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Is Paul McCartney dead?
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Who is Billy Shears?

We can point exactly to who replaced Paul McCartney - Billy Shears.

The Argument

Paul McCartney drove off angrily in his car from a Beatles recording session after an argument with his bandmates, crashed on the M1, and was killed. His death was covered up and he was replaced in the band by a lookalike competition winner, William ‘Billy’ Shears Campbell, to ‘play’ Paul on future Beatles records. Billy was introduced by name on the Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Rumours of the death did get out and have persisted. In September 1969, an article entitled "Is Beatle Paul McCartney Dead?" appeared in a US student newspaper the Drake Times-Delphic, written by Tim Harper, who said he had heard the story from other students. He cited many clues which further escalated the story. On 14 October, Fred LaBour wrote a review of the Abbey Road album for The Michigan Daily, where he said McCartney had lost his writing mojo and suggested this was because Paul had died and been replaced. He described many of the clues pointing towards the story being true, and the story rapidly became an international phenomenon.

Counter arguments

"Paul Is Dead" was a hoax story that begun with a rumour in January 1967, acknowledged and rebutted in the February issue of fanzine The Beatles Book. Fred LaBour says his review was satirical and admitted making up most of the details. Billy Shears was an alias for Ringo Starr and was used as the announcement/segue for Ringo’s song "With a Little Help from my Friends” on the Sergeant Pepper Album.



[P1] Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966. [P2] Lookalike Billy Shears replaced him in the band and Billy’s career is now many times longer than Paul’s.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] McCartney is alive and well. He is even playing Glastonbury in 2020.


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 1 Sep 2020 at 15:11 UTC

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