1978 – Player started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Baby Come Back’, a No.32 hit in the UK, the groups only UK hit. Peter Beckett grew up in Liverpool, England, where he spent four years playing in a band called Palladin. He quit to come to America […]
1977 – Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines of Lynyrd Skynyrd are killed when their rented plane crashes in a swamp near Gillsburg, Miss. 20 October 1977, 6:55 pm. While flying from Greenville, South Carolina to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s chartered Convair 240 aircraft crashed in a Mississippi swamp. The plane […]
1977 – Linda Ronstadt denies a report that she was offered $1 million to appear in a Hustler photo spread. Now I’d be that for a dollar!
Tim Curry in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” 1973 – The Rocky Horror Picture Show, starring Tim Curry, opens at a London theater,. Also, making his first time ever appearance is Meatloaf. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 musical comedy film that parodies science fiction and horror films. With a screenplay written by […]
Satirical or other references
Batman #222 (June 1970). Cover by Neal Adams.
Batman #222 (June 1970). Cover by Neal Adams.
* The June 1970 issue of the DC Comics title Batman, written by Frank Robbins, parodied the rumour with a story entitled “Dead…Till Proven Alive”, in which it is rumored that “Saul” from the band the Oliver Twists was deceased and replaced with a double. A twist ending revealed that an accident had killed every member of the Oliver Twists but Saul. The album that Robin is holding on the cover of the comic book mimics the back cover image on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
* WMCA radio released a pinback promotional button for their station that read “Paul Lives WMCA Swings”.
* The Rutles, a parody of The Beatles, included a couple of “Paul is dead” parodies.
* The 1972 National Lampoon Album, Radio Diner, featured a short track that, when played backwards, has a voice that sounds like Paul saying, “I’m Dead!”
* A 1983 Saturday Night Live sketch with Eddie Murphy claiming he was the original fifth Beatle spoofed the backward message..
* The Simpsons television show has included many references to it. When McCartney guest-starred on The Simpsons in “Lisa the Vegetarian”, he claimed there was a vegetarian hidden message in “Maybe I’m Amazed”. Over the closing credits the song played with a backmasked lentil soup recipe. At the end, he says “Oh, and by the way, I’m alive.” Also, on one of The Simpsons’ annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween episodes, McCartney’s name appears on a grave seen in the opening.
* John Safran’s Music Jamboree contains a segment about the conspiracy, followed by a mock George Harrison-is-dead conspiracy, following Harrison’s death in 2001.
* The Onion’s Our Dumb Century collection includes a fake headline from January 21, 1981, that reads, “Secret Album-Cover Clues Reveal John Lennon Is Dead.”
* In the film Sleepless in Seattle, Tom Hanks’s character, Sam Baldwin, comes home to find his son, Jonah, listening to an album and declaring “Dad, this is incredible. If you play it backward it says ‘Paul is dead.'”
* In episode 819 of the series Mystery Science Theater 3000, a record player runs backward in a scene of the movie Invasion of the Neptune Men. Crow quips “Paul is a dead man! Miss him! Miss him!”.
* In October 1974, the National Lampoon Radio Hour aired a skit titled “Rip Van Ripple” which told the story of a reporter picking-up a hippie hitchhiker who had gotten wasted in 1966 and passed out for 8 years.
Hitchhiker: Hey, is Paul McCartney still dead?
Reporter: No, he’s alive again.
* The Star Trek Customizable Card Game Alternative Universe expansion set’s “Paul Rice” card reads “daed si luaP” (“Paul is Dead” backwards) next to the copyright information.
* A deleted scene in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story has Jack Black as Paul and he says “Of course I remember, I’m not dead, or am I?”
* In a 1987 edition of American Top 40, host Casey Kasem revisited the “Paul Is Dead” era as a related story to the Bananarama song “I Heard a Rumour”. The following year, Dick Clark featured a similar story on Rock, Roll and Remember.
* An extended version of the theme to the animated sitcom King Of The Hill features a few seconds of silence at the end, followed by Dale Gribble saying “Hank is a dead man. Miss him, miss him.”
* The Batman Adventures Annual 2 from 1995, written by Paul Dini, features Ra’s al Ghul saying an incantation in order to summon the demon Hahhk. Each phrase is a pop culture reference written backwards, among them “Luap Deirub I!” or “I Buried Paul!”
* Many bands have referenced the rumour in their music:
o SR-71 released a song called “Paul McCartney” on their debut album Now You See Inside which references that Paul is dead.
o The Union Underground wrote a song called “Turn Me On, Mr. Dead Man”, a reference to the “Revolution 9” clue “Turn me on, dead man”.
o “You Turn Me On”, a song by Beat Happening, contains the lyrics “Turn me on, dead man,” repeated multiple times throughout the chorus.
o Game Theory released a song called “Turn Me On, Dead Man” on their album Lolita Nation.
o “December Is for Cynics” by the band The Matches contains the lyrics “But Snopes.com said if you play/’Strawberry Fields’ the wrong way/You can hear Lennon’s ghost say/’I buried Paul.'”
o Icelandic teenage-band Retro Stefson wrote a song “Paul is dead” referring to the rumours.
1968 – Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band wins four Grammys. From the Editor of TDIR: I remember when I was 8 years old.. and I had gotten my Big brother to buy this album for me, as i was already a Beatles fan from the age of 5 from watching the cartoons. There was […]
1966 – The Beatles started a six week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Rubber Soul’ the groups seventh US chart topper, which went on to spend 56 weeks on the chart. The group also started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘We Can Work It […]
1956 – Randy Rhoads, a guitar god of a different stripe with Ozzy Osbourne’s band, is born in Santa Monica, Calif. Randall William “Randy” Rhoads (December 6, 1956 – March 19, 1982) was an American heavy metal guitarist who played with Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot. Despite his short career, he is cited as an […]
1955 – James Dean, whose iconic stance in films like Rebel Without a Cause influenced countless rockers, dies in an automobile accident. He was 24. James Dean: one of the most influential actors on rock n roll who was not famous as a musician… Rather, a great actor with the right ‘tude. James Byron Dean […]
1947 – Marc Bolan (Marc Feld) of T. Rex is born in London. Marc Bolan (born Mark Feld; 30 September 1947 – 16 September 1977), was an English singer, songwriter and guitarist whose hit singles, fashion sensibilities and stage presence with T.Rex in the early 1970s helped cultivate the glam rock era and made him […]
1943 – Jim Morrison of the Doors is born in Melbourne, Fla., the son of a U.S. Navy admiral. James Douglas Morrison (December 8, 1943—July 3, 1971) was an American singer, songwriter, poet, writer and film director. He is best known as the lead singer and lyricist of The Doors and is widely considered to […]
1938 – Paul Revere of the Raiders is born in Boise, Idaho. Paul Revere and the Raiders is an American rock band that saw enormous mainstream success in the second half of the 1960s and earlier 1970s, best-known for hits like “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)” (1971), “Steppin’ Out” & “Just […]