One of the perks(?) of being the most famous band in the world, is that you get your very own conspiracy theories. These are designed especially for you by
lunatics fans, and add a whole new dimension to your fame and fortune. The Beatles were certainly no exception, and forthwith are my Top Five Beatles-related rumours, in no particular order. These are all real life rumours that were topics of international discussion at their peak, but which one is true…?
1) Shock death cover-up! Band-member replaced by lookey-likey!
I bet you didn’t know that Paul McCartney died in 1966. The Beatles management decided that a band member dying a sudden death at a young age would be detrimental to the long-term success of the group, so promptly replaced him with doppelganger Billy Shears, who underwent surgery to enhance his resemblance to the deceased star. Paul’s hushed-up demise explains why the Beatles stopped touring in 1966, and underwent a shift in musical direction. They may deny it, but we know the truth!
2) Beatles release anonymous album! Sales soar!
Before Paul’s untimely death in a car accident, the Beatles recorded their next album. However, the master tapes for this record were lost, and only resurfaced in 1975. By the time the tapes were found, Billy Shears was well established in his impersonation of Paul McCartney, but the group decided to release the album as a tribute to Paul. The record was released under the pseudonym band-name Klaatu; the band wanted to avoid Beatlemania and ensure the record was judged on its own merits. Due to this rumour, sales of the Klaatu album went through the roof!
3) High in the sky! Drug addled lady learns to fly!
It is alleged that rather than being an innocent ode to a young girl, inspired by a psychedelic child’s drawing (below), a particular Beatles song is actually about a hallucinogenic drug. John Lennon insisted that the below picture drawn by his four year old son is the inspiration behind the track Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, but the rumours continue to insist that the song is really about LSD.
4) Stop Press: Beatles smoked pot at the palace!
We’re familiar with the concept of a cheeky ciggie in the loos,* but this next Beatles tale is royally rebellious indeed. In 1965, the boys took a trip to Buckingham palace to recieve MBEs; apparently, the prospect of meeting Her Majesty in person shook them up so much that the only solution was a quick splif in the palace toilets. Both confirmed and denied by various Beatles, this is one pungent rumour that won’t blow over.
*Although not personally, of course
5) John Lennon’s death a political assassination!
Did you know, John Lennon was not shot by a deranged fan seeking notoriety, as we all thought? In fact, Lennon’s death was a political assassination, carried out by a brainwashed pawn. The CIA kept extensive files on John Lennon, due to his radical political ideals; it is claimed that the CIA took this a step further in 1980 when they arranged for a programmed operative to gun Lennon down outside his home. This conspiracy theory has had a lot of publicity, but is there any truth to it?
Phew! After wading through this minefield of mire, it is good to know that some don’t let it get them down: