McCartney Recalls 'Madness' of Death Rumor

'Paul is dead' rumor refused to die, Beatle says
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2009 3:53 PM CDT
A visitor passes an oversized cover of "Abbey Road" during the opening of the "Beatles Museum" in Hamburg, Germany, Thursday, May 28, 2009.   (AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer)
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(Newser) – The infamous rumor that Paul McCartney died in 1966—and was replaced by a man who looked and sounded like the original—had Beatles’ fans regularly checking the musician’s appearance to see if he was the genuine article, McCartney tells Mojo magazine, as noted by the Telegraph. “I could see people sort of looking at me more closely,” McCartney said. “'Were his ears always like that?”

The rumor led to an elaborate interpretation of the cover of Abbey Road: John, Ringo, and George stood for a clergyman, undertaker, and gravedigger; Paul’s lack of shoes symbolized his death; and the “28IF” license plate suggested McCartney would have been 28 “if” he had lived. ''I'd had bare feet 'cos I'd kicked off my sandals,” McCartney says. “The car that said '28IF' was a completely random car that had just been parked. It was madness.''