Beatles fans are all familiar with the “Paul is dead” urban legend. The rumors, which surfaced in September of 1969, claimed that Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 and was replaced by a double. Despite the fact that McCartney gave an interview to Life magazine in November 1969 stating that he was “very much alive,” the whisperings of his death 44 years ago have never quite died down.
Labor Day weekend, the filmPaul McCartney Really is Dead: The Last Testament of George Harrison makes its East Coast debut in National Harbor at Abbey Road on the River, which bills itself as the world’s largest Beatles festival.
The film starts in the summer of 2005, when a package, sent from London with no return address, arrived at the Hollywood offices of Highway 61 Entertainment. Inside were two cassette tapes dated December 30, 1999 and labeled “The Last Testament of George Harrison.” The voice relates that McCartney was killed in a car crash in November of 1966. British intelligence, MI5, forced the Beatles to cover up McCartney’s death and replace him with a double in order to prevent mass suicides of Beatles fans. “Harrison,” who died in 2001, also claims that John Lennon was assassinated in 1980 because he threatened to expose the cover-up.
Reaction to the trailer on YouTube has been decidedly skeptical. A sampling:
“this is incredibly disrespectful to george harrison, may he rest in peace.”
“What a load of shit! that doesnt sound a thing like george harrison!”
“Any real Beatles fan will know that is certainly not George Harrison’s voice.”
The unauthorized documentary, which, according to the press release, “may prove to be the most important document in rock and roll history,” debuts Friday, September 3, with a screening and Q&A session with director Joel Gilbert. The film will subsequently be on view Saturday, September 4 and Sunday, September 5.