The 1969 rumor that Paul McCartney was dead is the basis of a new short comedy film, the aptly named Paul Is Dead.
The film tells the story of what might have happened if he had actually died. But instead of rehashing how it happened, which was -- according to the rumor -- in a car accident back in '69, the film has John, George and Ringo finding him dead from a drug overdose. They then try to dispose of the body while stumbling upon a Paul look-a-like, Billy Sheers, who they ask to join the band.
Director George Moore says, "My friend and co-writer Ben told me about the conspiracy theory during a drunk taxi ride; I’d never heard of it before and found it really entertaining. I made one of those off-hand comments that people make all the time; ‘That would make a funny film’, but the following day we decided to actually make it happen."
The film, which Moore hopes to take on the festival circuit next year, can be seen online.
The rumor took hold following the events of August 8th, 1969. It was on that day that The Beatles made a spur-of-the-moment decision to have themselves photographed walking across Abbey Road, just outside the EMI Studio where they recorded. One of those photos ended up as the cover of what would become their last studio album, Abbey Road.
- Paul is in bare feet and out of step with his bandmates.
- There's a Volkswagen Beetle with a "28-IF" license plate, the age Paul would have been had he "lived."
- John is dressed in white, signifying a priest.
- Ringo is in black, which many believe is a sign that he was the undertaker.
- George is in denim, so he was dubbed the gravedigger.
Paul McCartney explained why he was barefoot on the cover of Abbey Road:
"You know why he was walking across that crossing with no shoes on?' Well, it was hot, man. It was like a real hot day in London, and I had sandals on and I kicked them off, you know -- big deal."