What were the 'clues' on the Abbey Road cover?
So here’s another clue for you all/The Walrus was Paul
The Beatles Glass Onion (The White Album)
There were conspiracy theories long before the internet. The Beatles, with their unprecedented fame and influence on popular culture, were particularly prone to them. Perhaps the most notorious began on the night of January 7, 1967, when ‘a rumour swept London that Paul McCartney had been killed in a car crash on the M1’. - read the full story here.
On 12 October, 1969 a bizarre on-air phone call to Detroit radio station gave new life (!) to the controversy. A caller, identified only as ‘Tom’, had some startling new information. He revealed that The Beatles had been sending secret messages through their recorded songs.
‘Play ‘Revolution 9’ backwards,’ he said mysteriously. ‘And you’ll hear what I mean!’
The DJ duly spun the disk (backwards). After somehow deciphering discordant wailing, he pronounced judgement. ‘Wow! John is saying “dead man!” He’s trying to tell us that Paul McCartney is dead!’
In 1969, the story got a new lease of life. A Michigan University student published an article: “McCartney Dead; New Evidence Brought to Light”. The article built a pretty spooky — if not quite legally watertight — case for suspicious minds.
Most famously it drew attention to ‘Paul’ crossing Abbey Road on the album cover barefoot. And walking barefoot — as every conspiracy theorist agreed — was a scientifically proven symbol of death. McCartney later would protest that he was shoeless because of the August heat. The photographer - who took the photo standing on a stepladder while they held up the traffic - confirmed Paul's explanation. But by this point nobody was listening.
Other 'clues' are also problematic:
- The licence plat number on the white VW Beetle in the background ended 28IF. Another message! Paul would have been twenty-seven had he lived to record Abbey Road. That stood for Paul's age IF he had not died, right? But a glance at Paul’s birth certificate confirms that he was twenty-seven on the day he walked across Abbey Road. Or didn’t walk across….
- The black prison van symbolizes the police role in the cover-up. So they were in on it too...
- In the background a small group of people dressed in white are on one side of the road. They represent the surviving Beatles. A single figure in black stands alone on the other. Dead Paul, of course.
- Why does Paul have a cigarette in his RIGHT hand? Everyone knows Paul McCartney is LEFT handed! How do you explain that, eh?