The Best and Worst Beatles Conspiracies (NSFW)
Conspiracy theories are my comfort food. After all, all a conspiracy is "the action of plotting or conspiring," and not just about tin-foil hats and Reptillians. When Reagan's cronies illegally sold weapons to Iran in the Iran-Contra Scandal, that was a conspiracy. When the CIA sold crack to kids in Mena, Arkansas, that was a conspiracy. When my mother guessed my brother was buying drugs from the neighbors, that was a conspiracy.
When it comes to music, conspiracy theories aren't in short number, but they are lacking in substance. That's probably because musicians have a lot less malicious intent than senators or the Illuminati. But there are some bands that attract conspiracy theories like you wouldn't believe, and The Beatles are at the top of the list. People really, really like writing and believing things about The Beatles (no matter how outlandish). So in honor of former singer Tony Sheridan (he sang with the group when they were called The Beat Brothers and weren't all that famous) who died on Saturday, February 16, I thought it would be fun to dive into the mythological canon and dig up some of the best and worst "Beatles Conspiracy Theories," including a few I made up, because why not?
FOR THE RECORD: Some theories carry more weight than others: For the record, JFK was not shot by Oswald alone, the moon landing was not faked, Pearl Harbor was an inside job and 9/11 is still a "maybe." For the most part, a good conspiracy theory is mostly just a lot of fun. Because somewhere out there, secret meetings are taking place to make very bad, very public things happen.
Somehow, that makes my life seem insignificant and I probably won't have to worry that much about my little problems, like rent and getting my car to run and maybe they are all out to get me, but who gives a fuck, because if they do get me they can't take my spirit, right? And now, on to The Fab Four.
Paul Is Dead
Ah, the most famous Beatles conspiracy of all, except for maybe the incorrect conviction they're better than The Rolling Stones (more on that later). The "clues" considered here mostly center around the mumbled words at the end of "Strawberry Fields Forever" -- are they "I buried Paul" or "cranberry sauce?" When you play "A Day In The Life" backwards, you can hear, "Paul is dead, miss him, miss him." Then, there's the cover of Abbey Road, which looks like a funeral procession: John is the priest, Ringo is the undertaker, barefoot Paul is the dead and George is the gravedigger. The plot thickens!
OK, right off the bat, this is fucking stupid. If The Beatles did have something this massive to hide, why would they playfully put clues in their lyrics? They weren't that stoned. You can hear lots of messages when you play music backwards -- and it all sounds like drowning a Furby doll in a dishwasher.
Paul is alive. The proof is that whenever a musician dies (see also: John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain) those in the shadows make a lot of money trumping up his death, printing memorial magazines, reissuing shitty "lost" recordings, etc. There's a conspiracy theory for you: Who's making money protecting the legacy of these rockstars? Yeah, let that keep you up at night.
Actually, All The Beatles Were Replaced (Except Paul)
Fuck it, ALL the Beatles died and were replaced. There's just as much evidence for this theory as the last one, apparently. The suggested timeline for this one is, Ringo died and was replaced in 1963, George died and was replaced in 1964, John followed in 1965, and Ringo's replacement also died and was re-replaced. Crazy!
My question is: Why didn't they keep replacing the blokes ad nauseum? Wait, what if they have? What if the current incarnation of Paul McCartney is actually number 23 or something? That explains it! Kurt Cobain didn't die! He became the newest Paul McCartney and that's how he formed Sirvana! Mind = blown.