History buffs may remember that in 1969 it was publicized internationally that Paul McCartney was dead. It was considered a hoax and dismissed, only to be remembered as fodder for jokes. In a documentary that exposes yet another conspiracy theory, Highway 61 Entertainment explores the so-called hoax, turning up shocking new evidence.
In 2005, a package postmarked London arrived in the offices of Highway 61 Entertainment. It contained a micro-cassette recorder and two cassettes. The cassettes were allegedly recorded by George Harrison as he lay in a hospital following an attack by an intruder at his estate.
Three forensics labs evaluated the tapes and the results were “inconclusive.” If we don’t know who made the recordings, then they are not evidential, no less shocking new evidence. Were the forensics experts unable to find enough George Harrison samples to make a comparison? “Inconclusive” certainly wasn’t due to the sound quality of the tapes—I’ve never heard microcassette recordings so clear and devoid of ambient noise.
According to producer/director Joel Gilbert, virtually every song recorded by the Beatles after November 9, 1966 (the night that Paul was allegedly beheaded in a car crash) contained references to “Paul is dead.” It was in the lyrics, and the cover art had explicit clues.
Now, why fake Paul’s life? Supposedly, MI5 believed that if word got out that Paul was dead, hundreds of teenage girls around the world would commit suicide. (Sort of like when all the hippies committed suicide after Lennon was murdered [which is part of the conspiracy], I guess. What? Oh, that didn’t happen, either?)
Looking at the alleged accident, Paul had a passenger in his car (Rita) who flipped out when she realized she was riding with one of the famous Beatles. It was raining and Paul lost control on the rain slicked road. The car flipped over, Paul was beheaded—losing all his teeth and hair, and the car exploded. Rita, on the other hand, escaped unscathed. Later it is reported that Rita was the subject of an MI5 assassination attempt which failed. She was given a new identity—Heather Mills. Well, excuse me, but wasn’t Heather Mills born in 1968—fourteen months after this horrible accident?
Throughout the tapes, “George Harrison” maintains the same steady tone of voice, with no “ums” or “ahs,” no catches in his voice, sounding only mildly incredulous at times. If George Harrison was going to reveal a conspiracy that had cost John Lennon his life and resulted in the attempted murder of Harrison, would he actually find it necessary to lay down a history of the Beatles—commonly known information? Would he lie in his hospital bed making a tape that detailed every suspected “clue” ever published that pointed to Paul’s death? Would he have told his story in perfect chronological order?
Yes, there is a conspiracy here, but it’s not the utterly fantastic theory that MI5 found a Paul McCartney look-alike, operated on him to perfect the look, and taught him to speak and move like McCartney (did anyone bother doing voice analyses on Paul McCartney tapes pre- and post-November 9, 1966?) to save the lives of hundreds of teenage fans. The real conspiracy concerns someone finding a voice that sounded enough like George Harrison’s, then supplying the voice with a script comprised of every clue ever uncovered that supposedly pointed to Paul’s death, as well as ridiculous interpretations of actual events, and trying to dupe the public into believing it was really Harrison. But that would be fraud, wouldn’t it?
Paul McCartney Really Is Dead lacks the one ingredient absolutely necessary to a successful conspiracy theory. Somehow Gilbert, through an act of omission, makes the shocking inference that Prescott Bush was not connected with either John Lennon’s or George Harrison’s attack or death.
There are two bonus features included with Paul McCartney Really Is Dead. One is “Bob Dylan Meets the Beatles,” which sounds like an interesting topic; wouldn’t you like to see these music legends engaged in a discussion? You won’t here, because it’s actually an interview with an elderly man who once wrote for the Saturday Evening Post. This short conclusively proves that pot-smoking affects the brain. The other bonus is the MP3 soundtrack to Paul McCartney Really Is Dead. Don’t get excited, it doesn’t feature the Beatles. At all.
Bottom Line: Would I buy/rent/stream Paul McCartney Really Is Dead? I might actually go all out and buy this one; it’s freakin’ hilarious. The allegations are so preposterous, we were laughing out loud; had this been evidence offered in a courtroom, we’d have been removed.
Elvis is dead and I don’t feel so — no wait, that was one of Lewis Grizzard’s lines. Hmm…”Doesn’t she almost look just like Laura…” — no, that’s the midget talking backwards in the dream sequence in Twin Peaks. Where was Mark David Chapman on November 22, 1963? Did he work for the CIA? He had three names, just like Lee Harvey Oswald, isn’t that a significant clue? No, wait, Chapman must have worked for the British MI5 since their agent, Maxwell threatened the Beatles.
John Hankey should have taken notes from this producer before starting his series of conspiracy theory movies about the Kennedys and 9/11. It’s hard to imagine that the producer of Paul is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself left out any reference to Leonardo DaVinci and one of his paintings. Didn’t he have a painting with the Apostle Paul as a central character?
Joel Gilbert has left no stone unturned and included all of the Beatle’s lyrics and album covers in a tangled web of twisted lyrics, facts, and fictitious stories to sell a DVD. He’s even managed to produce an audio tape of George Harrison’s confession of the cover-up scheme. It should be marketed as either a model of how to concoct a conspiracy theory or as a comedy program.
Would I buy Paul’s Dead? No. I’m not interested in a new conspiracy; I’m up to my neck in JFK, JFK, Jr. and 9/11. Just “Let It Be”!
What do these men have in common?