A Slice of History From Detroit Rock City

Did you ever hear the one about Paul McCartney dying and being replaced by a doppelganger in 1966?  The “Paul Is Dead” controversy than began as The Beatles were in their final years as a band together was fueled right here in Detroit, MI.  Russ Gibb, WKNR-FM Detroit DJ and Grande Ballroom Godfather, received a call to the station on October 12, 1969 from Tom Zarski at Eastern Michigan University, asking Gibb if he had ever listened to The Beatles’ White Album backwards, in particular the song “Revolution 9.”  Zarski explained the controversy in depth, telling Gibb about the hidden clues in the song that Paul McCartney was actually dead and replaced by a look-alike, including the cryptic “turn me on, dead man” message you could hear by playing the record in reverse.   Gibb played “Revolution 9” backwards on the air — listeners in Detroit were stunned, as was Russ Gibb, who was soon receiving hundreds of calls and clues from all over contributing to the runaway train that Paul McCartney was no longer with us.  Gibb even aired a 2-hour special on WKNR-FM on October 19, 1969, “The Beatle Plot,” discussing all of the clues and evidence found by listeners and analyzing the conspiracy.  Detroit; home of the greatest rock-and-roll rumor of the 20th century.

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