Contact Us

46 Years Ago: The Beatles’ ‘Paul Is Dead’ Rumors Hit the Papers

R. Powell, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Paul McCartney is alive and well, but a well-placed rumor had some thinking otherwise. On Sept. 23, 1969, the Northern Star newspaper of Northern Illinois University published a story claiming that McCartney had been killed in a car crash a few years earlier and had been replaced by a look-alike. A radio station in Detroit picked up on the story and ran with it. Within a month, the story had gone global and Beatles fans worldwide were collectively scratching their heads.

The intrigue led fans everywhere to search for clues on album covers and in songs. A few of these included Paul wearing a black rose in the clip of ‘Your Mother Should Know’ in Magical Mystery Tour, walking barefoot and out of step on the cover of Abbey Road and appearing with his back to the camera on the back of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band sleeve. There are, naturally, deep meanings behind these and the countless other clues that conspiracy theorists found. Most famously, one theory suggested that if you played the song “Revolution 9″ backwards, it sounds vaguely like “Turn me on dead man.”

Though initially amused by the story, McCartney finally decided to clear the decks. “Do I look dead?” he asked a reporter visiting him at his farm, “I’m as fit as a fiddle.” Good news for us all, Paul was just fine … still is for that matter, and still out there rocking!

Beatles Albums Ranked, Worst to Best

You Think You Know the Beatles?

Next: Top 10 Paul McCartney Underrated Songs

Best of I-95 FM

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for I-95 Road Crew quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive I-95 Road Crew contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.