Rapping With Russ
Being an ever-faithful listener of "Uncle" Russ Gibb's WKNR-FM classic rock show (back in the gool ole days!), I was captivated one weekend when he interviewed a fellow on-air about multiple clues, taken from many Beatles' LPs, leading to the possibility that Paul McCartney had been killed and replaced by a look-alike. Though I don't specifically remember what tips I contributed, I was very excited to be able to participate in Russ' show and offer additional "clues," now that pandora's box had been opened.
Stories such as these, including the one about having seen each of the Beatles shows on the Ed Sullivan Show, have been passed down to my two kids. My wife, of course, has been subjected to my far-off reminiscences of that era more times than she cares to remember. So it was the four of us met in London in August, 2001. On the alert for a suitable birthday present for Dad, my son arranged for the four of us to go on a guided "Magical Mystery Tour" walk.
Starting very near the location of the Beatles' short-lived Baker Street clothing boutique, the tour takes in McCartney's MPL office, Carnaby Street, and several other Fab Four sites on its way to the former Apple headquarters, where the Fabs, along with Billy Preston, played the famous "Get Back" rooftop session.
From there it was on to the world famous Abbey Road Studios in St. John's Wood, where our guide launched into a dissertation on the famous zebra-crosswalk photo appearing on the cover of the Beatles' last album, Abbey Road, prior to disbanding. Here Paul is pictured barefoot and a VW license plate reads, "28IF," Paul's age at the time of the infamous KNR broadcasts "had he lived." My ultimate delight came from the astonished looks on the faces of my wife and kids when, after explaining many of the clues, our guide attributed the "Paul Is Dead" story to none other than "Uncle" Russ, my WKNR-FM disk jockey friend (and Grande Ballroom proprietor)!
For the definitive read on all of this, and what part former Grand Funk manager Terry Knight had to do with all of it, check out Andru Reeves' Turn Me On, Dead Man: The Beatles and the "Paul-Is-Dead" Hoax.