Russ Gibb, the Detroit disc jockey who helped spread the rumor of Paul McCartney's death in 1969, died Tuesday. He was 87.
Fellow DJ Dan Carlisle, who worked with Gibb at WKNR in Dearborn, Michigan, tells us, "Quite simply it had been an underground conspiracy story that finally surfaced from a caller on the Saturday Russ Gibb Show. Russ thought it would be interesting to treat it like it was plausible so I began talking about it on my show and then CREEM magazine did a story with pictures of us standing in a grave yard.
"When it got out of hand we produced a special and sold it to other radio stations, most of which never paid for the tape they received. After a while the hysteria cooled off and to make sure I never got blamed for my participation I always say that it was Russ Gibb, that's who you should sue not me."
Paul McCartney could not be reached for comment.
Gibb was also the owner of Detroit's legendary Grande Ballroom, which saw the likes of The Who, Cream, Led Zeppelin and many others grace its stage.
In other Beatles news:
Ringo Starr was at London's Jazz FM Awards Tuesday to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to producer Don Was, who now runs Blue Note Records.
Julian Lennon has published Love the Earth, the third installment in a trilogy of children’s books co-authored by Bart Davis.
A jewelry store in Liverpool is using Beatles imagery to mark its 50th anniversary. The shop is filling its ceiling with balloons -- one of which has the name "Lucy" printed inside. The shopper who locates the balloon containing "Lucy" in the "sky" will win a diamond worth about $1,200.