A conspiracy theory claiming that Sir Paul McCartney had died in the 1960s led to people regularly checking him over to see if he really was an impostor the British legend now reveals.
In 1966 a series of clues on the cover of The Beatles’ last recorded album Abbey Road said to have proved that musician had died in an accident and word quickly spread like a wild fire.
”I think the worst thing that happened was that I could see people sort of looking at me more closely – ‘were his ears always like that? said Sir Paul.
The story which circulated in 1969 and which still ranks as one of Google’s top searches on Sir Paul – had a Detroit DJ claiming that the band had recruited a replacement, William Campbell, following Macca’s death.
His lack of shoes as he crossed the zebra crossing on the album sleeve was used as a pointer to the fact the real bass player was no longer alive. The pose was said to represent a funeral procession and a car number plate containing ’28IF’ was said to refer to the fact Sir Paul would have been 28 when the album came out – if he had lived.
Speaking to Mojo magazine for its October issue, he said: ”It was funny really, but ridiculous. It’s an occupational hazard – people make up a story, and then you find yourself having to deal with this fictitious stuff.”
Sir Paul said the ‘clues’ all had innocent explanations: ”I knew why I’d had bare feet – ‘cos I’d kicked off my sandals. I knew the car that said ’28IF’ was a completely random car that had just been parked. It was madness.”
Abbey Road is scheduled for re-release in a remastered form, along with the rest of the band’s original studio albums on September 9.
(Sir Paul listens to the song “Beautiful Boy” and tries to hold back the tears.)