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Dear Sir or Madam...

The John Lennon Series
by Jude Southerland Kessler

Hello, Goodbye

Comment? Question?

Paul Is Dead: The New Clue

Since late 1969, rumors have circulated that Paul McCartney died and was replaced in 1966. The replacement was supposedly William Campbell who had won a Paul lookalike contest. Further, even though this was kept a secret, the Beatles have been planting clues in lyrics and on album covers to tell us about it.

Well here's another clue for you all...

Thanks to the new Beatles Anthology the Paul Is Dead story lives once more!

The Backwards Clues

Of all the clues, the most eeriest of all are the ones that can be heard on the records themselves, when the passages are played backwards.

There are two main clues to Paul's death which are hearable on Beatles records when played backwards, and they are both on the White Album:

  1. Revolution 9

    [SOUND] At the very beginning of this track, repeating over and over, and heard again many times later in the cut, is the phrase "Number nine" in a very formal british voice.

    [SOUND] When played backwards, this phrase sounds like "Turn me on, dead man", repeated over and over.

    This clue is doubly eerie when you remember John singing "I'd love to turn you on..." at the end of A Day In The Life.

  2. I'm So Tired/Blackbird

    [SOUND] There is some mumbling that sounds like John and Yoko right after the very abrupt ending of I'm So Tired and before the beginning of the next song, Blackbird. This passage has no english interpretation when played forwards.

    [SOUND] However, when played backwards, you can hear John say, "Paul is a dead man. Miss him. Miss him. MISS HIM!"

    This is again doubly eerie, in that this backwards message again mentions the phrase "dead man", and that the very next line on the record, sung by Paul, "Blackbird singing in the dead of night", also mentions death.

The New Clue

Although not included on the Anthology 3 CD, a portion of the song I'm So Tired with a different mix than the released version was played on the Anthology TV show in 1996.

The song I'm So Tired ends with the phrase "I give you everything I got for a little peace of mind" repeated three times, separated by short drum solos.

However, the part of the song played on the Anthology TV show has some mumbling over the last drum solo, before the final repeating of the phrase, that cannot be heard on the released version at all. (Listen to the released version above.) This new voice sounds exactly like the voice that can be heard in the mumbling at the end the released version.

[SOUND] I'm So Tired from Anthology Home Video

The new mumbling, when played backwards, sounds like John's voice saying, "Are you listening?"

[SOUND] The New Clue Backwards!

So now, we have a new clue, and a highlighting of the original clue. First, John makes sure we are paying attention by asking us, "Are you listening?" And then, when he has our attention, he says a few seconds later, "Paul is a dead man. Miss him. Miss him. MISS HIM!"

The Bottom Line

Do I believe Paul McCartney died in 1964 and was replaced?



Do I believe the whole Paul Is Dead story was an elaborate hoax engineered and carried out the by the Beatles?

Also no. All of the album cover and lyrical clues can be easily explained away, and most are downright silly, although a few of the clues are sort of cool, for example, as the picture at the right illustrates, if you hold a mirror up to the Sgt. Pepper's drum logo, you can see the words "ONE HE DIE", with an arrow between "HE" and "DIE" that points directly up at Paul. (Click here for info on another original clue.)

However, for me personally, the two backwards death clues have always been too weird to just explain away as mere coincidences. After all, you don't hear backwards messages just anywhere. Try playing anything at random backwards, it will just sound like unintelligible gibberish.

Furthermore, there are only two other backwards voices in Beatles recordings. One is the Sgt. Pepper's ending groove, and its various interpretations are not related to the Paul Is Dead story at all. The other, the last verse of the song Rain, was done intentionally for an effect, not to say anything backwards, and indeed when you hear the phrase backwards in the song, it has no meaning to our ears. Neither of these are related to the death of anyone. However, both of the backwards voices on Beatles recordings that do sound like they mention a "dead man" happen to be on the same album.

And now we find ourselves with a new part of a recording of John's voice which seems to be related to an existing clue, and IT HAS A BACKWARDS INTERPRETATION AS WELL!

In addition, this new clue is presented to us at the same time as the release of Free As A Bird, a song which has a new obviously INTENTIONAL backwards message from, of all people, John, at the very end.

[SOUND] Free As A Bird
[SOUND] Free As A Bird backwards

Coincidences? You decide.

1997 Postscript

In 1997, Paul McCartney released his solo album Flaming Pie, and again Paul is involved with another possibly intentionally planted backwards message.

[SOUND] In the middle of the song The World Tonight, Paul, along with strange echo effects heard nowhere else on the recording, appears to say "I can see the world tonight".

[SOUND] When played backwards, this phrase sounds very much like "Save animal's fur, Linda Eastman."

Paul's late wife, Linda, who's maiden name was Linda Eastman, was very outspokenly vegetarian, thus "saving animal's fur" could have easily referred to preserving animal species and not killing them for selfish reasons like wearing their fur or eating them.

Does this new backwards message mean Paul (and possibly the other Beatles) were behind the Paul Is Dead hoax all along? I don't think so. It does lend evidence to the notion, however, that Paul is not adverse to playing along.

This page created March 1, 1996.
This page last updated January 1, 1999.

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