Take these broken wings and learn to fly”.
In hindsight, we now know that Paul formed a group called ‘Wings’ after the break-up of the Beatles, and it certainly did ‘fly-high’ with success.
Further, dream interpreters define the appearance of wings as a reference to spiritualism and/or a higher conscienceness.
And, of course, we can't forget that somebody with wings could also be an angel.
Even Ringo gets into the spirit of the Paul-Is-Dead mystery with his song Don’t Pass Me By wherein he sings, “I’m waiting for your footsteps coming up the drive. I’m waiting for your footsteps, but they don’t arrive” later he continues with the lines, “I’m sorry that I doubted you, I was so unfair. You were in a car crash and you lost your hair”.
Moving along to later tracks on the album, we hear John brooding about the death of his friend and co-artist in the song I’m So Tired.
But what’s really fascinating is the mumbling that can be heard right at the end of this song and before the next one begins.
In the spirit of denying the Beatles had since claimed the mumbling as saying "Miseur, Miseur, Miseur, can I have another one." (INPUT AUDIO)
Nonetheless, when one plays this passage backwards, the voice seems to clearly be saying, “Paul is a dead man, miss him, miss him, miss him”. (INPUT AUDIO)
Now here is another direct clue linking Paul McCartney to being a dead man.
One thing I must state at this point, is the fact that these recordings and albums, and even the artwork that’s included, goes through an amazingly complex and redundant process of review before ever being mass produced and sold in any stores.
The odds of any mistakes, especially of the magnitude of many of these clues, slipping through the production crew at Apple Records is so minute that it is impossible to believe that ALL these clues are just plain mistakes or oversights.
With that said, I’d like to now get into the track that has become one of the cornerstones of the whole Paul-Is-Dead mystery.
The track is...Revolution #9.
Besides being the most avant-garde and psychedelic creation by the Beatles, this track is a great example of how an artist can transform music and create a psycho-imaginative audio storyline...and not just in one direction.
In fact, playing the entire track backwards seems to be the intended (or should I say hidden) direction of this particular storyline.
Without getting into all the particulars, I can tell you that it kind of sounds like somebody waking up from a dream to an alarm early in the morning.
Then, eventually driving along, maybe to or from work, and subsequently crashing his car and burning to death.
All kinds of sounds and voices can be heard, forwards and backwards, that elude to this fate, including “He hit a pole” and “He took it between the shoulder blades”.
Even eerier phrases are clear, like forwards “Gonna die!”, and backwards “Let me out!”.
Then, somebody with an authoritative sounding voice states, “Take this brother, may it serve you well”.
Could this be the passing of Paul's fame, fortune, and position to Billy Campbell, the new Paul McCartney?
However, there is one particular phrase that stands out above all others and which is repeated over and over again throughout the song, and eventually became the title of the track.
This is, as previously mentioned, “Number nine”.
When played backwards, “Number nine, number nine, number nine…” clearly chants “Turn me on dead man, turn me on dead man, turn me on dead man…” as if in reference to the song A Day in the Life from the earlier Sergeant Pepper album, wherein the Beatles sang “I’d love to turn you on”.
And here, years later, is an eerie voice answering their call.
The poster that was included in the album also contains many visual clues.
One of the most interesting, though, is the picture that kind of looks like Paul wearing glasses and sporting a mustache, and is located near the bottom lower left hand corner.
This picture, according to Beatle-folklore, is the only known picture of Billy Campbell before he became Paul McCartney.
The following album and movie was Yellow Submarine.
The most obvious and referenced clue on this album is found on both the front and back covers wherein there’s another mystical, magical hand held above Paul’s head, as was also seen on the cover of Sgt. Pepper.
In many religions a pious figure will hold their hand above an item or person when a prayer or blessing was being recited.
In this particular case, though, the Beatles did not do the covers themselves, artists drew them.
But then that leads us to an interesting question.
If the cover was purposefully drawn by artists, why would they include this symbolism?
Why would they use the same type of death clue that was already used in Sergeant Pepper?
Do you think maybe the artists knew what they were doing and added this clue on purpose?
Maybe they were told to do it.
Nonetheless, it was obviously done on purpose, and that is a clue all in itself!
The "actual" final recordings of the Beatles were released as an album in September 1969 and entitled Abbey Road.
The front cover picture has since become one of the most recognizable musical images of all time.
Most Beatles fans have since viewed this image as the Beatles leaving the Abbey Road studios, just behind them on the left hand side of the street, and walking across Abbey Road as if to symbolize that their latest recordings and their careers as Beatles were finally done.
However, to the trained Paul-Is-Dead mystery eye, there are many straightforward clues carefully placed within this image to further and more clearly state that Paul is dead.
To the cluesters, this scene is a funeral procession with John Lennon as the spiritual leader dressed in white.
Remember, we previously set forth the fact that many religions and spiritual leaders refer to white as a universal color of priestly hood, death, and mourning.
Then Ringo Starr follows dressed as most undertakers would.
Paul McCartney is death, out of step with the others; dressed in black; and barefoot because that’s the way bodies are buried in many parts of the world, including England; he’s holding a cigarette in his right hand, yet we know Paul was a lefty; and finally, his eyes are closed.
All these are signs of a corps ready for burial.
And concluding the procession is George Harrison in jeens as the appropriate clothing for a gravedigger.
In the background, to the left side of the road, you’ll notice a “fifth Beatle” on the cover.
But, to be more precise, it’s a Volkswagon Beetle.
But what’s incredibly interesting is if you look closely at the license plate on this Beetle, it seems to read L-M-W 28-I-F”.
Many phrases have been deciphered from the first three letters “LMW”, such as “Linda McCartney Weeps” or “Linda McCartney Widowed”.
However, the real find is the 28-I-F, as if to state “twenty-eight if”.
It just so happens that Paul would have been in his twenty-eighth year IF he didn’t die.
Others argue that Paul would have really only been twenty-seven at the time.
But we must take into account that the Beatles, especially George Harrison, were very interested in Eastern religions including Hinduism wherein your first year of existence includes time spent in the womb.
In this light, Paul would have been twenty-eight IF he didn’t die.
Further, on the front cover, you’ll notice a police van on the right hand side of the road.
Could this be the police van, or ambulance, that whisked Paul’s body away after his car crash?
Turning to the back cover, you’ll notice the word ‘Beatles’ spelled out on the wall above the words ‘Abbey Road’.
And, you’ll notice that there are a series of round circles or dots preceding it.
Well, when one connects these dots with a solid line, you end up with the number three.
So, now it appears to be stating “3 Beatles”, again in reference to 3 Beatles and not four.
Now, during my own personal research, I uncovered the fact that the word ‘Beatles’ did not appear on that wall at the time the picture was taken.
And, in fact, the artists who put the final album cover together, super-imposed the word ‘Beatles’ above the sign for Abbey Road.
So, now we have direct evidence that Beatles album covers have been manually manipulated. Maybe to help the Beatles get their “messages” across more effectively?
The songs within this album once again take the idea of death and replacement to new levels.
The opening track, Come Together, describes somebody who’s got “bony fingers”, like a skeleton, and has “hair down to his knees”, just as would a corps continuing nail and hair growth after death .
But the most chilling passage from this song is when John sings, “One and one and one is three”.
Once again a direct reference to only three Beatles being left.
He continues, “Come together, right now, over me”.
Almost as if he’s speaking for Paul from the grave where the other three Beatles have ‘come together’ over Paul in his grave for his funeral and are paying their final respects.
Remember, the front cover could easily be viewed as Paul’s funeral procession.
Side two is no less crammed with titles and messages directly linking death and replacement than any other album side of Beatles material.
The song Sun King was a name used for King Louis the XIV, who was the subject of Alexander Dumas’ novel The Man in the Iron Mask.
Well, The Man in the Iron Mask, for those of you who are not familiar with this tale, was a fictional story of an evil twin of King Louis who forcibly assumed his identity to become King and placed the real King in chains within a deserted tower of their castle with an iron mask welded permanently over his face and head to conceal his identity with only his closest confidants having any knowledge of the switch.
Golden Slumbers, represents a permanent sleep.
Could this be Billy’s song for the late Paul?
The song Carry That Weight, is an obvious reference to Paul, or maybe even Billy at this point, to carry the weight of either Paul’s body or the great secret which binds them all together for eternity.
And finally, The End, which basically speaks for itself.
The final album release for the Beatles was Let It Be and was actually recorded before the Abbey Road recordings, but, was released later do to numerous production delays and a lack of artistic cohesion.
However, this album did not escape the wrath of the Paul-Is-Dead mystery.
You’ll notice right away that Paul’s picture on the front cover is the only one with a ‘blood-red’ background.
Even the apple at the center of the label was changed from a bright-green color to a blood-red color.
These symbolisms aside, the title of the album itself Let It Be seems to be the main clue and suggests that whether or not we are convinced, or want to believe, that Paul is alive or dead, we should all just relax and “Let it be” and forever just enjoy the Beatles music, artistry, and gamesmanship.
Now, once the Beatles finally, officially broke up in 1970, you would think that it might be time, eventually, for the Beatles to admit to their plot.
Well they did!
But again, in their own way.
In the 1971 release of the Imagine album, John Lennon wrote a song called How Do You Sleep.
In it, John refers directly to the Paul-Is-Dead mystery by singing:
“So Sergeant Pepper took you by surprise.
You better see right through that mother’s eyes.
Those freaks were right when they said you was dead.
The one mistake you made was in you head. "
How do you sleep?
Then, John directly links Paul as the victim:
“The only thing you’ve done was Yesterday.
And since you’re gone you’re just another day.
Now, Let’s break it down.
First, John let’s us know that this whole mystery started with the Sgt. Pepper album by stating, “So Sergeant Pepper took you by surprise”.
This even verifies the time period in which Paul’s accident happened, which would be just before Sgt. Pepper.
Then he comes right out and states straight up that “Those freaks were right when they said you was dead”, which speaks for itself.
He even eludes to Paul’s head injury, “The one mistake you made was in you head”.
Finally he actually links Paul to these direct claims when he sings “The only thing you’ve done was Yesterday” which, of course, is a direct reference to Paul’s finest song he ever wrote according to John himself on many occasions.
But the last lines here almost appear spiteful when he claims “And since your gone you’re just another day” as if John is belittling his ex-mate by acknowledging that he WAS replaceable, with Billy Campbell, and as if “Paul McCartney of the Beatles” DID have another day, as Billy himself got to enjoy.
Paul also made light and comedy out of the mystery by releasing an album in 1993 of live solo performances which he cleverly named “Paul-Is-Live”.
Humorously, he recreated the same Abbey Road scene with only himself and his sheep dog walking across.
Interestingly enough, a Volkswagon Beetle is again present, and, with another license plate clue!
However, this time it reads “51 IS” which was Paul's age in 1993.
II SUMMARY, I'd like to make it clear that I personally don't believe that Paul is dead.
However, I AM trying to impress upon all of you that the Beatles DID purposefully create a mystery and a puzzle through the manipulation of their music and artistry.
Hundreds of the so-called “clues” ARE there within their albums, and they ARE incredibly fun to find and piece together.
So, for anyone out there who fervently refuses to believe that the Beatles would EVER do anything like a “Paul-Is-Dead” mystery, or place any secret messages in their music and artwork, the evidence is clear, direct, and overwhelming.
But, since we are certain that the mystery itself IS a reality, confirmed by Beatle-words and actions themselves, and not just a series of coincidences, the great Beatle question becomes, WHY?
And why were there so many denials weaved in along the way?
Well, now we’re going to finally open up the “truth box” and explain to you what REALLY happened “All Those Years Ago”……
During the year 1966, the Beatles went through a series of revelations and incidents that led them to decide to quit performing live and to become solely “studio artists”.
Among these revelations was the fact that the Beatles as a rock-and-roll group already attained as much success and made much more money than they had ever dreamed they would.
Secondly, the Beatles themselves tiredly complained that they couldn’t hear themselves on stage anymore because of all the screaming fans.
So, it was clear that they were not entirely enjoying their live performances anymore.
Now, there were two particular incidents that made it clear that continuing their performance careers may, in fact, endanger their lives.
First, John’s comments about the shrinking influence of religion upon the youth culture in England, was taken out of context.
This created a firestorm throughout religious regions around the world, especially within the southern United States which resulted in death threats and organized burnings of Beatles albums and memorabilia.
However, secondly, and most importantly, the Beatles were physically harassed, threatened, and basically robbed by the Philippine government (namely the Marcos regime) when they visited their country in the summer of that same year.
Brief details of the Philippines incident included the fact that the Marcos’ wanted the Beatles to make a personal appearance at their palace and have dinner with their family and kids.
The Beatles, enjoying their only day off in a month, were unaware of the Marcos’ desires and slept through the day, only to be abruptly awakened by the Philippine police (or Army) and abusively escorted to the airport, all the while being pushed, kicked, their money taken, and finally forcibly flown out of the country.
So, as you can see, the decision to become studio artists, solely, was not a hard one to make, or envision, at that time.
Now, here comes the most important part of understanding their transformation.
Once they had all the extra time on their hands that used to be spent on traveling and performing, they decided to spend it on becoming studio “artists”.
Now they had much more time to become more creative musically, lyrically, and conceptually among having time to spend exploring all the other aspects of art and life (in general) that they had ever before.
Maybe out of shear(s) coincidence, the “counter-culture”, or some say, “freedom-culture”, in the west was quickly gaining momentum, and new forms of art, music, style, and culture were exploding from every aspect of society.
Putting all this together, you can imagine how this coalescing energy and potential could possibly interact with the willingness, drive, and artistic talent that the Beatles themselves had to offer.
It really wasn’t a total coincidence that the Beatles were about to undertake this amazing transformation at one of the most interesting times in world history.
They were insightful and very wise to make their decisions and choices at a time that was particularly conducive to their situation.
Skill, opportunity, luck, and desire all came together for the Beatles during this particular year, 1966.
This formula for success, intellectually coined by Doctor Lev as the "SOLD" theory, S-O-L-D, is important because if any one of these four letters, or should I say items, is missing, success will NOT be attained.
The Beatles certainly had skill and determination, and in 1966, the opportunity and the luck to have things happen the way they had imagined were all present.
So, as you can see, the Beatles DID have the time and the opportunity to create this type of mystery, or should we say, “art-form”.
Now, let’s try to understand some of their motives.
First of all, we know that John and Paul were very competitive in nature, even as children, and both strived constantly to out-do the other no matter what the topic or situation.
This was, of course, a friendly and mutually beneficial arrangement, which is easily recognized by the fact that they helped each other with each new idea and song the other would contrive, and by the fact that they created a life-long agreement between themselves that formed their Lennon-McCartney songwriting team.
With this in mind, we can see that the Beatles entered a new era in their songwriting and production styles throughout ’66.
This set the stage for a competitive artistic battle that never saw an equal before or since.
We’ll come back and re-connect with this point shortly.
Now, by November 1966, both the Rubber Soul and Revolver albums were major successes and achievements.
The individual Beatles went on separate holidays for a few months, and on November 9th, 1966, John was brought to an art gallery in London where he met a very unique and interesting Japanese artist.
Her name was Yoko Ono.
Yoko was already a famous artist when John met her, which is why she was in London at the time displaying her artwork.
But her artwork was much different than anything John had ever seen before.
It was very abstract and thought provoking.
He was so turned on by her art and her demeanor, that he decided that he wanted to see a lot more of her, which he did, and of course eventually married her.
Now, let’s highlight the critically important facts about this fortuitous encounter.
Firstly, it’s apparent that it was Yoko that inspired John to incorporate the abstract arts into his (and the Beatles) music and art.
(Not to lessen the fact that Paul was also a fan of the abstract arts and was also interested in incorporating new ideas and artistry into the Beatles music.)
So, for anybody who thought that Yoko was a bad influence on John, and/or maybe even tried to ”hijack” him and his mind away from the Beatles, is drastically wrong.
In fact, she was one of the major influences that led John, and the Beatles, toward abstract artistry and its use within their music, which, in fact, was exactly what happened a few months later with the writing and production of the Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
Nonetheless, it was on November 9th, 1966 that John met Yoko.
Does this date sound familiar???
Well, it should.
It turns out that that’s the exact date that Paul supposedly died!
Does anybody see the connection yet?
Think about it.
The day that John met Yoko IS the day that Paul died in John’s heart and mind and was replaced by Yoko!
So…….Paul really DID die that day, but figuratively not physically!
You see, John met his soul mate, Yoko.
That was it.
Paul WAS dead.
Now, connecting us back to the point made earlier.
Since John was continuously competing with Paul artistically, it was time for John to top Paul in a way much bigger and more amazing than anyone could have dreamed of.
He decided to create an abstract mystery within their art and music directed specifically at Paul.
Kind of like saying to your closest classmate “Take that!”
There WERE other situations, coincidences, stories, rumors, and theories that helped form the details of the Paul-Is-Dead mystery at that time, including a supposed close call Paul had on an icy M1 motorway in January ’66.
There was another incident that Paul had on a moped a few months later.
Also, Bob Dylan had a serious motorcycle accident that summer wherein a rumor spread that he died from his injuries, though we know he didn’t.
So, the idea of Paul in Jeopardy along with other death rumors circulating at the time influenced the fans to accept the idea that something could have happened to Paul.
Now, there is a very good reason why John would have been drawn to a "Paul-Is-Dead" mystery scenario.
The Beatles have over the years been more and more candid about their drug experimentations back in 60's.
And within their admissions, it became apparent that Paul may have been up to two years behind George and John, and maybe one behind Ringo, within their timelines of particular drugs chosen.
Nonetheless, Paul was the last to try the drugs that the others had already enjoyed and were artistically effected by.
Then, between the years 1965 and 1967, Paul had finally succumed to the 'Beatle' peer pressure and began to experiment himself, which culminated in the use of LSD.
Low and behold, Paul suddenly became much more creative, went through drastic style changes, began to enjoy the psychadelic, and appeared to become a whole new (and improved) person and artist.
You might have said that the 'old' Paul died and the 'new' Paul was here!
And guess what, that's just what John did!
So why do you think Paul, or even George and Ringo, would have gone along with such a plot?
It’s actually quite a simple answer once again.
They appreciated it as a great stroke of artistic genius, and even as an inspiration.
It’s kind of like watching a baseball teammate crush a home run deep into the bleachers in center field.
You may be a bit jealous that it wasn’t you, but glad because it helped your team.
Or like a schoolmate that made YOU the butt-end of a funny joke.
You may not feel like laughing because the joke was at your expense, but admiring of the joke teller because it was funny and everybody else enjoyed it.
You see, the other three Beatles, and even their record producer, George Martin, were extremely virtuous and creative individuals (in their own right) and began helping in the process with their own brilliant additions, twists, signs, and messages as they realized how much fun and how tantalizing it started to become and could be.
And, as you could see from all the following recordings and albums that the Beatles produced, that this game (or puzzle) was too much fun to stop, and that it would continue, in many forms, throughout the rest of their careers.
Another frequently wondered question has to do with all the fervent and unbending denials that each individual Beatle gave during all of their personal interviews since 1969.
Why would all four of them continuously deny any knowledge or participation in such a clever ruse?…besides, of course, John’s admission within his song How Do You Sleep.
There are several very serious reasons why the Beatles would have passionately denied any complicity.
First of all, if the Beatles ever admitted that they DID purposefully create the mystery and clues, it would completely lose its “mystique”.
It’s kind of like a magician doing a card trick.
At first you are amazed at how he could have possibly done that.
You might even look at him as if he had special powers or was a freak.
But, then if he was to show you how he did it, you would suddenly say, “Ohhhh! That’s how it’s done!”
And you might even think to yourself, “I could have done that”.
Nonetheless, you certainly would not be as impressed anymore.
You see, the Beatles knew this very well and were much very concerned with the long-term effects of their music, art, and the mysteries within.
A second reason could be that they knew that many fans would be resentful for feeling tricked or put-on, and they didn’t want to insult them by admitting their games.
Parallel reasoning leads us directly to the Charles Manson murders.
You may recall, if you’re old enough, or even if you’re learning this for the first time, but in 1969, which was soon after the release of the White Album, Charles Manson led a group of brainwashed followers to commit horrible multiple murders which shocked the world.
Once caught and interrogated, Charles Manson insisted that after interpreting the Beatles music and lyrics, in his own bizarre way, secret messages told him and made him and his followers commit these murders.
Obviously, at this point, the Beatles denied having ANYTHING to do with placing secret messages in their music.
So, as you can see, the Beatles may have felt compelled to keep their secrecy into eternity.
Now, I’ve been enjoying teaching and talking about the Paul-Is-Dead mystery for many, many years.
There have been numerous good books written and websites created that list and describe hundreds of the clues.
However, each and every one is written from the point of view that Paul is NOT dead, but the clues ARE real and a lot of fun and here is a list with some explanations.
That’s all nice and fine, but then I finally had the bright idea of teaching and explaining the mystery by writing a book as a novel that tells the story through the eyes of the guy who had replaced Paul, as if the whole mystery was TRUE, and as if Paul WAS dead!
The name of the man is “Billy Campbell”.
I, Doctor Lev, took the point of view that if you knew the story of Billy Campbell, then all the clues would make sense!
Like a clever prosecuting attorney, I tried to connect all the clues and Beatle folklore like dots on a page.
I thought to myself “What was this great Beatles mystery really trying to say?” and then, “So, what IS the story of this guy, Billy Campbell. I mean, if it WAS true, then the story of Billy Campbell is an incredibly interesting story. Here’s a man who had a chance to fulfill a dream. He’d become rich and famous, have girls fall at his feet at will; he’d become a Beatle! He’d get to hang out with John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr; get to write music with them, be a star! But…he’d have to basically give up his whole life up to that point. He’d have to, for all intents and purposes, disappear from the face of the earth. It’s quite a decision to make. Could you do it? Would you do it?
Think of how that would feel. It’s an amazing concept!”
So, anyway my book is called ‘Billy Shears: The Secret History of the Beatles’.
This book and other Paul-Is-Dead information can be obtained through my website www.Paul-Is-Dead.com.
One of my favorite and unique sections on my site is the "New Clues" section where fans, Paul-Is-Dead cluesters, and anybody can write and submit and have published clues that they have found themselves, along with any intriguing theories they may have.
IN CONCLUSION, I want to emphasize the fact that the true purpose I have for sharing all this information and theories with you is to "turn you on" as John Lennon so blatantly stated in 'A Day In The Life' on the Sergeant Pepper album.
The Beatles have given me more than 25 years (and counting) of exciting and inspiring entertainment and I want to return the favor the virtuous way the Beatles themselves would always do, and that's by "paying forward" and turning on other people along with later generations to this wonderful mystery and puzzle.
So, now it's your turn to revisit all the Beatles music and artwork again.
And this time, put on your "Paul-Is-Dead glasses" and listen very, very carefully because you are going to be amazed at what you discover!
And, oh yeah, when you've finally come to your own understanding about Paul-Is-dead, and you start meeting other Beatles fans that have never heard of their great mystery....
It'll be YOUR turn to pass the torch, and, "turn them on"!
Oh, and by the way...INPUT BACKWARDS CLUE!