Once this new invention became the norm for recording music, backmasking began to evolve rapidly. 12In November 1966 Paul McCartney had been involved in a traffic accident after storming out of a recording session with The Beatles. In the autumn of 1969 the group released an album “Abbey Road” which was to be their last collusion together before disbanding due to diminishing record sales and popularity, a backlash attributed to John Lennon`s statement in March 1966 where he stated that The Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ.
John Lennon talking about the backward masking on Rain. (April 16, 1966)
The album proved not to be their final curtain as rumours started circulating that Paul had died in the car crash of 1966 and that he had been replaced by a look-alike and although The Beatles were quick to refute these claims speculation about McCartney`s demise continued. They even became embroiled in controversy (not of their making) when a radio station received a call from University of Michigan student Fred Labour who claimed to have identified clues to McCartney`s passing in backward messages inserted in their records.
When Russ Gibb, the DJ played these songs backwards and heard the same sentences he informed his listeners about the “cover up” of McCartney`s death and the conspiracy theory gained momentum as other radio stations joined the debate on air.
Amongst the clues mentioned was Paul McCartney walking barefoot, but out of step, across a pedestrian crossing accompanied by his fellow band members who were all wearing shoes on the album cover of “Abbey Road.” It was suggested that the image represented a funeral procession with McCartney, the corpse.
13In 2009, when asked on the David Letterman show about how these rumours had started McCartney stated that The Beatles were arranging a cover for this album and on the day he “showed up …with sandals, flip flops and it was so hot that day that I kicked them off and walked across bare-footed so this started some rumour that because he was bare-footed he`s dead…” – to this day the rumour surfaces every few years.
Even videos on youtube cannot avoid being drawn into this affair as it claimed on “kitty Alternative News” and website tapnewswire.com in March 2015 that 14Ringo Starr had been interviewed by Hollywood Inquirer and admitted that Paul McCartney had died in the crash of 1966 and had been replaced by a lookalike, William Shears Campbell. The group were fearful of the profound reaction to his death and so chose a temporary replacement for him but the charade got out of hand and Ringo wanted to reveal the truth before his death.
Then in May 19 2015, another website started circulating what it called breaking news of Paul McCartney`s death which attracted responses from fans all over the world until the rumours were quashed by his representatives, once again.
The furore surrounding the original conspiracy theory in 1969 drew international attention and the result was that The Beatles` careers were resurrected, they enjoyed even greater success, their popularity soared and the band continued to produce records to wide acclaim and consequently became the most influential of their era.
As a consequence of these claims regarding hidden messages in records, teenagers across the globe began to play records backwards in order to search for more hidden messages and unwittingly came across ones that were unintentionally inserted into records as well.