Even though it is already common knowledge that the first Beatle to pass away was John Lennon via an assassin’s bullet, is there truth behind the rumor saying that Paul McCartney was the first Beatle to pass away?
By: Ringo Bones
As an eight-year-old back then, I am already old enough to know that the Beatles – either as a group or as solo artists - were one of the best musicians in the Western world months before John Lennon’s tragic assassination back in December 10, 1980. Fast forward to 2008 and I accidentally stumbled upon a rather “wacky” conspiracy on the Internet saying that the first of the Fab Four to have passed away was supposedly Paul McCartney. Given that this is such an extraordinary claim that truly demands extraordinary proof, is there really truth in this “conspiracy”?
According to the claim, the “real” Paul McCartney supposedly died back in 1966 and was supposedly since replaced by a very uncanny look-alike. The clues are supposedly – and blatantly – evident all over their iconic Abbey Road album. But is the truth really that self-evident or is it just a very elaborate hoax that’s very hard to either prove or disprove?
When the 40th Anniversary of the Beatles’ Abbey Road album was celebrated back in August 2009, the “Paul McCartney 1966 Death Rumor” conspiracy probably rekindled every Beatle-Maniac’s curiosity about the subject. The iconic album cover was credited to an Abbey Road Studios photographer named Ian McMillan who took the famous photo on a step ladder in the middle of Abbey Road.
McMillan took 6 photos and the one which was chosen for the iconic album cover was photo number 5, thus turning a merely utilitarian zebra crossing of the City of Westminster near the Abbey Road Studios into a prime Beatle-Mania pilgrimage site. In spite of the fact that Abbey Road Studios was more than the Beatles though, scores of other musicians – including scores of Classical Music orchestras and ensembles – had recorded there since the Golden Age of Stereo. Beatle Maniacs and “mere” tourists can even sign their “I was here” graffiti on the wall outside of the famed recording studio.
So did Beatle Paul McCartney really die in 1966 and the proof is there to see in the photos of the Abbey Road album cover? Well, it was so many years ago today that a cold case such as these will be very difficult to solve just by publicity photos used in an album cover alone. If it really is true, then Yoko Ono probably has nothing to do with the breaking up of the Beatles.