Did Paul McCartney die in 1966??????
1) Crossing Abbey Road without his shoes on
The Abbey Road album cover
Theory: The Abbey Road album cover started oh-so many conspiracy theories, but the fact that Paul is pictured without his shoes on is often used as 'evidence' that Macca was dead at the time Abbey Road was released (in 1969) and was replaced by a look-alike.
Not the type of 'evidence' that stands up in a court of law, mind you.
2) Bass guitar wreath on Sgt Pepper's
Sgt Pepper's album cover
Theory: Another surefire piece of 'evidence' according to conspiracy theorists. There is a yellow wreath at the bottom right of the Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover in the shape of a bass guitar.
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The fact that Paul McCartney played bass, and there is a wreath in the shape of a bass, is indisputable evidence that he died and was replaced by a look-alike.
Logical explanation: Each Beatles member was allowed to choose a number of famous figures to appear on the Sgt Pepper's album cover, and one of John's choices was his old best mate (and former Beatles member) Stu Sutcliffe, who died in 1962.
Sutcliffe originally played bass in the band, and the bass guitar wreath is most likely a tribute to him.
3) "I buried Paul" - Strawberry Fields Forever
Theory: In the outro of Strawberry Fields Forever, John Lennon can be heard on the left channel of the recording to say something along the lines of "I buried Paul".
The fact that it's panned hard-left on the recording suggests it was picked up on a cymbal microphone, and that John was standing near Ringo's drum kit.
Logical explanation: Paul McCartney later came out and said that John is saying "cranberry sauce", while some people believe John was saying "I'm very bored".
The Beatles were fully aware of the Paul McCartney look-alike rumours at the time, and it's perfectly possible that a man with John Lennon's sense of humour could have just been trolling us.
Theory: The registration plate on the Volkswagen Beetle in the cover of the Abbey Road reads "LMW 28IF".
Conspiracy theorists claim that this is a reference to the fact that Paul McCartney would have been 28-years-old at the time of the Abbey Road release had he still been alive.
Logical explanation: This isn't a difficult one to disprove, Paul McCartney was actually 27 at the time Abbey Road was released, not 28.
5) Billy Shears
(The name "Billy Shears" is the first line in this track)
Theory: In the Sgt Pepper's album, The Beatles reference that they have formed a new band with "the one and only Billy Shears", Billy Shears is thought to be the name of Paul's replacement.
Logical explanation: The Beatles, under and incredible amount of pressure to come up with a number one album after already having come up with seven of them, helped channel their creativity by coming up with aliases such as Billy Shears during the recording process.
After years of writing songs you need to do something a bit different in order to write something a bit different.
6) "He blew his mind out in a car"
A DAY IN THE LIFE
Theory: While the various Paul McCartney look-alike theories all involve Paul McCartney dying in a car, the cause of death varies. One theory is that he took his own life, and that this is referenced by John Lennon in the track A Day In The Life.
Logical explanation: If you look beyond that fact that the change from the Lennon section of Day In The Life to the McCartney section is THE MOST McCartney thing ever (yes I used McCartney as a verb there), then this is still a tenuous piece of evidence.
7) "Paul is dead, I miss him, I miss him"
PAUL IS DEAD MAN
Theory: On top of the "he blew his mind out in a car" theory, some also claim that if you play I'm So Tired backwards, John can be heard to sing "Paul is dead, I miss him, I miss him". Some people claim you can hear "Will Paul be there as superman?" on A Day In The Life.
Logical explanation: You can play almost any song backwards and hear a phrase if you want to hear it enough. It's the same reason we see faces in clouds, or 'ghosts' in the background of photos.
John completely denied he put a backwards message in the songs, but, as previously mentioned, the band were aware of the theories about Paul, and John Lennon, who had an incredible sense of humour, could have just been trolling all of us.